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by Carolyn & Mey
The fall is looking good for queer reading! Books look out for include new work from Jeanette Winterson, S. Bear Bergman, Nicola Griffith, Malinda Lo, Julia Serano, Radclyffe, Kathleen Warnock and a ton of other heavy hitters. With forthcoming history and historical fiction, erotica and academic analysis, literature and genre fiction, and Buffy and Batwoman, you won’t have any problems finding something new to read.
One Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocalypses, by Lucy Corin: The series of short stories in this new collection explore endings and new beginnings, whether of relationships or of the world. Corin uses an experimental style, varying lengths, type size and tone, to muse “not just on the end of the world, but the rapture of existence.”
Love in the Time of Global Warming, by Francesca Lia Block: Block’s writing has a dream-like quality and her unique voice — best known in her queer-friendly children’s book, Weetzie Bat, is at full force in her latest YA novel. When Penelope’s family are swept away in a flood, she embarks on an Odyssey-like quest to find them and encounters sirens, witches, magic and love.
Tomboys and Bachelor Girls: A Lesbian History of Post-War Britain 1945–71, by Rebecca Jennings: Jennings explores lesbian identity and culture in post-war Britain. Using oral histories and archival sources, she illuminates Britain’s lesbian social scene, both in London nightclubs and also in magazines and organizations across the country, in contrast to the conventional picture of post-war austerity.
Fairytales for Lost Children, by Diriye Osman: A series of narrators — young lesbian and gay Somalis on the edge of self-revelation — navigate family, identity and place in this collection of short stories that defy categorization. Alison Bechdel writes of the collection, “The characters in these fairy tales are displaced in multiple, complicated ways. But Osman’s storytelling creates a shelter for them; a warm place which is both real and imaginary, in which they find political, sexual, and ultimately psychic liberation.”
Girls I’ve Run Away With, by Rhiannon Argo: Sister Spit’s Rhiannon Argo (who Laneia once interviewed) founded Moonshine Press through an Indiegogo campaign in order to publish Girls I’ve Run Away With. Lo Flynn falls in love with rebellious Savannah Blanco and they go on the run while facing coming out, dysfunctional families, being kicked out, mental health issues and more.
Strangers In Paradise Omnibus, by Terry Moore: This is the ultimate collection for any fan of one of the most groundbreaking series for lovers of lesbian and queer characters in comic books. This edition contains all 107 issues of the series, including all of the spin offs. Moore’s masterful art and storytelling are at their highest levels in this two-book package.
Willow Volume 1: Wonderland, by Jeff Parker, Christos Gage and Brian Ching: Everyone’s favorite lesbian witch from Buffy is back in her own title, setting off on her own on a quest that will lead her to finding old allies and new battles. Magic has disappeared from the world and Willow is determined to get it back, no matter how dangerous the journey might be or where it might take her.
Blue is the Warmest Color, by Julie Maroh: First published in French as Le bleu est une couleur chaude, Blue is the Warmest Color is the English translation of the graphic novel recently adapted into the film that won the Palme d’Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. Clementine discovers the power of love when she meets the blue-haired Emma in a lesbian bar. Their relationship challenges Clementine’s ideas about herself and her identity.
Viral, by Suzanne Parker: Parker’s slim book of poetry offers a response to Tyler Clementi‘s tragic suicide that explores sexuality, masculinity and shame. Carol Muske-Dukes calls the poems “relentlessly tender, impossibly empathetic […] which echo and clarify the body of grief.”
After Delores, by Sarah Schulman: Schulman’s acclaimed 1988 novel about an unnamed New York waitress recovering after her girlfriend, Delores, leaves her appears in a new edition from Arsenal Pulp Press. After Delores is as much a sexy novel about heartbreak as it is a look into the Lower East Side’s lesbian culture in the 1980s.
Web of Obsessions, by Diane Wood: Jordan Mackenzie is a social worker in a women’s prison when she meets assistant superintendent Danielle Veillard. Her ex-girlfriend and Danielle’s ex-husband stand in their way as begin a romance, and a prison drug ring and mysterious death make the stakes even higher.
Show of Force, by A.J. Quinn: Correspondent Tate McKenna brings navy pilot Lieutenant Commander Evan Kane home after an embassy dinner and the two can’t imagine separating again — even if it means risking their lives. Following Quinn’s romantic suspense novel Hostage Moon, Show of Force promises to be a one-sitting read.
