Lez Liberty Lit: Creative Metabolism


Hi and welcome to this week’s Lez Liberty Lit!

Mary H.K Choi writes about her stages of creative metabolism at the Creative Independent:

“I believe in a creative metabolism working in a way where I have ingestion periods. Then, I have gestation periods. Then, I have output periods. I feel like these three things are really, really important, and they work hand-in-hand, but they have to be discreet from one another. I’m not good at multitasking, and I’m certainly not good at consuming and ejecting at the same time. I know a lot of people are. I’m not saying it’s unnatural, and I really admire people who can do it. I just can’t.”

“The question for any artist or writer is whether the insomniac mind, forced to confront its deepest fears, groping here and there at the veiled world, might offer insights as well as torments,” writes Marina Benjamin writes Marina Benjamin on insomnia at the Guardian.

Get ready to read these 48 books by women and nonbinary authors of color in 2019. These are the anticipated queer books for 2019. Nylon picked even more books to read in 2019. So did the Guardian. Also, Lit Hub.

Where are the memoirs about women and work?” At Electric Literature, Vikki Warner writes about what we miss when women’s memoir topics are restricted to bodies and relationships:

“We forgo freeform, spacious explorations of what it looks like for women to face the external gender-based challenges of work — unequal pay and recognition; work/life balance; frequent references to our appearance or sexuality in the workplace; the persistent view (in some circles) that women should primarily serve as mothers, wives, and caretakers, and only secondarily in paid work roles. We miss out on the chance to see women making good, falling short, and finding paths toward fulfillment that do notcenter solely on marriage and motherhood. We also fail to benefit from reading about the inner lives of women who work: fear of failure (and of success); self-sabotage; and the careerwoman’s most dogged pursuer, imposter syndrome. Just as importantly, we miss out on witnessing and having models for the positive aspects of work:the joy of finding a calling and of learning about a new field, and then resoundingly kicking ass at it. Of boldly speaking up about better ways to work, and seeing those improvements put into practice. We miss out on seeing other women have the thrill of surprising themselves at how much they are able to accomplish, learn, make real, despite what they may have been told about their capabilities.”

A whole bunch of new (very old) works are now in the public domain.

Here are some tips on reading when you have mental health stuff going on.

Read new poetry by Indigenous women. Read books about places on the U.S.-Mexico border. Read women rewriting the West. Read books about women and addiction. Read these books when you’re recovering from top surgery. Read books about insomnia.

Best of 2018 books lists continue: Here are the best books about bodies of 2018. Here are some books the New Yorker staff were into this year. Electric Literature named its best non-fiction books, best short-story collections, and best novels of 2018. The Guardian named the best food books of 2018. Here’s everything else.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

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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 opened all of the upcoming books lists and then got very overwhelmed by all of the books and closed everything. I still have to catch up with new books from the past five years…augh.

  2. I really needed that reading with mental illness article. I have been going through an extended phase where reading has been hard and it breaks my heart because reading is my joy. I could read and write before I started school. I find YA paranormal romance the easiest thing to read right now. I’d be reading picture books if mine weren’t all packed away. I just spent a very large amount of money on a signed copy of one of my favourite author’s books and I can’t even manage to read it right now. His elegance is beyond my grasp. I long to read it.

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