Lez Liberty Lit: Take Up Space


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

Things About Queer Books (And Other Books Relevant To Your Interests)

At Lit Hub, Tyrese L. Coleman writes about reading the classics while black, “learn[ing] that stories could be about girls like me,” and which 19th-century texts allow escapism and which—specifically Jane Eyre—do not:

“I made a conscious choice to envision every character in every book I read as black, regardless of how the author portrayed them. This was a specific decision, something that took a great effort on my part. Before, because of what I now know to be internalized white supremacy and patriarchy, this marginalized reader considered “white” the default in any piece of writing. But after, I concluded that I would not believe in that false vision of the world anymore. I would not subscribe to a narrative that perpetuated the notion that white is standard and black the “other.” I would be the master of my own mind and imagination; I would repudiate these long-dead white authors who never imagined my black hands holding their works in the first place.”

“In comic book world, queer is the new Jewish,” writes Gabriela Geselowitz at Tablet.

Reading: still good for you.

“The beauty of the language is always the first to go,” writes Jianan Qian on the contemporary voice of American literature in Chinese translation.

Books can be your friends.

Find your Furies.

Howl is the best high-school lit mag in America.

Boom!Box is the best at comics.

Parties are perfect literary devices.

You don’t have to like erotica.

It’s okay to take up space. As a woman writer, too, writes Molly Patterson at the Hairpin:

“When it comes to literary fiction, a general pattern has emerged in recent years: novels by and about women that garner critical praise tend to be on the (very) brief side, whereas novels by men—regardless of who they’re about—are met with acclaim when they’ve got much more heft.

It’s a familiar message, applied to the realm of literature. For women, it’s always better not to take up too much space.”

Read these 10 books with well-developed Afro-Latino characters. Read these Asian Canadian queer books. Read these 100 travel books. Read these books about tyrants. There’s also a Broad City coloring book.

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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. I’m really excited about the recent Hi-Fi Fight Club comic from Boom Box. It’s a story set in a 90s record shop with an all female cast and a gay/queer female protagonist.

    I’m just excited for all the current awesome queer comics.

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