We believe works by queer writers should be celebrated year-round. So, even while Pride Month comes to a close, we are sharing a list of fantastic LGBTQ reads, curated by Literary Arts staff member Jules Ohman. Check out Jules’ Pride picks below!
Queer YA I wish had existed when I was a teenager:
Felix Ever After
by Kacen Callender
This book filled the “very cool LGBTQ teens in NYC” void left in me when I finished watching the show “Betty” (which I also recommend) on HBO. Felix is deeply empathetic, smart, and funny.
Other great queer YA for teens:
- You Should See Me In a Crown by Leah Johnson
- I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
- The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
Queer fiction I read in one sitting and then read again:
by Kimberly King Parsons
This collection of stories destroyed me. It nails the longing of queer adolescence like no other book I’ve read and every sentence is a perfect one.
Other great binge reads:
- Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
- Lot by Bryan Washington
- Cleanness by Garth Greenwell
Brilliant Queer Memoirs:
Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls
by T Kira Madden
I saw T Kira Madden and Saeed Jones in conversation at the Portland Book Festival last year, and it was one of the most moving literary events I’ve been to. Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls is gorgeously written and moving. T Kira Madden also features in one of my favorite Vows of all time.
Other great queer memoirs:
- How We Fight for Our Lives by Saeed Jones
- How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays by Alexander Chee
- The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson
Queer classics that changed my life:
by James Baldwin
I read Giovanni’s Room after coming out, but if someone had given it to me in my teens, I would have understood myself, and the kind of fiction I wanted to write, earlier. It’s a hallucinatory reading experience, and James Baldwin’s genius is manifest on every page.
Other great queer classics:
- Chelsea Girls by Eileen Myles
- The Hours by Michael Cunningham
- Zami: A New Spelling of My Name by Audre Lorde
“‘You mean elsewhere?’ I said, and the word was loaded, code for whatever was about to happen between us. You can’t just wish for something and really get it, can you?”Kimberly King Parsons, from “Glow Hunter” in Black Light