Inferno (A Poet's Novel), by Eileen Myles, OR Books
Publisher: OR Books (November 30, 2010)
From its beginning—“My English professor’s ass was so beautiful.”—to its end—“You can actually learn to have grace. And that’s heaven.”—poet, essayist and performer Eileen Myles’ chronicle transmits an energy and vividness that will not soon leave its readers. Her story of a young female writer, discovering both her sexuality and her own creative drive in the meditative and raucous environment that was New York City in its punk and indie heyday, is engrossing, poignant, and funny. This is a voice from the underground that redefines the meaning of the word.
Union Atlantic, by Adam Haslett, Doubleday
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (February 8, 2011)
From the author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist You Are Not A Stranger Here, a stunning, masterful portrait of our modern gilded age. At the heart of Union Atlantic lies a test of wills between a retired history teacher, Charlotte Graves—who has suddenly begun to hear her two dogs speaking to her in the voices of Cotton Mather and Malcolm X—and an ambitious young banker, Doug Fanning, who is building an ostentatious mansion on what was once Charlotte’s family land. Drawn into the conflict is Nate Fuller, a troubled high-school student who stirs powerful emotions in both of them. What emerges is a riveting story of financial power, the defense of tradition, and the distortions of desire these forces create. With remarkable scope and precision, Union Atlantic delivers a striking vision of the violent, anxious world we’ve come to inhabit.
Lesbian Debut Fiction
Sub Rosa, by Amber Dawn, Arsenal Pulp Press
Paperback: 316 pages
Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press (September 7, 2010)
In this stunning debut novel shortlisted for a Lambda Literary Award, Amber Dawn subverts the classic hero's quest adventure to create a dark post-feminist vision. Sub Rosa's reluctant heroine is a teenaged runaway named "Little"; she stumbles upon an underground society of ghosts and magicians, missing girls and would-be johns: a place called Sub Rosa. Not long after she is initiated into this family of magical prostitutes, Little is called upon to lead them through a maze of feral darkness: a calling burdened with grotesque enemies, strange allies, and memories from a foggy past. Sub Rosa is a beautiful, gutsy, fantastical allegory of our times.
Gay Debut Fiction
Bob the Book, by David Pratt, Chelsea Station Editions
Paperback: 202 pages
Publisher: Chelsea Station Editions; First edition (October 1, 2010)
Just what is a 'gay book'? -A book attracted to books of the same gender! Meet 'Bob the Book,' a gay book for sale in a Greenwich Village bookstore, where he falls in love with another book, Moishe. But a freak accident separates the young lovers. As Bob wends his way through used book bins, paper bags, knapsacks, and lecture halls, hoping to be reunited with Moishe, he meets a variety of characters, both book and human, including Angela, a widowed copy of Jane Austen's 'Mansfield Park' and two other separated lovers, Neil and Jerry, near victims of a book burning. Among their owners and readers are Alfred and Duane, whose on-again, off-again relationship unites and separates our book friends. Will Bob find Moishe? Will Jerry and Neil be reunited? Will Alfred and Duane make it work? Read 'Bob the Book' to find all the answers.
Lesbian Memoir/Biography (TIE)
Hammer! Making Movies Out of Sex and Life, by Barbara Hammer, The Feminist Press
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: The Feminist Press at CUNY (March 1, 2010)
HAMMER! is the first book by influential filmmaker Barbara Hammer, whose life and work have inspired a generation of queer, feminist, and avant-garde artists and filmmakers. The wild days of non-monogamy in the 1970s, the development of a queer aesthetic in the 1980s, the fight for visibility during the culture wars of the 1990s, her search for meaning as she contemplates mortality in the past ten years—HAMMER! includes texts from these periods, new writings, and fully contextualized film stills to create a memoir as innovative and disarming as her work has always been.
