Lez Liberty Lit: Imagining a Safer Future


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

We’re still mourning lesbian poet Mary Oliver, who helped us stay amazed. “Mary Oliver is often called a nature poet, but she might more accurately be described as a poet of attention. In this, one specific aspect of her work is often overlooked: her eroticism. Oliver wrote about nature, yes, but she also wrote about fucking, and loving, and what it was like to love and learn one woman for nearly half a century,” Jeanna Kadlec writes at Lit Hub.

At Electric Literature, Nico Oré-Girón writes about how queer young adult fiction is a way to imagine a safer past and future:

“Reimagining my past is one of the healthiest ways I have found to mourn the time that I lost and a part of me still feels like I’m missing. It allows me to learn about queer relationships and queer joy, along with allowing me to think through and process my past trauma.

The most effective way to do this, I’ve discovered, is reading young adult literature centered on queer narrators and experiences. Reaching for these books is something I’ve instinctually done for so long that it was only recently I realized why.”

“To be caught in the mood of reading is to be unraveled.”

Support these 13 feminist bookstores. There’s also a Black feminist bookshop pop-up in the UK.

“There is a tendency to classify women as young adult or middle grade authors, despite the actual content of their books,” writes Mya Nunnally at Book Riot on a problem with how fantasy books by women are thought of as YA by default.

Self-promotion is bullshit.

Books are not your identity or your personality.”

Domesticity is at the heart of the novel.”

“The iPhone app Notes has become the medium of choice for celebrity mea culpas.”

Corporate censorship is mostly invisible: “When state or civil authorities blacklist books, the act is correctly labeled censorship. But what is the word when parent corporations act out political or ideological dissatisfaction by ordering their subsidiaries to snuff out information in the form of books, magazines, newspapers, radio, television, movies? There isn’t a word or phrase that fully captures this form of censorship, at least not a negative phrase.”

Read these books about parallel universes. Read these books about gender identity. Read collections of prison writing. Read these books by women about 1950s gender dynamics. Read these books about normalizing abortion.

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.

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