Hey hi, friends! Yashstreet’s Back (alright!) and I’m here to wish all of you all a profound, powerful, and perfect Pride Month!
I’m recovering from marathoning Our Flag Means Death at the recommendation of Laynie Rose Rizer, and by “recovering” I mean “not recovering, obsessing.” I’m into season two of Gentleman Jack now, catching up, but this new season is so STRESSFUL y’all! So I’m rewatching my favorite bits of OFMD in between. Those are my emotional support gay pirates.
In addition to rereading Rainbow Rainbow for the review I’m writing, I’m also gathering a pile of my favorite queer reads to revisit this month. I love a thematic read, what can I say? In the coming weeks, I want to reread parts of Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold, The Persistent Desire, Dagger: On Butch Women, Patience & Sarah, a fat stack of Bechdel, and the like. I love a thematic read, what can I say? Tell me your favorite Pride reads in the comments!
Alrighty, let’s make like a banana and split. On this week’s Rainbow Reading, we’ve got:
Shelf Care: Reviews, Essays, and other Things of Note
- Yet Again I Am Calling My Fellow Short Story Gays: Lydia Conklin’s Rainbow Rainbow is FINALLY HERE! I’ve been banging pots and pans together about this collection for literal months and now it’s finally here and I need all of you to read it so I have friends to discuss it with, thank you. Keep your eyes peeled for my full review coming soon!
- Nina LaCour’s YA novels have had my heart for years, and her adult debut with Yerba Buena has been an unmitigated delight — this one’s out now, and it’s another one I’m really excited to be writing a full review of for Autostraddle!
- Imogen Binnie’s beloved cult classic Nevada is being reissued! It always makes me so happy to see new printings of queer classics, and this gorgeous new edition of the Lambda Literary finalist arrives next week. Preorder now, you know the drill!
- My TL has been COVERED in heart emojis, exclamation points, and unbridled enthusiasm for A Lady For A Duke — Alexis Hall’s latest is apparently literally perfect and I have it on good authority that it will cure whatever ails me.
- oHHHHH MY GOD!! Thee Jean Carlomusto is doing a documentary about Esther Newton, the groundbreaking butch cultural anthropologist whose work would become the bedrock of LGBTQ+/Gender & Sexuality Studies, and god himself could not make me be chill about this. If you haven’t read Newton’s iconic study of drag performers Mother Camp, or her memoirs Margaret Mead Made Me Gay or My Butch Career, now’s your time!
- Lovely and lively queer family chaos: All The Things We Don’t Talk About came out last week, and I’m, like, ninety zillionth on the library holds list for this one so tag yer spoilers, folks 😉
- More Akwaeke Emezi! You Made A Fool Of Death With Your Beauty, Emezi’s latest novel, also came out last week!
- The Stonewall Riots: Making a Stand for LGBTQ Rights, a graphic novel by Autostraddle alumni Archie Bongiovanni and A. Andrews (the artist behind this series’ beautiful banner!) arrived last week to some impressive fanfare — check out this glowing review from (famously difficult-to-impress) Kirkus!
- WHAT A TITLE: Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster is some top-notch titling. My compliments to the chef/author!
- Planning ahead for once in my life: circle up, team, Julia Armfield’s Our Wives Under The Sea is my favorite novel of the year, Julia is a literal genius, and with the novel hitting bookshelves in the U.S. in July, you have one whole month to savor her debut short story collection Salt Slow before sinking your teeth into the novel. Order both now, and thank me later.
- Bonus points: Salt Slow is one of the books shared by Florence Welch as an inspiration behind her latest album!
- A love letter to internet friendships, anime, and indie rock? Oh fuck yes! Lio Min’s YA Beating Heart Baby is also coming out later this summer and you can preorder now!
- Jules Ohman’s novel Body Grammar is out in two weeks — “A coming-of-age queer love story set in the glamorous but grueling world of international modeling” sounds stunning, and I adored Ohman’s essay in LitHub about how writing the novel expanded her own queer community
- X by Davey Davis comes out at the end of June, and I’m really excited for their Pride event at Book Passage!
- Turned the Freakin Frogs Gay: I’m charmed by this book about queerness in the animal kingdom!
- Included For No Timely Reason, I Just Rly Love It Okay: This 2016 piece about the queer history of children’s books in the Los Angeles Review of Books is a delight.
- Putsata Reang’s memoir of queerness, resilience, and generational healing in her Cambodian family sounds absolutely breathtaking
- “a romantic coming-of-age about learning to make peace with the past in order to accept the beauty of the present” aka GAY WITCHES IN LOVE? I’m adding Improbable Magic for Cynical Witches to my “break in case of emergency” stash of Very Cute Things.
Autocorrect: Books content from the last couple weeks at Autostraddle!
- Himani reviewed Solo Dance!
- Darcy told us Which Baby Sitters Club Book We Are in this week’s quiz!
- Kayla’s stunning personal essay about her 30th birthday and the gayest things she did in her 20s was all over my TL, so I’ve decided this counts as gay literary news. Happy birthday, KKU!
- I wrote a lil essay about why it drives me bonkers when people try to be Gayer Than Thou, and my pun game has reached new heights. #Gaytekeeping
- From the Archives: I recently reread Katrina’s essay The Real-Life LGBT Outlaws of the American West and Writing Queerness Back to Historical Fiction and I have a crush on it. No further questions. (Except for when can I get my mitts on Katrina’s next novel, I suppose 😍)
- From the Archives: Autostraddle’s pulp novel section is the home of my heart, and these old essays from Carmen, Ryan, and more are well worth a reread!
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@example.com 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.