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Rainbow Reading: Exclusive “Lesbian Love Story” Cover Reveal!

A book in faded colors of the rainbow is open, and the words RAINBOW READING are on top of it.
illustration by A. Andrews

Hey howdy everyone!

The last two weeks have felt like two months, but in a full and warm and enriching way. Thinking about queer utopias sent me back to rereading the books that make me hopeful about human nature and nature generally — Taproot, Ursula Le Guin, midcentury gardening handbooks by Katherine White (wife of E.B. White!) and Vita Sackville-West, Summer Cooking by Elizabeth David (and then of course the work of David-devotee Laurie Colwin too!) etc. That’s what a Becky Chambers eco-utopia will to do the soul… The energy here is very “listen i love you joy is coming“. My houseplants are thriving. The windows are open. I’m putting new art on the walls. Summer dopamine takes me by surprise every year!

This is also a really exciting and special Rainbow Reading for me, because this installment features our first-ever exclusive cover reveal on this-here column! It’s a nice treat to get to be involved so early in the process, and I can’t wait for y’all to join me in celebrating the breathtakingly gorgeous memoir that just ROCKETED to the top of my TBR. I’m so stoked to throw the full weight of my enthusiasm and support behind this incredible book! Here is photographic evidence of me being a cool and chill and normal email-sender when I first read the description copy…

I am a delightful correspondent.

SO WITHOUT FURTHER ADO: Let’s make like a lizard and wiggle. On this week’s Rainbow Reading, we’ve got:


iiiiisn’t she loooooovely, iiiisn’t she wooooooonderfuuullll

It is a truth universally acknowledged, and official Rainbow Reading canon, that I love all things archives. Historical investigation and imagination are endlessly fascinating to me, and I’ve been waiting so long for a book like this one. Amelia Possanza‘s debut memoir Lesbian Love Story: A Memoir in the Archives is everything I’ve wanted: intimate and voracious and utterly magnetic.

When Amelia Possanza moved to Brooklyn to build a life of her own, she found herself surrounded by queer stories: she read them on landmark placards, overheard them on the pool deck when she joined the world’s largest LGBTQ swim team, and even watched them on TV in her cockroach-infested apartment. But these stories rarely featured lesbians who could become her role models, in romance as in life.

This is the story of Possanza’s journey into the archives to recover the stories of lesbians in the twentieth century: who they were, how they loved, why their stories were destroyed, and where their memories echo and live on. Centered on seven love stories for the ages, Possanza’s hunt takes readers from a drag king show in Bushwick to the home of activists in Harlem and then across the ocean to Hadrian’s Library, where she searches for traces of Sappho in the ruins. Along the way, she discovers her own love—for swimming, for community, for New York City—and adds her own record to the archive.

At the heart of this riveting, inventive history, Possanza asks: How could lesbian love help us reimagine care and community? What would our world look like if we replaced its foundation of misogyny with something new, with something distinctly lesbian?

We’re all in luck: Lesbian Love Story comes out in Spring 2023, and you can preorder soon and follow Amelia on Twitter HERE.

Shelf Care: Reviews, Essays, and other Things of Note

“The book had me at lesbian Sasquatch, and then it took me for an even wilder ride than I ever could have predicted. All the best monsters live on reality television, and this novel knows that well.”

—Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya on Patricia Wants to Cuddle

Autocorrect: Books content from the last couple weeks at Autostraddle!

the same goes for things you want me to read tbh

That’s all she wrote, folks! If you’re a queer writer, particularly an early-career queer writer: I’d love to hear about the cool things you’re up to so that I can share links to your published essays, book reviews, short stories, poems, and longform features on LGBTQ+ topics! Please email me links for consideration at [email protected] with the subject line “Rainbow Reading Submission” — I’m an avid browser-tab-collector, and I especially want to hear from you if you’ve just landed your first publication or first major byline.

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+!


Yashwina Canter is a reader, writer, and dyke putting down roots in Portland, Oregon. You can find her online at @yashwinacanter.

Yashwina has written 53 articles for us.


  1. Just a note – the link for ‘the book for you for it you’re in your Stranger Things feelings’ (probably not exact wording) leads to The Feeling of Falling in Love, not sure if it’s supposed to? (Ignore me if it is!)

    Also, Lesbian Love Story sounds incredible! And just reading the first paragraph of this article made me feel very calm and hopeful.

  2. Please, please, please credit the cover artist and designer when doing cover reveals. You are literally revealing their work. If the author doesn’t know, have them ask their team! It is so disheartening to see covers without credit and so uplifting to see work credited.

    For the record, Lesbian Love Story appears to be designed by Dana Li, per Amelia’s own tweet. (Amelia, if you’re reading this, THANK YOU.)

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