Sara's June Pride List

Happy Pride Month, y'all! While we can all appreciate the "queer canon," so to speak, that is popularized year after year, the new releases are what really thrill me. I am so excited to see the new titles coming out from queer authors, or featuring queer characters from across the LGBTQIA spectrum. As we progress through June, keep an eye out for more literary pride spotlights!

The House of Impossible Beauties: A Novel By Joseph Cassara Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062676979
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Ecco - February 6th, 2018

With the reemergence of the documentary Paris is Burning and a new wave of ballroom culture, check out Cassara's novel about the subject. The House of Impossible Beauties focuses on the house of Xtravaganza, a ballroom house that featured Latinx and POC individuals. Angel, Hector, Venus, and more come to life with this unflinching narrative of New York in the 80s and 90s.

This is a fictionalized version of their stories, but even that fact pinpoints something we should pay attention to: trans histories have been erased, and continue to be erased. Books like Cassara's preserve these icons instead of allowing them to disappear into history.

Trenton Makes: A Novel By Tadzio Koelb Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385543385
Availability: UNAVAILABLE
Published: Doubleday - March 20th, 2018

This book is fairly slim but just brilliant. After a woman kills her husband, she assumes his identity as Abe Kunstler and pursues the American dream of a job, a car, a wife –– and hopefully, a son. Koelb interrogates desperation, lineage, and the power of gender in this novel spanning from the 40's to the 70's. Unlike so many, this book pursues a long-term narrative of trans identity and aging, and I appreciate that so strongly.

How To Write An Autobiographical Novel: Essays By Alexander Chee Cover Image
ISBN: 9781328764522
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Mariner Books - April 17th, 2018

Okay, so I cried a few times reading this book. And wrote down a few quotes that made my heart tremble. After Joseph Osmundson wrote a gorgeous article about about Chee's recreation of a queer lineage in the wake of the HIV/AIDS crisis, how could I skip this gem? From tarot to moving across the country for writing to ACT UP protests, Chee pours out thoughtful advice and personal anecdotes galore.

Junk By Tommy Pico Cover Image
ISBN: 9781941040973
Availability: BACKORDERED
Published: Tin House Books - May 8th, 2018

Tommy Pico is a prolific Native writer who has become integral to our contemporary sense of what queer poetry can be. He started with the epic poem IRL and hasn't stopped yet. Your heart will be absolutely wrenched out by his thoughtful, intellectual, yet grounded verse. Plus, check out the raunchy but hilarious podcast he runs with three other fantastic queer writers. 

Queer City: Gay London from the Romans to the Present Day By Peter Ackroyd Cover Image
ISBN: 9781419730993
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Abrams Press - May 8th, 2018

I love London. After reading this book, I love London more. Ackroyd runs through the gay history of the city seemingly in a single breath, from Romans to the present-day. His writing is sharp and often witty, and the contents of this book elucidate so much about the history of queer culture that I'd never heard of. I like to think of this book as Foucault plus disco. Plus, who doesn't want to walk around with this book jacket? Hardcore. 

So Lucky: A Novel By Nicola Griffith Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374265922
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: MCD x FSG Originals - May 15th, 2018

Nicola Griffith has long been a favorite of mine, and I was so thrilled to hear that she would have a new book out this year. Something I love about Griffith's books is her ability to alternately put a heavy weight on the sexuality of her characters or barely mention it at all, blending their romantic identity into the greater maelstrom of the plot progression.

This book is utterly personal and emotional; the main character, Mara, runs a multimillion-dollar AIDS foundation but must step down when she has to suddenly come to terms with her own chronic illness. Griffith tackles the identity politics of being sick: being treated like a "victim" and "inspiration" and breaking harmful narratives about sickness, all while recognizing one's own shortcomings and weaknesses. 

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