Lez Liberty Lit: Possibly Infinite Meaning


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

Sometimes books are medicine: “The books we choose to spend time with, the voices we want in our heads, are windows into who we are and who we long to be—which also happens to be the domain of the advice-giver.”

Feminist bookstores are getting better sales and attention due to the “Trump bump.”

How do you build a black feminist literary politics? Sister Love: The Letters of Audre Lorde and Pat Parker 1974-1989 explores just that and is excerpted at Lit Hub.

Go Home! is an anthology of work by Asian diasporic writers. In an interview at Electric Literature, editor Rowan Hisayo Buchanan discusses racism, sharing space, mixed-form anthologies and more.

It’s hard to create without community.

That is, unless you check out an auto-publicist for your new novel. Mine is a richly drawn noir about a desperate private investigator’s secret longing to transcend her fear of spiders.

Read an excerpt of Amber Dawn’s Sodom Road Exit at Room.

Why are so many gay romance novels written by straight women?

In his new Norse Mythology, Neil Gaiman updates 13th-century Norse texts for contemporary readers.

In The Recovering, Leslie Jamison explores narratives of addiction and recovery. In an interview at the Paris Review, Jamison says: “The idea that a story has to be ‘exceptional’ in order to be worth telling is curious to me. What if we looked at every single person’s story as a site of possibly infinite meaning? What if we came to believe that there isn’t hubris or narcissism in thinking your story might be worth sharing, only a sense of curiosity and offering?” And in a review in the New Yorker, Gary Greenberg writes:

“It may be instructive that the cure for addiction is to trade in one tyrant for another. Tyrannies seem to be on the march; this may reflect a yearning for something outside ourselves, something to relieve us of the burden of fashioning our own plotlines out of the thin air of our lives, or of sorting out the competing stories that increasingly are falling on us like a poisoned rain. Our narrative engines may not be up to the task of making sense of our yearnings, and we may find ourselves unyoked from them, and leashed to someone else’s. In the meantime, the irreducible stories of individuals, such as the one Jamison tells about herself—the great and prickly autobiographies of addicts struggling to understand their thrall and teaching us about ourselves in ways beyond what they intend—may be the best balm against our inadequacy that we have.”

Read these poetry zines. Read these feminist books this spring and also these. Read these books by Muslim women writers. Read these books about witches and spirits. Read these books about crafting and creating. Read these graphic novels about coming of age. Read these books if you’re angry.

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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.


  1. Thanks so much for the feminist books for spring! I have pretty much exhausted my list of books to read this year (most were about the 2016 election) and I can not take another second of reading about that mess :( So now I have about 10 books to totally explore!

  2. Just want to say thank you for all these links and general recommendations. I’ve really gotten so much good reading material that I otherwise wouldn’t have come across. You rock!!!

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