Hey there and welcome to this week’s Lez Liberty Lit!
I’m obsessed with friend of the pod and former Autostraddle editor A.E. Osworth’s recently released debut novel, We Are Watching Eliza Bright, and you can, too. In a review at Bitch, Samantha Riedel writes:
“There’s life before you’re known to others, and then there’s life after—knowing those sneering, leering voyeurs could be anyone. The feeling is, to put it mildly, unnerving. Channeling that discomfort into a modern-day thriller about internet culture is a task that few writers would be up to, especially because that level of authenticity requires a commensurate measure of skill. […] With their novel’s release this week, Osworth establishes themself as a bold new voice in experimental fiction. There may be other Gamergate novels to come, but for now, We Are Watching Eliza Bright has set the bar.”
And in an interview at Electric Literature, Osworth says:
“[S]o how does the nonfiction inform the fiction? [The nonfiction I wrote about GamerGate] got me obsessed with it. Truly, madly, deeply, that is the one thing it did for me, is that I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I love games, I love playing games—I’m not particularly good at videogames; my heart’s actually in tabletop—but because this is not how I live my life, when I can’t stop thinking about it, I have to expand beyond what I am given. That’s why fiction. It lit the fire. It got me angry, because it’s nothing new, right? This is the way people behave. It’s not about it being on the internet, we just are now faster and bigger; all the internet does for us is make us faster and bigger. So it got me mad at things that were not just. And especially when anything messes with play? I love play; it is my number one value as a person. The ability to learn through play is truly my jam, and when something fucks with play, I get mad. And of course it’s not just fucking with play, it’s fucking with women, it’s fucking with objective truth, it’s fucking with a lot. So it got me obsessed, and it got me mad. Those are the two things it did for me. But the rest I made up, because I couldn’t stop thinking about it.”
Why not read a little in the morning?
“Black queer readers and writers nourish the future,” writes Alexis Pauline Gumbs at Lit Hub.
“I wrote the super queer novel my younger self needed,” writes Celia Laskey at Electric Literature.
“The succulent dream of eternity is kerneled with the hard fact that in a mere four billion years, the Sun — this common star whose modest yellow light kissed us into being amid the rude blankness of pure spacetime — will spin into its final collapse and take with it every mitochondrion and every trace of Beethoven,” writes Maria Popova at Brain Pickings.
Read these five Latinx poets. Read seven stories about confronting toxic masculinity. Read these six books with bi wife energy. Read seven memoirs about untangling family secrets. Read seven books about what gentrification does to a city. Read these nine books about the reality of life on the internet.