Lez Liberty Lit Is Seeking the Sublime, or Something


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

How do you pursue lifelong creativity? At the Creative Independent, Dorothea Lasky writes:

“For better or for worse, I still think of the sublime. No matter what, it calls to me. That uncanny essence of being. No matter the erasure of time and existence, nor beauty, romance, an excess, the yellow light through the green in the window—all of it—I think being compelled to seek out the sublime is something real in this life to do.”

Remember Catherine, Called Birdy?

Where are the books about menopause?

At Nylon, Nicole Dennis-Benn talked about immigration, queerness, her new novel Patsy, and writing women’s sexuality:

“When I was a young reader, I never saw women owning sexuality in literary fiction. I wanted to write that, saying, no, we are human; we are sexual beings, and it’s really important that we have that be a part of our narrative without putting us in certain boxes on the bookshelf. It was actually Toni Morrison who gave me that license to write women’s sexuality that way, incorporating all of our complexities.”

Here’s how to survive being laid off.

“Archives, with their rituals and their rules, carry a charge: The possibilities are not endless. The possibilities are catalogued. With the white gloves given to hold paper so thin it is translucent and systems that categorize each item within an inch of every margin, the collections start to seem delicate and finite. They demand to be handled carefully and to be read like conclusions. What exists on the page speaks for itself. But the best historians and researchers know these materials are tougher than they look,” writes Haley Mlotek on the literature of reform.

Amelia Bedelia: Bartleby of domestic work?

Adjectives are fine.

What if we all changed the way we use technology?

At the Creative Independent, Melissa Febos, author of Abandon Me, discusses facing your history through your art, including reinventing the way that you work:

“[E]very block I’ve ever had, every metaphysical obstacle and every obstacle inside of me that has prevented me from doing something that mattered to me always factored down to fear. It was really a matter of, in most cases, lowering my standards, and it was this kind of perfectionism. Like, I can’t write badly, I can’t fail, I can’t be rejected. If it becomes okay to be rejected or to fail or to stutter in your attempt at something, then it becomes more possible to do it. If I have to do it perfectly the first time—and my default is that it should be perfect the first time—then I become immobilized.

Read these books this summer. Read the 2019 Lambda Literary winners. Read the books New Yorker writers are reading this summer. Read these queer books and these new queer books. Read these books about your identity falling apart. Read these books that explore what it means to be biracial. Read these books about returning to nature. Read these comics. Read these unclassifiable books by women. Read these poetry collections by Muslim writers.

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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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