Lez Liberty Lit: Detective Work


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

Here’s how to write a book with a full-time job from the Creative Independent:

“If you’re a hardworking, ambitious person—and you are, you’re writing a book while having a full-time job—it can be hard to recalibrate your behavior so that you’re not putting yourself forward for more work, more challenges, and more advancement in your 9-5. Our current work culture tells us that we should always be working harder, faster, and stronger, but this is a great route to burnout.

It’s not possible in every job or for every person, but if you can set boundaries in terms of how much you want to develop at your day job while you’re writing your book, you’ll find that you have a lot more headspace to write. Does this mean that you may fall behind in terms of your career advancement during the time when you’re working on your book? Yes, it does. But that’s OK. That person who got that promotion you would have been qualified for is now working more hours than you are. And they’re not writing your book.”

Check out Jeanna Kaldlec’s brief history of queer language before queer identity.

The creative process can feel like detective work.

Toni Morrison was awarded the American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Fiction.

Here are six of the best bad women in fiction.

What’s the longest you’ve ever kept a library book past the due date for this person it’s 80 years.

As an artist money is great but it won’t save you.

Angela Davis spoke at Princeton on Marielle Franco’s assassination anniversary earlier this year and here’s the transcript.

Here’s to a new generation of villainous women.

Here’s a ranking of punctuation.

Here’s how to enjoy annotating books if you must.

Roxbury’s Frugal Bookstore is a bookstore in Boston with a focus on writers of color.

How do humans make meaning?

These are the best one-star Amazon reviews of Mrs. Dalloway.

“Danielle Steel works at a desk designed to look like a stack of her own books.”

Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi won the Man Booker.

The Norton Anthology has a demographic problem.

Here’s what it can be like to update Cinderella.

It’s okay to have unread books.

Here are 50 books to read this summer. Here’s the shortlist for the best translated books of 2019. You can also read these translated short-story collections. Read these 10 essential graphic novels and memoirs about queer women. Read these seven novels about Black people in love. Read these science books. Read these queer YA books. Read these feminist YA books from 2019. Read these eight books set in the middle of nowhere. Read these novels about migration and xenophobia. Read the Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlist. Read these 15 novels that take place in a single day.

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. We Set the Dark On Fire was on one of these lists and the audiobook is avail for free from my library app. I’d highly recommend it if you have any background in or interest in Latinx themes and Spanish language lit. me gusta mucho

  2. Thanks, Carolyn, a lot of these were great or have gone on my read-later list :)

  3. I’m the kind of person who sees ‘one of us’ everywhere too, especially in art and literature and I love queer readings of texts/art.

    Toni Morrison is one of the most humble people I ever ‘met’. She really is a wise old woman. I went to an interview of her and she really took in every question, almost tasted it, before giving her answers.

    My favourite punctuation mark is the tilde. I’m not sure if it has any English meaning outside of maths but I used it as almost a dash in a poem I made where I wanted to create the visual effect of waves on the page.

    My stepdad is one of those annoying people with apostrophes and even though I know how to use them correctly, he’s put me off them with how obsessed he is with pointing it out.

    Mrs Dalloway is an acquired taste to some and to each their own. I didn’t like it at first (when I was 20, I’m almost 31 so don’t hold it against me now!) but that’s because I prefer more experimental things, such as Joyce, and nowadays it doesn’t seem quite as experimental as it would have done when first written. That said, it is a beautifully poetic book (and yes, has queer subtext!)

    I have a whole shelf of unread books and it’s only going to expand with my birthday on the way. I’m too caught up at the moment in reading Ginsberg’s 1950s diaries.

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