Lez Liberty Lit #98: So Sleepy

Feature image via shutterstock.


Things About Queer Books (And Other Books Relevant To Your Interests)

On Adrienne Rich: “There are many great poets, but not all of them alter the ways in which we understand the world we live in; not all of them suggest that words can be held responsible. Remarkably, Adrienne Rich did this, and continues to do this, for generations of readers.”

Sometimes famous writers give really shitty writing advice.

Branden if you’re reading this go work on your novel.

The Positive Lexicography Project is a glossary of words that have no direct translation in English, covering feelings, relationships, and aspects of character, with speculative ends in mind:

“Linguists have long debated the links between language, culture, and cognition. The theory of linguistic relativity posits that language itself—the specific tongue that we happen to speak—shapes our thoughts and perceptions. ‘I think most people would accept that,” Lomas said. “But where there is a debate in linguistics is between stronger and weaker versions of that hypothesis.’ Those who believe in linguistic determinism, the strictest version, might argue that a culture that lacks a term for a certain emotion—a particular shade of joy or flavor of love—cannot recognize or experience it at all. Lomas, like many modern linguists, rejects that idea, but believes that language affects thought in more modest ways. Studying a culture’s emotional vocabulary, he said, may provide a window into how its people see the world—’things that they value, or their traditions, or their aesthetic ideals, or their ways of constructing happiness, or the things that they recognize as being important and worth noting.'”

Why do we keep calling women “girls”?

At AAWW in an interview with Larissa Pham, Esmé Weijun Wang discusses mental illness, realizing parents’ humanity, the languages of the body, understandings of love and more.

It’s time to unlink mental illness and creativity.

You can buy perfume that smells like books.


Twenty-three queer books with a POC protagonist include Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta, Juliet Takes A Breath by Gabby Rivera, Life Is Wonderful, People Are Terrific by Meliza Banales and more.

Don’t go into academia.

Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian reviewed Taking My Life, a memoir by Jane Rule.

At Lambda Literary, Sandra Lambert The Feminist Bookstore Movement: Lesbian Antiracism and Feminist Accountablity by Kristen Hogan.

Fanfiction is good for you and also queer youth: “Fandoms combine the undeniably awesome power of fiction with the unflaggable support of a community; in fact, science says this heady amalgamation actually make writers happier and better adjusted.”

What are the most common words in poetry?

Archival fiction can change the way people view history.

Into queer comics and sci-fi? Read these.

At Autostraddle, Mey wrote about a space goddess love story.

Cocoon 1 reading nook via Bookriot

Cocoon 1 reading nook via Bookriot

Book Things To Do In Person

11 June, Madison: Madison’s LGBTQIA book club will discuss Sex and Punishment. 2 p.m. Email [email protected] for details.

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

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 queer books and 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 happened to read the back of Under the Udala Trees at a book store recently and was like “ok blossoming friendship with girl, struggling with sexuality – this is a super gay book, right?” And it turned out to be so gay, and so good it hurt.

  2. ‘Why do we keep calling women “girls”?’

    Yeah, I just turned 29, and I feel like my girlhood is pretty far behind me at this point! :p

    And that article about academia reminds me of the many reasons why I majored in Accounting…yikes.

    • The women/girls article was fascinating. I’m going to need to read it more than once. I have so many thoughts! It’s interesting that the ‘girl’ part of my identity is actually more layered and more often in need of defending than the ‘queer’ part.

  3. As someone who recently went from “I’m going to become an awesome professor and be the best academic of all time,” to “I’m going to maybe have to not complete my degree,” to “I am no longer going to be *allowed* to complete my degree, I’ve just read that “Don’t go into academia” link so that I can pretend I made a Good Choice instead of having the choice taken out of my hands entirely. Vindication woo!

  4. Of course I had to click on the really shitty writing advice and now I feel traumatized; I freakin’ LOVE the semicolon! It’s such a restful place to be, a pregnant pause full of anticipation.

  5. Damn that academia link is possibly the most depressing thing I’ve read in a while, especially cause I once wanted to do it and have several friends attempting to :\

  6. Ooooof, that academia article. Currently writing my dissertation and am supposed to go on the job market in the fall. Had no idea things were this bad until it was too late for me to turn back, and now that I am in this deep, I am just working to finish my degree and figure out what the **** my options are afterward. Reading things like this is a Reality Sucker Punch to the Gut and Face Simultaneously, every time!

  7. Links that especially excite me are the LGBTQ books with POC characters and queer SF comics!! So many books to read, so little time. Why won’t someone pay me to read as a job? That’s a thing right?

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