Recs for modern LGBT+ writing and literature
October 13, 2020 3:01 PM   Subscribe

Recommendations for literature and writing about modern LGBT+ life? Fiction, non-fiction, novels, short fiction, essays anthologies, all appreciated.

Right now, I'm reading Lot by Bryan Washington, and it's wonderful. I've read a lot of his stuff in the New Yorker and what he links at his website.

I have also read Ocean Vuong and Carmen Maria Machado, and I've browsed the last few years of the Lambda awards. (Per the title, I read Dancer from the Dance and loved parts of it, but uh, did not appreciate the racism and transphobia. And I'd like something more contemporary, too.)

I've already gotten a bunch of queer historical fiction/mystery/genre recs and am set with those.

posted by joyceanmachine to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (12 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
I haven't read Bryan Washington so not sure of your vibe but you seem pretty open to different styles and genres. A few recent things of varying styles:
Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl, How We Fight for Our Lives, Wow, No Thank You, The Argonauts.
posted by latkes at 4:12 PM on October 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

Apologies if any of these overlap with Lambda Literary awards, but these are books about modern LGBTQ life that I've enjoyed recently:

Little Fish by Casey Plett
Thomas Page McBee's books, Man Alive: A True Story of Violence, Forgiveness and Becoming a Man & Amateur: A True Story About What Makes a Man
I'm Afraid of Men - Vivek Shraya
Brontez Purnell - Since I Laid My Burden Down
Brandon Taylor - Real Life
Davey Davis - the earthquake room
posted by needs more cowbell at 4:17 PM on October 13, 2020

Oh, also, for something light--Julia Serano (known for nonfiction about trans stuff) just published her first novel, 99 Erics.
posted by needs more cowbell at 4:31 PM on October 13, 2020

Mostly Dead Things by Kristin Arnett?
I'll second Real Life by Brandon Taylor.
posted by Jeanne at 4:52 PM on October 13, 2020

Less by Andrew Sean Greer won the Pulitzer and it was pretty entertaining.
posted by zeusianfog at 4:56 PM on October 13, 2020

Yeah, Less is a good read. I also really enjoyed On A Sunbeam which is a graphic novel with all female or NB characters, some of whom are in relationships with one another. Maybe all online? Finna by Nino Cipri veers towards genre but also has one foot in a world you would recognize. Main characters are Female/NB and they have a complex but ultimately mostly-good relationship though it's fraught. It's a novella. If you've been reading Lambda Award Winners you might also want to browse the Rainbow Round Table (of the American Library Association) who put out the Stonewall Awards that are in a variety of sub-genres. Given out since 1971.
posted by jessamyn at 5:10 PM on October 13, 2020

I went "ah!", hopped to Goodreads, and realized how much of my lgbtq reading is sci-fi/fantasy/historical, haha. Contemporary things I've read and liked recently:
* Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me, f/f graphic novel by Mariko Tamaki (cw: the protag is in an emotionally unhealthy on-off relationship with the title character)
* Red, White, and Royal Blue, m/m New Adult™ novel by Casey McQuiston (if you haven't read it yet, I found it worth the hype)

I've also been meaning to read Something That May Shock and Discredit You, a collection of essays by trans author Daniel Ortberg,
posted by wintersonata9 at 5:35 PM on October 13, 2020

I enjoyed Samra Habib’s memoir, We Have Always Been Here (on phone so can’t link, sorry). And you may also enjoy Naomi Alderman’s Disobedience, which was made into a movie with Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams. Alan Hollinghurst’s novels The Stranger’s Child and The Sparsholt Affair are both long works that span multiple decades but each has a section or sections set in modern times.

(Id love to know your recommendations for queer historical fiction and mysteries!)
posted by unicorn chaser at 5:58 PM on October 13, 2020

Confessions of the Fox (Jordy Rosenberg) is fun if you like 18C novels, or probably high concept novels generally. I read it for a book club (not my pick) and it apparently is pretty weird if you don’t have that context. IIRC the author is an English professor and there’s a lot of bits that seem like they’d be fun to teach.
posted by momus_window at 6:45 PM on October 13, 2020

I really enjoyed these Canadian writers
Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai
Valmiki's Daughter by Shani Mootoo
Wayson Choy's two memoirs Not Yet: A Memoir of Living and Almost Dying and Paper Shadows: A Chinatown Childhood (granted the second title is set in the Second World War).
posted by philfromhavelock at 6:26 AM on October 14, 2020

if YA is okay, Darius the Great Is Not Okay and moreso Darius the Great Deserves Better.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 6:46 AM on October 14, 2020

I would recommend checking out Joshua Whitehead's Johnny Appleseed (novel) and Full Metal Indigiqueer (poetry).
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:17 AM on October 14, 2020

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