Inheritance, by Malinda Lo: The sequel to Adaptation, Lo’s young adult contemporary sci-fi thriller, continues to follow Reese Holloway as she deals with being implanted with alien DNA, government conspiracy and her feeling for her ex-girlfriend Amber and her best friend David. Inheritance explores sexuality, adolescence and “the other.” (Read Autostraddle’s interview with Lo on Adaptation.)
Batwoman Vol. 3: World’s Finest, by J.H. Williams III: The only lesbian superhero to have her own title at one of the major comic book publishers is back in action as she partners up with the most iconic of all lady superheroes, Wonder Woman. Not only do you get to see two of DC’s coolest ladies teaming up to fight mythological monsters, but also Batwoman takes some serious steps forward in her relationship with a fellow crime fighter.
Fairy Tale Comics: Classic Tales Told by Extraordinary Cartoonists, edited by Chris Duffy: This book features classic fairy tales, some familiar and some new, retold in comic book form by a super talented group of people including queer comic-maker Emily Carrol, Love and Rockets creators Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez, and Jillian Tamaki, the illustrator of Skim.
Queer Jihad: LGBT Muslims on Coming Out, Activism, and the Faith, by Afdhere Jama: Jama, author of Illegal Citizens: Queer Lives in the Muslim World, explores individual and group efforts to reconcile sexuality and faith. He discusses the post-9/11 West, law in the East, the new generation of queer Muslims, voice, change and rights.
Excluded: Making Feminist Movements More Inclusive, by Julia Serano: “Julia Serano is a careful and astute critic of the ways that trans women have been stereotyped and dismissed in popular culture, feminism, and psychology,” says Patrick Califia on the back of Whipping Girl. In Serano’s newest book, Excluded, she details how feminist and queer movements police gender and sexuality at the same time as challenging sexism, and how to foster inclusivity.
The Daylight Gate, by Jeanette Winterson: Lambda-Award-winning author Winterson is best known for Oranges are Not the Only Fruit and Written on the Body. Her new novel, set in seventeenth-century England, centers on the 1612 witch trials and a dark, paranoid moment in history.
Rookie Yearbook Two, edited by Tavi Gevinson: The second book from Rookie, an online magazine for teenage girls, isn’t just for those of us still in high school. Contributors include Judy Blume, Grimes and Mindy Kaling as well as interviews with people like Emma Watson and Carrie Brownstein. Yearbook Two collects the best of the website from its second year and is perfect for teens or anyone who remembers being one.
X-Files Classics Vol. 2, by Charlie Adlard and others: Although it’s not explicitly queer, it’s hard not to have a special spot in our hearts for FBI agent and medical doctor Dana Scully. This book features stories that were not featured in the TV show or movie and can only be found in the comics, including “Feelings of Unreality,” “Home of the Brave” and “Night Lights.”
Chopper! Chopper! Poetry from Bordered Lives, by Verónica Reyes: “Reyes resurrects old-time shops and hangouts. They memorialize the land alongside edifices of refuse, sterile towers, man-made deserts and rivers, machines that suffocate the sky, fields locked in the historical cycle churning out the fieldworker’s woe. Queers, dandies, cholos, mariachis the same as ‘Chumash, Pomo, Modoc’ ramble these streets,” writes Kristin Naca of Reyes’s new collection of poetry, which captures the lives of immigrants, Mexican Americans, Chicanas/os and la jotería.
Are the Lips a Grave?: A Queer Feminist on the Ethics of Sex, by Lynne Huffer: Balancing current debates around both queer and feminist theories, Huffer — also the author of Mad for Foucault: Rethinking the Foundations of Queer Theory — looks at queer sex, sodomy laws, interracial love, porn and work-life balance to rethink ethics and sexual morality.
Blood, Marriage, Wine and Glitter, by S. Bear Bergman: Bergman’s earlier books — Butch is a Noun, The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You, and Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation (co-edited with Kate Bornstein) — are all seminal texts on gender and trans* life and issues. In Blood, Marriage, Wine and Glitter, Bergman considers different ideas of family from all perspectives with a voice that is both honest and hilarious.
Adventure Time: Fionna & Cake, by Natasha Allegri: This is the first trade paperback of comics based on the fantastic genderbent Adventure Time episodes. Fans of the show will love this comic illustrated and written by storyboard artist and Fionna & Cake creator Allegri.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 9 Vol. 4: Welcome to the Team, by Andrew Chambliss, Georges Jeanty, Karl Moline, Dexter Vines and Andy Owens: The second comic book-only season of the series that helped a lot of us figure out our queer feelings continues with Buffy fighting off a horde of zombies before being recruited to join a team that’s planning on taking down one of the most powerful enemies she’ll have to face — the Siphon.
