Lez Liberty Lit: Reading in Front of the Screen Fire


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

Friend of the pod Britni de la Cretaz and Lyndsey D’Arcangelo’s Hail Mary: The Rise and Fall of the National Women’s Football League is out this week and if you, like me, are patiently waiting for your preorder to arrive, you can read an excerpt at Lit Hub in the meantime:

“There’s something about the elements of football that appeal to the human psyche, regardless of gender. It’s a team-oriented sport that focuses on both physical and mental capabilities, and yet there’s an opportunity for players to shine in their individual positions. There’s a great deal of strategy to every play call, whether on offense or defense, and the tempo is fast-paced from start to finish. It’s also a lot of fun.

But women weren’t given the chance to experience football in all its glory and immerse themselves in the game. Instead, they were relegated to the sidelines while they watched their male counterparts take part in the enjoyment.

At some point, it was only natural that they began to whisper boldly to themselves, I want to do that, too. And in the 1970s and 1980s—against all the odds, against every prejudice—a league of women did just that.”

These are the best your-screen-is-now-a-fireplace videos.

Here’s what it’s like to cook like Frankenstein.

These are the weirdest schools in literature.

Is Amazon changing the novel?”

It’s okay to quit. It’s okay to walk away.

There is body horror in being a woman.

How do you maintain the electric jolt of an idea while you’re writing?

Sometimes writing is just making marks on paper.

Old book smell comes from the paper, the shipping, the room, the readers, the age:

“The smell of books fuses with the smell of rooms, and the readers who habitually occupy them. Books’ fragrance reflects the environment they’ve long resided in: if that space is particularly humid, smoke-filled, sunny, or not climate-controlled. If those rooms happen to be iconic, like the Wren Library at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, then the smell itself can be considered a tangible part of a site’s heritage. Analyzing the VOCs wafting from books, researchers can discern what materials the book was made of, pinpoint its age, and whether any disastrous processes are at work that preservationists might want to halt or reverse.”

Read these books if you like Practical Magic. Read these books since you’re queer and it’s a climate crisis.  Read these 10 books about alienated women in their 20s. Read these eight books by Chicano writers. Read these books when you want to be haunted.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!

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. The article about Amazon was an interesting read! I am a self-published author, and it is definitely interesting to see how much of the self-publishing industry is driven by trend-chasing and marketing, and how much authors benefit from publishing high quantities of genre-specific content. But it is also strangely reassuring to know that it is not the first time authors have had their writing driven by outside (capitalist) forces, and just because it is an Amazon algorithm does not make it newer or more alarming than the general unease I feel about Amazon’s business practises.

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!