Lez Liberty Lit #99: I Hate Queen Victoria But Love Bisexuality

Feature image via negativespace.

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Hi and welcome to this week’s Lez Liberty Lit! I’m exhausted and sick from the mountain and also swallowed my tongue piercing, barbell and all, yesterday, which sound like really good excuses for why I haven’t been reading lately if you ask me, which you didn’t. I don’t actually hate Queen Victoria, obvs. Here are some links!

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

The 2016 Lambda Literary Award winners have been announced! Some titles relevant to your interests include Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta, The Life and Death of Sophie Stark by Anna North, Irrepressible: The Jazz Age Life of Henrietta Bingham by Emily Bingham, Tiny Pieces of Skull, or a Lesson in Manners by Roz Kaveney, succubus in my pocket by kari edwards and The Muse by Meghan O’Brien.

“I Didn’t Have Anyone Particular In Mind, But Maybe One Of Our Intellectually Curious Friends Would Be Interested In Our Open Marriage, After All, It Is A New Century And I Hate Queen Victoria But Love Bisexuality,” and every modernist novel ever.

Also “You’re A Social Climber. What Horrible Faux Pas Have You Committed At This Dinner Party, Alienating Your Only Allies In High Society And Ruining, Perhaps Forever, Your Chance Of Winning Lord Grangemere’s Affections?” (We do not deserve The Toast.)

You can find trans writers in your favorite genres. Also, here’s a great roundup of trans book news.

Language is colonized.

by sergei-zolkin via lifeofpix.com

by sergei-zolkin via lifeofpix.com

Do more bookish things this summer. You could also check out these 16 new releases. Or the 12 books the NYT is reading this summer. Or these suggestions from the Nation.

Zadie Smith’s new short story, “Two Men Arrive in a Village,” is available now at The New Yorker.

Why aren’t more books by trans women writers making it into the classroom?

The top most-well-read cities in the United States include Seattle, Portland, Washington D.C., San Francisco and Austin.

Check out these zines about woman musicians.

At the Rumpus, Terryn Hall writes about Beyoncé, Badu, and southern Black womanhood. Also, don’t give Beyoncé credit for the rise of African literature; give African literature credit for Beyoncé: “To see African aesthetics as the centre of meaning in Lemonade is to literally turn the world upside down. The conventional assumption is that ideas and aesthetic innovation flow from the west to places such as Africa. But this can be reversed: African literature shines light on Beyoncé’s work, not the other way round.”

In her new graphic memoir, Turning Japanese, MariNaomi “renders the in-between spaces of culture and identity in her distinctly simple yet bold style.” At Bitch, she discusses self-understanding, cultural contexts, and more.

Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian reviewed Dirty River by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, noting, “This is an immensely raw, vulnerable book where Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is laying bare so many things about her life and struggles, in the most bad-ass way that makes it seem like vulnerability is the most radical, heroic thing.”

Josie & the Pussycats is coming back.

Astrology can be a strategy for queer resilience.

The Frog and the Toad were super gay for each other.

Every song in Hamilton, illustrated.

The Pilgrim, a Boston literary magazine focused on homeless voices, was profiled in the Boston Globe.

Don’t splice that comma.

Hardcover is the new vinyl, argues Yahdon Israel at LitHub: “There’s something gratifying about being able to underline a sentence or write a response in the margin of a book, knowing with certainty that it will be there later. I can’t get that guarantee from a phone. My data could be hacked, a new upgrade could wipe its memory, my battery could die mid-sentence and cause me to lose everything I’ve typed. They say that what goes up into the Cloud must come down, but ‘they’ can’t always be trusted — least of all with the things I value most, my books.”

At Book Riot, Jessica Valenti discusses Sex Object, being a bad feminist, feminist syllabi and more.

by szolkin via lifeofpix.com

by szolkin via lifeofpix.com

Book Things To Do In Person

11 June, Madison: Madison’s LGBTQIA book club will discuss Sex and Punishment. 2 p.m. Email lgbtqiabookclubmadison@gmail.com for details.

June 16, New York: This Words Against Humanity Reading will feature Ivan Davenny, Julie Goldberg, Yahdon Israel, Ali Osworth and Nikita Singh at Stop Time (1223 Bedford Ave.), 7 p.m.

25 June, Durham, North Carolina: Editors S Andrea Allen and Lauren Cherelle will discuss a new collection of Black lesbian short stories, Lez Talk: A Collection of Black Lesbian Short Fiction, at the LRoomBNB, 7 p.m.

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.

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

Carolyn has written 1090 articles for us.

9 Comments

  1. Thanks so much for these! I’ve been teaching high schoolers and making a point to assign/recommend fiction by authors who aren’t straight white cis men, and it’s WAY more challenging than it should be to find trans authors.

  2. Hardcover (or just physical copies) is definitely the new vinyl. My budgets limits my full adoption, but browsing the Folio Society website, hunting down obscure paperbacks in cheap used book stores, and having old favorites in physical space to love and interact with is excellent self-care.

  3. fyi, Yahdon (the gentleman who wrote about hardcovers being the new vinyl on LitHub) and I will both be reading in NYC on June 16th, along with a kickass lineup of writers I’m really into so if y’all are in town you should totally come! Info is in the events section of this very post (thank you Carolyn!!).

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