Hi team! I am, notably, not Yashwina! Don’t worry; they’ll be back next time. She’s just taking a short break this week, so I’m dropping in for a little guest host moment!
Fittingly, I’m currently at the annual AWP conference in Philly. Are you also at AWP or just in Philly? Well, guess WHAT! I’m going to do some shameless self-promotion! You can actually hear me read fiction out loud at my first big in-person reading EVER tonight! Check out the details and RSVP here. Later tonight, I’ll also be at a reading I helped plan in my editing role at TriQuarterly —it’s at Tattooed Mom, and it’s free! Come through! Both of those are offsite events, so they don’t require conference registration. But if you ARE officially attending AWP, tomorrow morning I’m on this very cool panel all about FICTION AND FOOD. Seriously, if you’re in Philly this week, I’d love to see you. You can probably catch Kristen and I at the hotel bar most nights.
Here we go! On this week’s Rainbow Reading, we’ve got:
Shelf Care: Reviews, Essays, and other Things of Note
- 🚨 T KIRA MĀHEALANI MADDEN BOOK DEAL ALERT 🚨 The author of one of my favorite memoirs will soon bless us with her second book/debut novel!!!!!!!! It’s called Whidbey, and it’s a THRILLER, and if you could not tell, I’m extremely excited!
- Vagabonds! by Eloghosa Osunde is out now, and Osunde talked to Elle about how music fits into her writing process. A piece about Vagabonds! is coming to Autostraddle soon, and it’ll also be the kickoff for a brand new Autostraddle lit series on queer Nigerian literature, so you’re going to want to keep an eye out for that! 👀
- Sorry, but I’m going to link my own girlfriend’s essay! For Time, Kristen Arnett wrote about what it was like to be a silenced gay teen growing up in Central Florida
- LGBTQ+ LIT AWARDS SZN: The 2022 Lambda Literary finalists have been announced! As well as the 2002 Publishing Triangle finalists!
- And Publishing Triangle also honored Let The Record Show by Sarah Schulman with a special award!
- Sad Queers, gather round! I feel like Melissa Febos is speaking directly to us by shouting out supremely devastating (and great!) children’s book The Velveteen Rabbit as the first book she remembers loving.
- Speaking of Febos, her 2021 book Girlhood just won a National Book Critics Circle award, alongside other LGBTQ+ books, Afterparties by Anthony Veasna So and Gay Bar: Why We Went Out by Jeremy Atherton Lin
- You’re gonna wanna dedicate a browser tab to this longread in Slate about Barbara Ann Richards, a trans woman who petitioned a California court to change her identification documents…….in 1941!!!!!!!!
- Applications are now open for Brew & Forge’s brand new retreat for “BIPOC poets, organizers, activists, and movement workers who are interested in the intersection of poetry and social justice organizing/movement building.”
- Also on the topic of AWP: It’s the most wonderful time of the year for sales/discounts at indie and small presses! Get deals this week at Bull City Press, Haymarket Books, Okay Donkey, and more!
- “We’re in the middle of a golden age of sapphic science-fiction and fantasy and with this wave of books comes an interesting trend — the depiction of butch lesbians as sacrificial paladins,” writes C.L. Clark for Tor.com
“The process of writing all of my books was a process that integrated my spiritual practice, my relationships with other people, my desire to be a better person, to be a more awakened person, my practice of trying to sort of liberate my own mind from patriarchal white supremacists and homophobic social structures.”
Autocorrect: Books content from the last couple weeks at Autostraddle!
- As mentioned above, Yash talked to Melissa Febos! About medieval women writers! And this quote from Febos’ Body Work: “Cruelty rarely makes for good writing.”
- Dani’s radiant new poetry recommendations series In Verse continued with a roundup of poetry collections to impress your beloved
- Abeni reviewed My Volcano by John Elizabeth Stintzi; it’s a novel about a volcano that suddenly springs up in Central Park, and it gets WEIRD. I can’t wait to read it!
- Want to see more Short Fiction Playlists? Get in touch with requests! Or if you recently had a short story of your own published that you think Autostraddle readers would enjoy, send it to me and I’ll see if I can build one around it!
Rainbow Reading Superlikes:
I’d like to shoutout Hunter aka @shelfbyshelf this week! In addition to having great takes on books, they’re also a super talented artist?! Check out this portrait they did of Akwaeke Emezi, whose entire body of work you should read, but you can start with the book highlighted below: The Death Of Vivek Oji.
And another portrait of Esmé Weijun Wang, whose The Collected Schizophrenias is a must-read!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.