Lez Liberty Lit Is Drowning in “Best of” Lists

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

Queer pleasure is a form of resistance, writes Alexia Arthurs at Electric Literature on Cantoras before an interview with author Carolina De Robertis, who says:

“[P]erhaps this will sound radical, but I don’t think we’ll ever reach liberation—as women, or as queer people—without affirming our true erotic selves, or our right to joy. James Baldwin knew this; in Another Country, the most undersung masterpiece of the 20th century, he takes us deep into the connections between pleasure and agency, desire and survival. Audre Lorde knew it too, lying it out in her essay “Uses of the Erotic: the Erotic as Power.” I’m so glad you saw pleasure as a form of resistance in this book—along with all the other forms of resistance the women pursue.”

De Robertis also discusses queer chosen family making, intimacy, queer women being friends with their exes, worrying about not being taken seriously for including dyke sex and including a lot of it anyway, queer language and more.

As animals and plants go extinct, languages die off too.”

Here are the best of the best books of the year lists.

Did the Internet kill collecting?

“[B]ooks written by women are on average priced at 45% less than those by men.” Which is why a lot of women writers still use men’s names as pseudonyms.

Here’s 2019 in home library trends.

Read classical Arabic literature in translation.

These were the best book covers of 2019.

Here’s how to get into Chinese science fiction.

Car culture is not inevitable.

Amanda Yates Garcia, author of Initiated, spoke to the Millions on becoming a professional witch, relating personal work to community work, and finding a life purpose:

“Each of us is initiated into our life’s purpose through the struggles that we face. As we use our ingenuity to make it out of the underworld, we will return to the upper world knowing our gifts. Our lives initiate us. Each initiation teaches us what our healing powers are, what our magical powers are, what gifts we have to offer the world. We attain these gifts through the challenges we face. When we come through those struggles, we have a kind of light within us that can help guide the way for others as well. I don’t believe we should be grateful for the adversity we face. But we can be grateful to ourselves for the strength we find to make it out of the underworld alive.”

Read these books about sex. Read these essays and books by Native writers. Read this queer YA fantasy from 2019. Read these short story collections by women in translation. Read these fairytale retellings by authors of color. Read these London novels by writers of color. Read these essays and stories about food. Read these nine essential translated novels first published in English this year. Read Lit Hub’s 50 favorite books of the year. Read what some of your literary internet darlings read in 2019 at the Millions annual Year in Reading.

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 1045 articles for us.

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