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. Welcome to Lez Liberty Lit, our column about 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.
Header by Rory Midhani
Victoria Brownsworth wrote about poetry, writing and our queer dead:
“The impact of obituaries for those relegated to the margins of mainstream society cannot be overstated because they are histories. Faludi’s obituary of Firestone is also an obituary of radical New York feminism, if not Second-Wave feminism itself. It’s phenomenally compelling history.
But not all obituaries are written by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists. And some are not written at all.”
Duke University Press will begin to publish TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, the first non-medical journal dedicated to trans* issues, in 2014. The journal will explore gender, sex, sexuality and identity through interdisciplinary work from cultural, political economy, art, health and sexuality studies. It was funded on Kickstarter.
Sistas on the Shelf has a list of the top 10 most memorable stud characters.
A new tumblr collects the stoop books of Brooklyn.
Joss Whedon spoke at Wesleyan’s commencement ceremony. Watch or read the whole thing, which begins: “Two roads diverged in a wood, and – no, I’m not that lazy.”
Toronto’s Glad Day Bookshop has an indiegogo campaign so it can build a new website (and an online store). The deadline to donate is June 11.
Pop Chart Lab has created The Cocktail Chart of Film and Literature. Drinks include Zaphod Beeblebrox’s Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, Daisy Buchanan’s mint julep and Don Draper’s old fashioned. Related: which drink goes with which book from your high school reading list.
The authors most searched on Google include Shakespeare, Anne Frank, Dr. Seuss and more.
Amazon will begin publishing fan fiction on Kindle Worlds but will not accept anything sexually explicit, proving that Amazon executives are maybe missing the point of fan fiction in the first place.
James A. Pearson writes about media as a predatory parasite, and how on-demand television is the worst.
If you read a lot of books, you might also forget a lot of books. Ian Crough writes about reading and forgetting:
“If we are cursed to forget much of what we read, there are still charms in the moments of reading a particular book in a particular place. What I remember most about Malamud’s short-story collection “The Magic Barrel” is the warm sunlight in the coffee shop on the consecutive Friday mornings I read it before high school. That is missing the more important points, but it is something. Reading has many facets, one of which might be the rather indescribable, and naturally fleeting, mix of thought and emotion and sensory manipulations that happen in the moment and then fade. How much of reading, then, is just a kind of narcissism—a marker of who you were and what you were thinking when you encountered a text? Perhaps thinking of that book later, a trace of whatever admixture moved you while reading it will spark out of the brain’s dark places.”
At the Lesbrary, Katie Raynes reviewed Silhouette of a Sparrow, a novel by by Molly Beth Griffin. Marcia reviewed Dysphoria, a thriller by Karelia Stetz-Waters. Jordan reviewed a gay version of Pride and Prejudice adapted by Kate Christie.
At Lambda Literary, Ken Harvey wrote about The Selected Letters of Willa Cather and why she forbade publication of them. Sarah Rauch wrote about Chavisa Woods and her debut collection Love Does Not Make Me Gentle Or Kind. Heather Seggel reviewed Damn Love, a book of connected stories by Jasmine Beach-Ferrara.
Don’t forget to check out all the awesome book-related things we published recently: Malaika reviewed Holding Still For As Long as Possible, by Zoe Whittall. Rachel wrote about 37 books by, for, or about bisexual or otherwise non-monosexual people. She also wrote about 10 writers of personal essays. Ali reviewed The House at the End of Hope Street, by Menna Van Praag.
Events To Watch Out For:
May 28–June 30, New York: Sontag: Reborn is at the New York Theatre Workshop (79 East 4th St.).
May 30, New York: Michelle Tea and Ali Liebegott are reading at Bluestockings (172 Allen St.), 7 p.m.
June 2, New York: The inaugural Bisexual Book Awards will be held at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe (236 EAst 3rd St). Book signings at 6:30 p.m., awards at 7:00 p.m. and after party at 10 p.m.
June 2, New York: Housing Works Bookstore’s annual Open Air Street Fair, featuring thousands of donated books and other items, takes place between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. (126 Crosby Street).
June 11, New York: Jasmine Beach-Ferrara and Chris Adrian will read from their latest works at McNally Jackson (52 Prince St.), 7 p.m.
June 13, Vancouver: Queer authors Alex Leslie and Tom Cho will read at Project Space (222 East Georgia Street), 7 p.m., free.
June 13, New York: Queer cartoonists will discuss their work, influences, and impacts at Bluestockings’ Queer Comix (172 Allen St.), 7 p.m.
June 15, New York: Kristin Lieb, author of Pop Tarts and Body Parts: The Social Construction of Female Popular Music Stars will discuss the findings from her book as well as gender, branding and the modern music industry at Bluestockings (172 Allen St.), 7 p.m.
June 20, New York: Artist, author and professor Kay Turner will discuss queer fairy tales at Bluestockings (172 Allen St.), 7 p.m.
June 26, New York: Annie Lanzillotto will read from her memoir L is for Lion: An Italian Bronx Butch Freedom Memoir at Bluestockings (172 Allen St.), 7 p.m.
July 1, New York: Samantha Meier will lead a discussion on gender politics in underground comics as part of the 50th New York Comics and Picture-Story Symposium. Bluestockings (172 Allen St.), 7 p.m., free.
July 7, New York: Bluestockings’ feminist book club is meeting to discuss The Feminist Porn Book. Bluestockings (172 Allen St.), 7 p.m., free.
Know of a queer event with literary merit? Send it to us!
What We’ve Been Reading:
Carolyn: I read through Canadian author Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce series, which I started because my e-reader died and a library copy was there, and finished because Flavia is the single most compelling character I’ve come across in fiction featuring young adults (as distinct from YA – she’s 11, but the book isn’t marketed like it). She’s 11, she’s really into chemistry and specifically poisons, she lives in a decrepit manor in the English countryside with her actively hostile sisters and she solves local crimes with her bicycle named Gladys. Sold.