As June is coming to its end, Gay Pride is at its height! Once again Covid-19 has forced the parades to move to the virtual space but that does not lessen the spirit of love and celebration. As the show goes on, we want to contribute in the way we know best: recommending books! So get ready to celebrate sexual diversity with books that will take you over the rainbow.
In this micro-selection we present classics and contemporary fiction that embrace the LGBTQ theme, including established and emerging authors, novels and biographic texts. Still, we are aware that this list is not even beginning to cover the whole LGBTQ spectre. Here are a few books to fall in love with:
Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea
Sarah Pinsker has bedazzled critics and readers alike with her dreamlike fiction that merges art and science. No wonder that she has become one of the most acclaimed science fiction writers of our times. She has been a finalist for the prestigious Hugo Award and has won the Sturgeon and Nebula Award. With over 50 short stories published, this collection has been long due and there is not a single chapter we would want to miss.
The stories gathered in this volume take you on a wild journey to the past, the future and alienated versions of the present. They all share a weird, sometimes eerie, atmosphere and very relatable characters. Pinsker creates protagonists that cover the whole LGTBI spectrum but are not defined by their sexuality. It is easy to identify with these protagonists, even though the situations Pinsker describes are far from usual (yet always within the imaginable which makes them even more disturbing). Just take OUR LADY OF THE OPEN ROAD from 2015. The story envisions a grim social distancing scenario where musicians no longer give live concerts due to a pandemic and terrorists threats… Sounds familiar? You better start reading to see what else can be expected in the future!
Be Straight with Me
In her debut novel, Emily Dalton, as do most new writers, draws from her own experiences and portrays her relationship with Max. The novelty lies in the honesty of her narrative and in choosing to share selected memories which in total form a perfect mosaic of this delicate love story.
The love itself defies all labels. Max has just come to terms with his homosexuality when he and Emily become friends. What starts as a friendship turns into an affectionate relationship and finally into love but Emily is afraid of falling into love with her homosexual best friend. It is a complicated love with many ups and downs, a wild ride full of doubts, drugs, threesomes and an exclusive happiness in the world of Emily and Max, a world of “you” and “me”. An intimate and unique story which has a universal truth to it which will find its echo in the reader. Simply beautiful!
You Will Be Safe Here
Damian Barr’s remarkable debut novel has been celebrated by the press and readers alike. A complex story that jumps back and forth between the concentration camps that were installed in South Africa during the second Boer war (1899 – 1902) and 2010, when 16-year-old homosexual Willem Brandt arrives at a training camp for troubled boys. Both stories tell the horrific reality of the camps but Barr knows how to narrate the cruelties with empathy rather than with voyeuristic pleasure. Inspired by true events.
At Your Most Beautiful
The queen of Lesbian Romance and bestselling author Harper Bliss is known for hot, steamy Age Gap Romance and this one is no exception. Bliss excels at creating sexual tension between her characters and once this tension turns into passion, you will not be able to put the book down until you finish it.
Quinn and Maya meet again ten years after a passionate one-night stand and the mutual attraction is just as strong as it was then. While Quinn is self-assured, bold and totally at ease with her sexuality, Maya has come to terms with her secret longings, divorced her husband, but has never come out to her son. With Tommy leaving for university, is Maya ready for a new serious relationship? And is Quinn the right match? If you love the tickling sensation of new beginnings, this one is for you:
Cannot get enough of Harper Bliss? We do not blame you, check out her other books on her author page.
Gifted with exceptional literary talent and disrespect for social conventions, Oscar Wilde paid an extreme price for refusing to live confined to Victorian double standards. Instead of focusing on his well-known literary work we have chosen to recommend you a letter he wrote to his lover Lord Alfred Douglas from Reading prison. A unique piece of writing that lets us get a glimpse behind the mask of the self-indulgent genius and which proves that the creative mind is capable of creating beauty even in the most extreme conditions.
Did we fail to mention one of your favorite books? Leave us a comment or browse our digital bookshelf LGTBQ LIT for further readings.