For Pride Month: Recommend great LGBTQI lit
June 13, 2018 7:49 AM   Subscribe

Pride Month is making me want to address a gap in my reading: Great books by and about LGBTQI folks. Recommend away!

As a reader I look for great writing, good storytelling, and I lean towards more serious subjects (I'm not much into comedy or satire, though I do enjoy a good dramedy).

That said, I'm open to anything. Thank you!
posted by elizeh to Media & Arts (18 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I recently read last year's Pulitzer-Price-winning Less by Andrew Sean Greer, and the writing in it so good that I read it again before I took it back to the library. It has humor but wrapped up in emotion and good storytelling--it's not primarily a comedy, I don't think.
posted by Orlop at 7:52 AM on June 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Almost anything by Alan Hollinghurst but particularly The Swimming Pool Library or The Line of Beauty.
posted by humuhumu at 8:00 AM on June 13, 2018 [3 favorites]

Best answer: If you want to read a classic, I'd suggest James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room, published in 1956.
posted by FencingGal at 8:09 AM on June 13, 2018 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Sarah Waters might be too contemporary to be canon, but I love her novels, specifically Fingersmith and The Paying Guests.

Patricia Highsmith's The Price of Salt .
posted by gladly at 8:32 AM on June 13, 2018 [5 favorites]

Best answer: You want everything by Seanan McGuire and her alter ego Mira Grant. Please don't be put off by the fact that she writes genre; her works are deadly serious underneath the Fae and zombies. She's queer, and she writes real (gender and sexuality) queer folks, and she's an amazing storyteller. If you want to dip your toes in, Rolling in the Deep and Into the Drowning Deep are a novella and novel set (so you're not wading into the 11-book-deep Tobyverse).
posted by joycehealy at 9:00 AM on June 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

Best answer: It’s YA, but I just finished “Autoboyography” by Christina Lauren and it really tugged at my heart- it’s about a bisexual CA teen who has to move to Utah with his family, and falls in love with the Mormon bishop’s son.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 9:20 AM on June 13, 2018

Best answer: Leslie Feinberg's 1993 Stone Butch Blues and Andrew Holloran's 1978 Dancer from the Dance are classics. Something more recent that I enjoyed was Lauren Emily Whalen's 2017 sort-of-YA novel Satellite, which made me actually cry.
posted by goatdog at 9:42 AM on June 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Heaven's Coast by Mark Doty handles caregiving, grieving, death, and dying so thoughtfully. I think everyone should read it.
posted by Gymnopedist at 10:16 AM on June 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Seconding Less. I just finished it and really enjoyed it.

Check out Zoe Wittall, whose stories feature lesbian and trans characters. I particularly enjoyed Bottle Rocket Hearts, which is about the lesbian scene in Montreal in the 90s, and Holding Still for as Long as Possible.
posted by urbanlenny at 10:21 AM on June 13, 2018

Best answer: Definitely Stone Butch Blues.
posted by kerf at 10:33 AM on June 13, 2018

Best answer: Zami: A new spelling of my name by Audre Lorde.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:50 AM on June 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Some of my recent favs:


-Her Body and Other Parties
-Lily and the Octopus (the main character is a gay man; the book isn't focused on his sexuality, per se, but it's definitely a big part of the story)
-Miseducation of Cameron Post (the movie is coming out soon!)
-Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit (total YA fluff, but I loved it)
-Sarah Waters' novels, especially The Paying Guests
Bingo Love

-We Are Never Meeting In Real Life (Can't recommend this one enough)
-Queer, There, and Everywhere - 23 People Who Changed the World
-Don't Call Us Dead and basically all poetry by Danez Smith
-The Rules Do Not Apply
-Redefining Realness
-A Queer and Pleasant Danger

Everything Roxane Gay or Jacqueline Woodson have ever done

Check out award winners from Lambda Literary (they just announced this year's winners!)
posted by nuclear_soup at 12:10 PM on June 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Came here to say Her Body and Other Parties. I'm hoping/praying/daydreaming that one of the stories is expanded to a novel-length work, but I'm also content to re-read it forever.
posted by witchen at 12:14 PM on June 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

Best answer: There's been a mini-boom of trans literature recently. Imogen Binnie's novel Nevada is the thing that made the biggest splash (and it's very, very good). Casey Plett's short story collection A Safe Girl to Love is my personal I'm-a-hipster-and-I-like-the-less-famous-one-better favorite. The thing that's kind of rare and important about both is that they're not trying to Explain Those Exotic Trans People to a presumed-clueless cis audience, they're telling stories about our lives the way we'd tell those stories to each other.
posted by nebulawindphone at 2:17 PM on June 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The Xandri Corelel series by Kaia Sonderby has a main character who is bisexual (and is #ownvoices).

Some other places to get recommendations:
The Lesbrary
Sapphic Book Club
Bogi Reads the World (Bogi Takács is intersex, trans, and agender)
posted by Lexica at 2:26 PM on June 13, 2018

Best answer: I also came here to recommend Alan Hollinghurst. I’m reading his The Sparsholt Affair at the moment and highly, highly recommend it. It’s a beautiful book.
posted by Aravis76 at 2:56 PM on June 13, 2018

Best answer: Lesbian fiction by lesbian authors: "Slow River" by Nicola Griffith, "The Price of Salt" by Patricia Highsmith

Butch identity and gender spectrum concepts: "Butch is a Noun" by S. Bear Bergman.
posted by 4rtemis at 3:44 PM on June 13, 2018

Best answer: Another source for recommendations: there's a quarterly roundup of fiction by nonbinary authors at The Book Smugglers. Here's the most recent.
posted by Lexica at 7:14 PM on June 13, 2018

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