First Love, by C.J. Harte: Harte’s novels thrive equally on romance and drama. In her latest, Jordan Thomson, daughter of the president of the United States, hires Drew Hamilton, once and future rancher and current medical student, as a tutor. Both women learn more than they expected.
Sexual Diversity in Africa: Politics, Theory, Citizenship, edited by S.N. Nyeck and Marc Epprecht: The contributors in this volume of essays discuss contemporary debates on and issues around sexuality and gender identity. Same-sex networks, ex-gays, pseudo-scientific gay “cures,” the “kill the gays” bill in Uganda, relationship dynamics between women who sleep with women, Caster Semenya and nationalism all show the problems with oversimplified discussions of heterosexuality and homosexuality, Africa and the West and the closet and being out.
A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk, edited by Valerie Steele: As the director and chief curator for the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Steele has been called one of “Fashion’s 50 Most Powerful” by the New York Daily News. Her new book talks about gay designers, fashion and style within the queer community and more to show the impact of gay culture on modern fashion.
Batgirl Vol. 3: Death of the Family, by Gail Simone and Ed Benes: Collecting issues #14 to 19 of Batgirl, as well as Batman #17, Batgirl Annual #1 and a story from Young Romance #1, this run features Batgirl facing off against not only the Joker, but also against her dangerous brother. This is also the run of the series where Batgirl’s roommate Alysia Yeoh comes out as transgender.
Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things that Happened, by Allie Brosh: The long-awaited book from acclaimed graphic humor blog Hyperbole and a Half includes half unpublished content and all hilarity. The book chronicles cake eating, owning one neurotic dog and one mentally challenged one, depression, anxiety and more, all illustrated in MS Paint in Brosh’s signature style.
Feminism and Popular Culture: Investigating the Postfeminist Mystique, by Rebecca Munford and Melanie Waters: There is often a troubled relationship between pop culture, feminism and post-feminism. Munford and Waters discuss Mad Men, Homeland, The Stepford Wives, American Horror Story and more to highlight the characters within the postfeminist landscape. They show how pop culture relates to feminist debates and explore the implications for the future.
Homestead, by Radclyffe: Best-selling lesbian author Radclyffe is nothing if not prolific. In her latest, Tess Rogers learns her to-be-inherited six hundred acres of farmland has been leased to an oil and gas company. Tess resists the takeover, much to the chagrin of R. Clayton Sutter, who is in charge of making the new refinery operational.
Love and Rockets: New Stories, Vol. 6, by Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez: One of the forerunners in the alternative comics revolution and one of the earliest comic series to feature queer women of color, Love and Rockets continues with more stories of the several generations of Latina characters that we’ve come to know. Los Bros Hernadez’s distinctive stylized illustration and magical realism storytelling style is showcased once more in their latest graphic novel.
Asexualities: Feminist and Queer Perspectives, edited by Megan Milks and Karli June Cerankowski: “I also wish I’d known that it’s totally okay to feel passion and desire and pleasure in ways that don’t appear sexual. To feed other parts of yourself,” says Eliot in an interview with the Hairpin. This first-ever collection of critical essays on asexuality looks at its feminist and queer politics. Authors consider gender, race, disability and medical discourse to challenge ideas about gender and sexuality as they relate to desire, bodies and sexual practice.
Hild, by Nicola Griffith: “Hild is not just one of the best historical novels I have ever read — I think it’s one of the best novels, period,” says Dorothy Allison, author of Two or Three Things I Know for Sure. Hild is set in seventh-century Britain and focuses on the girl who would become St. Hilda of Whitby, who establishes herself as the seer to a ruthless king who finds her indispensable — until he doesn’t.
Moonin’s Desert Island and Moonin and the Golden Tail, by Tove Jansson: From Swedish-speaking Finnish lesbian author Tove Jansson, these comics in the beloved series are being released fully colored for the first time. Jansson’s fantastical and heartfelt story telling combines with her simple yet whimsical illustrations in these stories of a group of trolls and their friends on various adventures.
Queering Marriage: Challenging Family Formation in the United States, by Katrina Kimport: Legal same-sex marriage is often seen as either a challenge to heterosexual privilege or as a way to preserve that privilege through assimilation. Using a series of interviews with queer spouses, Kimport reconciles both views to show how gay marriage and reinforce and disrupt traditional ideas about marriage and sexuality.
