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New month, new books! A new month is upon us, and so are a slew of new and noteworthy LGBT books.
Cat lovers, rejoice! With the comic collection Wuvable Oaf (Fantagraphics), beloved illustrator Ed Luce has created a sexy, colorful graphic novel that beautifully combines loveable cats, hirsute hunks, and alt-rock.
From the publisher:
Wuvable Oaf is the first-ever collection of the acclaimed self-published comic book series by cartoonist Ed Luce. Oaf is a large, hirsute, scary-looking ex-wrestler who lives in San Francisco with his adorable kitties and listens to a lot of Morrissey. The book follows Oaf’s search for love in the big city, especially his pursuit of Eiffel, the lead singer of the black metal/queercore/ progressive disco grindcore band Ejaculoid. Luce weaves between the friends, associates, enemies, ex-lovers and pasts of both men into the story of their courtship. A romantic comedy at its core, Wuvable Oaf recalls elements of comics as diverse as Scott Pilgrim, Love and Rockets, and Archie, set against the background of San Francisco’s queer community and music scene.
In her new biography Irrepressible: The Jazz Age Life of Henrietta Bingham (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), writer Emily Bingham maps the riveting true-life escapades of the rebellious Jazz Age figure Henrietta Bingham:
Forbears can become fairy-tale figures, especially when they defy tradition and are spoken of only in whispers. For the biographer and historian Emily Bingham, the secret of who her great-aunt was, and just why her story was buried for so long, led to Irrepressible: The Jazz Age Life of Henrietta Bingham. Raised like a princess in one of the most powerful families in the American South, Henrietta was offered the helm of a publishing empire. Instead, she ripped through the Jazz Age like an F. Scott Fitzgerald character: intoxicating and intoxicated, selfish and shameful, seductive and brilliant, and often terribly troubled. In New York, Louisville, and London she drove men and women wild with desire, and her youth blazed with sex. But her lesbian love affairs made her the subject of derision and drove a doctor to try to cure her. After the speed and pleasure of her youth, the toxicity of judgment coupled with her own anxieties led to years of addiction and breakdowns. Henrietta rode the cultural cusp as a muse to the Bloomsbury group, the daughter of the ambassador to England during the rise of Nazism, the seductress of royalty and athletic champions, and a pre-Stonewall figure who never buckled to convention. Henrietta’s audacious physicality made her unforgettable in her own time, and her ecstatic and at times harrowing story brings to life an essential chapter in America’s twentieth century.
In Ioannis Pappos’ debut novel Hotel Living (Harper Perennial), money definitely does not buy happiness:
Stathis Rakis has abandoned his small Greek village for a more worldly life, first in San Francisco, where the dot-com bubble had already burst, and then in Paris, France, at a top business school. After falling in love with a liberal New England journalist with a good conscience (but with some scores to settle), Stathis moves to the United States to work as a management consultant for a high-octane company called Command. He spends the very few hours of the day that aren’t consumed by work draining the minibar of whichever five-star hotel he’s currently calling home, battling insomnia, and bingeing on more than room service. Luxury is a given; happiness is not. As the economy recovers and a new bubble expands in a post-9/11 world, Stathis drifts upward, bearing witness to the criminal decadence that will become the 2008 financial crisis while developing his own habits of indulgence—drugs, sex, and insider trading. In a world of insatiability that features both corporate suits and Hollywood hedonism, Stathis remains the outsider: too foreign to be one of them, too cynical to turn back.
Publisher and writer Jonathan Galassi’s new fiction novel Muse (Knopf) is a humorous and heartfelt exploration of the world of publishing and literary arts:
From the publisher of Farrar, Straus and Giroux: a first novel, at once hilarious and tender, about the decades-long rivalry between two publishing lions, and the iconic, alluring writer who has obsessed them both. Paul Dukach is heir apparent at Purcell & Stern, one of the last independent publishing houses in New York, whose shabby offices on Union Square belie the treasures on its list. Working with his boss, the flamboyant Homer Stern, Paul learns the ins and outs of the book trade—how to work an agent over lunch; how to swim with the literary sharks at the Frankfurt Book Fair; and, most important, how to nurse the fragile egos of the dazzling, volatile authors he adores. But Paul’s deepest admiration has always been reserved for one writer: poet Ida Perkins, whose audacious verse and notorious private life have shaped America’s contemporary literary landscape, and whose longtime publisher—also her cousin and erstwhile lover—happens to be Homer’s biggest rival. And when Paul at last has the chance to meet Ida at her Venetian palazzo, she entrusts him with her greatest secret—one that will change all of their lives forever.
This month, Coffee House Press is releasing The Hope of Floating Has Carried Us This Far, an evocative new short story collection from author Quintan Ana Wikswo:
When love, lust, and longing have all but killed you, and Newtonian physics has become too painfully restrictive, is it possible to find freedom in another dimension? Have you lost the will to live, or have you lost the will to live as human? In these stories, characters must learn to live with unmarked edges and meanings that can no longer be defined.
In the new thriller Searching for Celia (Bold Strokes Books), author Elizabeth Ridley weaves a riveting tale of identity and betrayal:
Dayle Salvesen, a bestselling spy novelist from Wisconsin, arrives in London for a writers’ conference only to be told that her best friend and former lover, Celia Frost, has died under mysterious circumstances. Or has she? There’s no sign of Celia’s body, and Celia’s flat contains items suggesting she planned to travel.
Dayle joins forces with Celia’s ex-girlfriend, Nigerian-British university lecturer Edwina Adebayo, to investigate. Hampering their efforts is Detective Constable Andrea Callaway, who claims that Celia, who ran a refugee center, profited financially from her work rescuing trafficked sex slaves. The deeper Dayle and Edwina dig, the more Dayle questions not only how well she knew Celia, but also how well she knows herself.
As always, if we missed an author or book, or if you have a book coming out next month, please email us.
ART BOOKS/GRAPHIC NOVELS