Lez Liberty Lit #51: Reading While Travelling

Feature image via journeytowonderland69.tumblr.com.


At the Rumpus, Danielle Summers writes about writing romance fiction as a feminist act:

“Romance fiction features a love story with a happy ending. Other than that, have fun with it.

And the fact that everyone gets a happy ending, that even the most downtrodden characters who might traditionally come to bad ends can fall in love and live happily ever after, is another element that makes romance fiction a radical act. In romance fiction, the lesbian werewolf with a thing for raw meat and three-ways underneath the full moon can get a date. The cross-dresser in 18th century England will find true love with a prince or a princess.

I believe that the lack of respect for the industry has much more to do with pure sexism than anything else. What could be more frightening to the establishment than an organized group of women with the intelligence and the financial leverage to say what they think? And they think that love wins. How dare they? How terrifying. We must subject them to ridicule.”

In the New Yorker, Stephen Burt discusses Ariel Schrag’s Adam, Immogen Binnie’s Nevada and trans literature for mass consumption.

MalintZINE is a neat online zine for QPOC.

Catherine Lundoff discusses ’90s queer sci-fi and fantasy books, arguing that they played a role in making queerness more visible.

The Harry Potter series is 4,095 pages long, Paradise Lost is 80,055 words long, and other lengths of famous novels, series, plays and more.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is turning 50 and we are all mortals who will one day die.

Kindle Unlimited is stupid, and it’s also time everyone stop trying to call libraries “the Netflix of books.”

The more you read, the more you need to read.

Germany may start using typewriters for sensitive materials to counter electronic surveillance.

Harper Lee’s new unauthorized biography is really really unauthorized.

Nadine Gordimer died at 90.

Reading online has profoundly changed the way we read and deal with information. At the New Yorker, Maria Konnikova discusses how to be a better online reader.

At the Lesbrary, Hannah reviewed Mermaid in Chelsea Creek by Michelle Tea. Ashley reviewed Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCour.

At Lambda Literary, Anna Furtado reviewed Positive Lightning by Laurie Salzler. Merritt Kopas wrote about trans women and the new hypertext. Lorrie Sprecher discusses being (and writing as) a lesbian punk feminist.

Recently, on Autostraddle: I wrote about some sex scenes from lesbian pulp fiction. Maggie wrote about journalling with pictures.

Events To Watch Out For:

August 7, New York: Nepantla: A Journal Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color and Lambda Literary are hosting a summer reading series. This event features Kamilah Aisha Moon, Metta Sáma, Amber Atiya, Julia Guez and Elisa Gonzalez at the Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House (NYU, 58 W 10th St.), 7 p.m.

August 14, New York: Nepantla: A Journal Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color and Lambda Literary are hosting a summer reading series. This event features Franny Choi, Joseph Legaspi, Jackie Wang, Paul Tran and Ocean Vuong at the Audre Lorde Project (147 W 24th St., 3rd floor), 7 p.m.

August 21, New York: Nepantla: A Journal Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color and Lambda Literary are hosting a summer reading series. This event features Eduardo C Corral, Rosebud Ben-Oni, Denice Frohman and Roberto Montes at the Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House (NYU, 58 W 10th St.), 7 p.m.

Now to 24 August, Toronto: The Ryerson Image Centre is presenting What It Means To Be Seen: Photography and Queer Visibility, on queer media portrayals, curated by Sophie Hackett (main gallery, 33 Gould St.).

Know of a queer event with literary merit? Send it to us! The Liberty Lit is bi-weekly.

What We’re Reading:

Carolyn: I read Ariel Schrag’s Adam, about a teenage boy who accidentally ends up part of New York’s queer scene because everyone assumes he’s trans, including his new girlfriend. The story is a sweet and comic exploration of masculinity in which queer characters are never marginalized (and which comes close to but just misses being problematic). When I finished, I promptly read Schrag’s Awkward and Definition, part of a series of four autobiographical comics she made in high school.

I also finished Roxane Gay’s An Untamed State in more or less one sitting on the way back to Montreal from LA, which left me weeping openly on an airplane and then in a taxi several times.

Books! They are really great. You just won’t believe how great they are. You may think that the Internet’s great, but that’s just peanuts compared to books. In Lez Liberty Lit, we talk about literary shit that’s happening that you should probably care about.

The name “Liberty Lit” was inspired by the short-lived literary journal produced by Angela Chase at Liberty High School in 1994.

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Ryan Yates

Ryan Yates was the NSFW Editor (2013–2018) and Literary Editor for Autostraddle.com, with bylines in Nylon, Refinery29, The Toast, Bitch, The Daily Beast, Jezebel, and elsewhere. They live in Los Angeles and also on twitter and instagram.

Ryan has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. I would just like to draw everyone’s attention to the fact that my amazing girlfriend is featured in this post:

    “At the Lesbrary… Ashley reviewed Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCour.”


  2. The Cassandra Duffy books I keep recommending to you Carolyn might in some ways be technically described as romances (since romance is one part of the deep, inventive, crazy fun stories) and they’re feminist as all get out. Love her! :D

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