Lez Liberty Lit Is Reading in Translation


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

“As a translator, I need to think carefully about whose words get to be heard and understood,” writes Jen Wei Tang at Electric Literature:

“Close your eyes. What do you picture when you hear China? How about Japan, or Korea? Did a particular scene, person, or image come to mind? If you’ve never lived in or travelled to one of these countries—and even if you have—those images probably came from something you watched or read. Whether it came from a news report, travel blog, film or work of fiction, our understanding of these far-flung countries is limited by what gets translated into our language. But who and what determines which voices and whose stories we get to hear? Whose voices are we not hearing?”

Writing is political.

Here are the 2019 National Book Award winners.

“Given the entrenched sexism of the literary world, it is no surprise that a woman’s honest and provocative writing on sex and death has been shunned by the establishment,” writes Emilie Moorhouse on the erotic-macabre poetry of Joyce Mansour.

How are we all feeling about Goodreads?

At the Rumpus, Delali Ayivor writes an Afrofuturist triptych for her mother.

“It’s actually becoming more apparent to people as digital technology has become so immersed in our lives that the content from our histories is always relevant. The more we can tap into it and explore it, the more we learn the deeper truths about ourselves and our creativity,” says Jocelyn Arem at the Creative Independent.

If you don’t follow Marvel and want to know what’s going on, here’s a quick guide.

Read through failure.

Here are a few strategies for reading the unread books you already own.

Your book might not sell.

Who needs literary fiction?

This is about baby penguins.

Read the best queer books of 2019. Read women in translation. Check out these one-sitting reads. Read these books by disabled authors. Read these books when you’re done with crying.

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?

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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. One of my favorite columns here, though I rarely comment. Thank you! The „best queer books of 2019“ compilation has so many good suggestions … ah, where should I start?

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