Lez Liberty Lit Is Writing Honestly About The Body

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

Write letters to trans people in prison.

The British Library’s collection of obscene writing is now online. It includes gay porn!

“The body is where we live. If you don’t write honestly about the body, your writing is not honest.”

Magical Negro — out tomorrow from Tin House Books and just two years after the phenomenal There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé — covers the insides, outsides, and in-betweens of Blackness, sparking conversation about very specific and personal experiences that illuminate the intersections of Blackness and femininity,” writes Naya Clark in a review of Morgan Parker’s latest at the Rumpus.

Why are we so quick to conclude that marginalized writers’ work is autobiographical? asks Kathryn Vandervalk at Electric Literature:

“A famous example of this phenomenon is Kristen Roupenian’s “Cat Person,” the viral short story about a bad date between a twenty-year-old woman and a man in his mid-thirties. The story was roundly referred to online as “a piece” or “an essay,” implying that it was nonfiction, despite an interview and a recent essay in The New Yorker where Roupenian explains that her current life doesn’t much resemble her protagonist’s — Roupenian is closer in age to the male antagonist and in a relationship with a woman. In The Atlantic, Megan Garber pointed out that many saw the story as “a woman, dreamy and sad, telling the internet about her bad date,” instead of art made by a craft-conscious author. The dreamy and sad protagonist fit palatably into our mold of what women are, perhaps more palatably than the image of a female creator, so we collapsed the character’s persona with the author’s.”

Where books meet black mecca.”

“There are two ways lesbian and bisexual women find each in Bujumbura – luck and the Internet.” At the BBC, Megha Mohan investigates a secret language of lesbian love.

“Bookstore shelves are crammed with PTSD memoirs, Ivy League reminiscences, fashion world tell-alls, sexual-assault survival stories, and chronicles of fighting against debilitating illness — Wang’s friend Porochista Khakpour even wrote an entire book, Sick, about living with late-stage Lyme disease — but Wang has been inside all of these identities, lived all of these selves and more. Her perspective in The Collected Schizophrenias is encyclopedic and prismatic even without taking into account how her primary mental illness may have fractured her identity,” writes Katharine Coldiron on Esmé Weijun Wang’s The Collected Schizophrenias.

Libraries need to weed.

Why not preorder Queer Heroes, an illustrated book of important queer folks?

Read a novel that finally centers a black woman as a spy. Read books recommended by R.O. Kwon. Read historical fiction that features queer women. Read new and forthcoming books that feature queer women. Read queer comics. Read these new essay collections. Read Algerian literature. Read these novels about love triangles?

Carolyn Yates is the NSFW Consultant, and was formerly the NSFW Editor (2013–2018) and Literary Editor, for Autostraddle.com. Her writing has appeared in Nylon, Refinery29, The Toast, Bitch, Xtra!, Jezebel, and elsewhere. She recently moved to Los Angeles from Montreal. Find her on twitter.

Carolyn has written 915 articles for us.

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