Contesting Bodies and Nation in Canadian History, edited by Patrizia Gentile and Jane Nicholas: Gentile’s first co-written Canadian queer history book, The Canadian War on Queers, explored sexuality and gender identity — and oppression — in Canada during the Cold War. Now, Gentile and Nicholas explore the history of the body as a site of contestation in Canada. Contributors address health and medicine, consumerism and fashion, citizenship, work and more.
Bandette Volume 1: Presto!, by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover: Illustrated by the amazing bisexual artist Colleen Coover, this Eisner-nominated series is about costumed teen thief Bandette and her adventures in Paris. She and her friends can be found dodging the police, pulling off major heists and having fun while fighting for justice. That is, before Bandette finds out that an international criminal organization wants her dead.
Lesbian Sex Positions: 100 Passionate Positions from Intimate and Sensual to Wild and Naughty, by Shanna Katz: Sexologist and sex educator Katz is a self-described queer kinky disabled feisty femme and “professional pervert” involved with numerous sex-positive organizations and equality and social justice work. In this full-color guide, Katz explores old and new ways to make sex fun, step by step.
Under the Rainbow: A Primer on Queer Issues in Canada, by Jeanette Auger and Kate Krug: Canada has long been known as a generally queer friendly society. Auger and Krug discuss its social and political history and contemporary issues in queer Canadians’ lives. They also talk about social constructions of identities, law and politics, Quebec and queerness, trans* issues, education, sports, aging, health, end-of-life decisions and more.
Quivering Land, by Roewan Crowe: Among other projects, Crowe is involved in an ongoing collaboration with Michelle Meagher that explores new feminist art practices. In her literary debut, Crowe conducts a queer literary experiment in which she questions what it means to be a queer feminist artist and settler in a landscape reminiscent of the Hollywood Western.
Rhetorical Secrets: Mapping Gay Identity and Queer Resistance in Contemporary America, by Davin Allen Grindstaff: Looking at language and rhetoric, Grindstaff looks at persuasion and gay identity construction. He chronicles sexual identity as a secret as a strategy of heteronormative discourse before examining issues related to contemporary identity.
Pretty in Ink: American Women Cartoonists 1896-2013, by Trina Robbins: Tracing more than 100 years back into the history of cartoons and comics, this new book from Trina Robbins covers artists from Rose O’Neill at the end of the 19th century, to a Native American women cartoonist in the 40s, to alternative comic creator Lyda Barry to modern women in comics like Alison Bechdel and Kate Beaton. This book is full of incredible stories and beautiful art.
Living Out Islam: Voices of Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Muslims, by Scott Siraj al-Haqq Kugle: In Living Out Islam, Kugle uses interviews with gay, lesbian and transgender Muslims living in secular democratic countries to demonstrate the importance of support groups and solidarity in changing social relationships. He goes beyond the idea of the closet to show interviewees’ ways of living out Islam with integrity; reconciling faith, gender and sexuality; and reclaiming Islam for their themselves.
Love Burns Bright: A Lifetime of Lesbian Romance, edited by Radclyffe: A new collection compiled by Radclyffe looks at lesbian love from the first kiss to the first night to the love that goes on many years later. Contributors include Andrea Dale and many more.
Best Lesbian Erotica 2014, edited by Kathleen Warnock: Cleis Press’s annual erotica collection returns with an introduction by Sarah Schulman, co-founder of the Lesbian Avengers.
After Queer Theory: The Limits of Sexual Politics, by James Penney: Penney, author of The World of Perversion: Psychoanalysis and the Impossible Absolute of Desire, has written extensively on queer theory. However, in his latest book, he says it’s dead. Using a critical look at Marxism and psychoanalysis, Penney argues that the best way to include sexuality in political antagonism is to toss aside the idea of politicized sexuality.
Professing Selves: Transsexuality and Same-Sex Desire in Contemporary Iran, by Afsaneh Najmabadi: “Najmabadi brings her nuanced understanding of multiple discourses and institutions in Iran to bear on the recent and remarkable visibility of transsexuality in that country. Professing Selves […] will be the definitive text on its topic for a long time to come,” writes Susan Stryker, author of Transgender History. In what promises to become a crucial text, Najmabadi uses history and ethnography to discuss the post-revolutionary era, law, psychology and psychiatry, Islamic jurisprudence, biomedicine, and transsexual and homosexual categories in contemporary Iran.