Lez Liberty Lit: Wonder Woman for President


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

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

What books should you read in November? Nylon has some recommendations. Canadian novelists chose the best Canadian fiction of all time. You could also read these books about food. Or these memoirs by women. Or just look at everything coming out this month.

At LitHub, Arisa White writes about the San Francisco State Poetry Center recordings of Black women poets and accessing and being part of a lineage:

“Lorde reminds us, near the conclusion of the video, that ‘We give our lives to poetry.’ This position in the margins gives us a view of who is who and who is driving the bus. Whatever the social impairments placed on me, my sight has the depth of perspective. It is not magical or strong or spiritual—these stereotypes that act as some kind of steroid to get the mind pumped up and keep us from inquiry, from connection. It’s vital to hear her comments, especially when I’m questioning what is the point of my poems, these poems that come out of this black lesbian queer provocateur dandy damie nearly six feet tall woman body. This archival work affirmed my choice to poet, to be a poet, and that there is shit I need to do.”

At Vanity Fair, Zadie Smith answered the Proust questionnaire and shared her greatest fear, what she hates, when she lies and more. And, at The New Republic, Lidija Haas reviews her new book Swing Time, noting, “Swing Time’s great achievement is its full-throated and embodied account of the tension between personal potential and what is actually possible.” And in The New Yorker, Alexandra Schwartz calls it “Smith’s most affecting novel in a decade, one that brings a piercing focus to her favorite theme: the struggle to weave disparate threads of experience into a coherent story of a self.”

The Bronx is losing its only bookstore, a Barnes & Noble set to shutter by the end of this year after its property lease was not renewed.

At the Los Angeles Review of Books, Chloe Caldwell discussed I’ll Tell You In Person, process, not being a spokesperson, telling certain types of stories and more: “I really like the idea of readers projecting their own lives onto it. There should be more books about women just living their lives, being human, having experiences, fucking around, and I’m honored I get to contribute to that small genre.”

emoji via NYT

emoji via NYT

Queer retellings are a way to explore the universality of classic stories from perspectives that didn’t get a chance the first time:

“[Q]ueer retellings are only a small facet of a larger movement toward LGBTQ representation and visibility in every corner of art and culture, but they’re a crucial one. We’ll never stop telling new stories and exploring underrepresented aspects of the human experience, but retelling old stories from a queer point of view adds something unique: the recognition that the stories that connect us across cultures and generations belong to all of us, LGBTQ people included.”

The Diary of Anne Frank received some sexist editing: “I already worried that heavy editing of Anne’s diary was disrespectful to her memory. But seeing the content of the changes, it seemed that the edits were also an act of misogyny. The redacted sections dealt with love, sex, and body changes, all topics that women were discouraged from talking about in the 1940s and are still discouraged from talking about today.”

MoMA acquired the 176 original emoji.

Do exclamation points subvert masculinist notions of workplace communications?

What does a book look like if it’s just photographs of everyone?

Time once again to talk about what’s up with print newspapers.

Diverse library displays are important.

“Is there literary ASMR?”

1943 cover of Wonder Woman via Bitch

1943 cover of Wonder Woman via Bitch

Book Things To Do

13 November, Victoria, BC: Pretty Good, a show by Ivan Coyote and Vivek Shraya in which they talk/sing about families, skeletons, and their new books, is at the Metro Studio Theatre (1411 Quadra St.). Tickets are available now.

15 November, New York: Bad Advice from Bad Women, featuring Josephine Livingstone, Larissa Pham, Dayna Tortorici, Kashana Cauley, Maya Binyam and Judnick Nikki Mayard, is at Verso Books (20 Jay St, Suite 1010), 7–9 pm.

Know of a queer event with literary merit? Send it to us! The Liberty Lit is bi-weekly.

Books! They are really great. You just won’t believe how great they are. You may think that the Internet’s great, but that’s just peanuts compared to books. In Lez Liberty Lit, we talk about queer books and literary shit that’s happening that you should probably care about.

The name “Liberty Lit” was inspired by the short-lived literary journal produced by Angela Chase at Liberty High School in 1994.

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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 haven’t even gotten to read these yet, but I still find it soothing to see this column. Thank you, Carolyn.

  2. Still waiting to read Tomboy Survival Guide – which apparently won’t be available at my closest LGBT+ bookstore until some time in December. I should definitely check out some of these in the meantime though. Thanks for all the great suggestions.

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