Wishbone: A Memoir in Fractures, by Julie Marie Wade, Colgate University Press
Publisher: Colgate University Press (June 1, 2010)
"For a long time, everything only happened to other people," Julie Wade writes. Or so she thought. Confused by the "jigsaw nature of the gendered puzzle" and her mother's mercurial love, she becomes exiled from her own body, a witness to her own life. Watching, she writes upon memory with poetic precision, noting the sensual and "exhilarating darkness" of a pumpkin's "pith and seed," the "monstrous wad" of an octopus's tentacles, a violent murder outside her college dormitory, the flaring intimacies she "perceived intensely but could not find words for" when touched or brushed by other girls or women. In particular, she records her falls. The "stunned body, the purloined speech" she experiences after crashing to the ground from a swingset. The sensation of slipping from the platform saddle atop a circus elephant, sliding "flat as a penny against his wrinkled skin, rattling the bones of my ribs." The shame and uncertainty of being spilled from the security of parental love. And, finally, triumphantly, the "felix culpa", the fortunate fall, of love. Juxtaposed against the fragmentary structure of the memoir, this fall comprises both the energy source, the burning center of the book, and its thematic vantage point. Falling in love is an explosion in Julie's mind as well as her body, an epiphany that remakes the map of her world, slicing the knot of her parents' shame, unmasking the visceral truths of her body. In love she is in motion, reimagining the past, striking out on road trips. Suddenly, she is living, grabbing, tasting, writing, her mouth full of "honey and moonlight," her mind afire. And we are reminded yes, this is what love does, this is how it saves us.
Secret Historian: The Life and Times of Samuel Steward, Professor, Tattoo Artist and Sexual Renegade, by Justin Spring, Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; First Edition edition (July 19, 2011)
Drawn from the secret, never-before-seen diaries, journals, and sexual records of the novelist, poet, and university professor Samuel M. Steward, Secret Historian is a sensational reconstruction of one of the more extraordinary hidden lives of the twentieth century. An intimate friend of Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, and Thornton Wilder, Steward maintained a secret sex life from childhood on, and documented these experiences in brilliantly vivid (and often very funny) detail. After leaving the world of academe to become Phil Sparrow, a tattoo artist on Chicago’s notorious South State Street, Steward worked closely with Alfred Kinsey on his landmark sex research. During the early 1960s, Steward changed his name and identity once again, this time to write exceptionally literate, upbeat pro-homosexual pornography under the name of Phil Andros. Until today he has been known only as Phil Sparrow—but an extraordinary archive of his papers, lost since his death in 1993, has provided Justin Spring with the material for an exceptionally compassionate and brilliantly illuminating life-and-times biography. More than merely the story of one remarkable man, Secret Historian is a moving portrait of homosexual life long before Stonewall and gay liberation.
Fever of the Bone, by Val McDermid, HarperCollins
Paperback: 512 pages
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks; Original edition (September 7, 2010)
He is psychologist and criminal profiler Dr. Tony Hill’s worst nightmare—a killer driven by the most perverted hungers and unmoved by youth and innocence, a killer with a long shopping list of victims who leaves no trail. The murder-mutilation of teenager Jennifer Maidment is horrific enough on its own, but Hill quickly realizes that it’s just the beginning of a chilling campaign targeting an apparently unconnected group of young people—victims that the monster has been grooming through a social networking site. It is a case that is reawakening ghosts of Tony Hill’s past. And the longer it takes to uncover a motive and a maniac, the more innocent youth will die.
Echoes, by David Lennon, Blue Spike Publishing
Paperback: 378 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (November 8, 2010)
When three young girls go missing, rookie police officer Sassy Jones is assigned to create a profile of the abductor. Seeing the case as an opportunity to establish herself professionally, she immerses herself in her work, but soon worries about her personal life lead her off-track. Twenty five years later when her ex-husband, Carl, commits suicide, he leaves behind photos linking him to the abductions. While Sassy, now a homicide detective, is put on suspension pending an investigation into the initial case, her former partner returns from a leave of absence to investigate the connection between Carl and the possible kidnappings and murders of thirty three more girls. Complicating matters, Chief Investigator for the New Orleans' Coroner's Office Stan Lecher-whose daughter was the kidnapper's last victim-begins his own secret investigation into what happened twenty fives years earlier how much Sassy actually knew about her ex-husband's role in the kidnappings. "Echoes" is the second book featuring detectives Michel Doucette and Alexandra "Sassy" Jones. The first book, "The Quarter Boys," was published in May 2010.
Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation, edited by Kate Bornstein & S. Bear Bergman, Seal Press
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Seal Press (August 31, 2010)
In the 15 years since the release ofGender Outlaw,Kate Bornstein’s groundbreaking challenge to gender ideology, transgender narratives have made their way from the margins to the mainstream and back again. Today's transgenders and other sex/gender radicals are writing a drastically new world into being. InGender Outlaws,Bornstein, together with writer, raconteur, and theater artist S. Bear Bergman, collects and contextualizes the work of this generation's trans and genderqueer forward thinkers — new voices from the stage, on the streets, in the workplace, in the bedroom, and on the pages and websites of the world's most respected mainstream news sources.Gender Outlawsincludes essays, commentary, comic art, and conversations from a diverse group of trans-spectrum people who live and believe in barrier-breaking lives.
LGBT Children's/Young Adult
Wildthorn, by Jane Eagland, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 360 pages
Publisher: Graphia (January 16, 2012)
Dark secrets and deep betrayals haunt this extraordinary debut set in a Victorian insane asylum. They strip her naked, undo her whalebone corset hook by hook. Locked away in Wildthorn Hall—a madhouse—they take her identity. She is now called Lucy Childs. She has no one. She has nothing. But, she is still seventeen—still Louisa Cosgrove, isn’t she? Who has done this to her? Louisa must free herself, in more ways than one, and find the courage to be her true self, all the while solving her own twisted mystery . . . This well-paced, provocative story will bind you, too.
Oedipus at Palm Springs, by The Five Lesbian Brothers: Maureen Angelos, Dominique Dibbell, Peg Healey, and Lisa Kron, Samuel French, Inc.
Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: Samuel French, Inc. (September 15, 2010)
A Five Lesbian Brothers play written by Maureen Angelos, Babs Davy, Dominique Dibbell, Peg Healey, Lisa Kron Comedic Tragedy Characters: 5 females Irreverent theater group the Five Lesbian Brothers get their greasy prints on a classic. Oedipus at Palm Springs follows the dark adventure of two couples on a retreat to the desert resort town. While new parents Fran and Con try desperately to jump-start their sex life, May-December love bunnies Prin and Terri can't keep their hands off each other. What begins as a hilarious, boozey weekend takes a horrific turn after a secret is revealed. Two parts comedy with a shot of tragedy shaken over ice, Oedipus at Palm Springs is a brave examination of the messy guts of relationships. "Along the way to the inevitable dark twist is much lightness and enlightenment to revel in--not just a lot of zingy one-liners about commitment, gay life in America, parenthood, and growing older, but also a real sense of these four women as women, friends, and lovers...It may be the saddest comedy you'll ever see." -The Boston Globe "Richly funny as it is, Oedipus at Palm Springs is also a serious inquiry into the unforeseen extremities of despair that can attend the search for a pure and lasting love." -Charles Isherwood, New York Times "Sensitive storytelling." -New York Magazine
King Kong Theory, by Virginia Despentes, The Feminist Press
Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: The Feminist Press at CUNY (April 1, 2010)
With humor, rage, and confessional detail, Virginie Despentes—in her own words, "more King Kong than Kate Moss"—delivers a highly charged account of women's lives today. She explodes common attitudes about sex and gender, and shows how modern beauty myths are ripe for rebelling against. Using her own experiences of rape, prostitution, and working in the porn industry as a jumping-off point, she creates a new space for all those who can't or won't obey the rules.
Diana Comet and Other Improbable Stories, by Sandra McDonald, Lethe Press
Paperback: 284 pages
Publisher: Lethe Press (June 1, 2010)
A writer of whimsy and passion, Sandra McDonald has collected her most evocative short fiction to offer readers in Diana Comet & Other Improbable Stories. A beautiful adventuress from the ancient city of New Dalli sets off to reclaim her missing lover. What secrets does she hide beneath her silk skirts? A gay cowboy flees the Great War in search of true love and the elusive undead poet Whit Waltman, but at what cost? A talking statue sends an abused boy spinning through a great metropolis, dodging pirates and search for a home. On these quests, you will meet macho firefighters, tiny fairies, collapsible musicians, lady devils and vengeful sea witches. These are stories to stir the heart and imagination.
LGBT Studies (TIE)
Another Country: Queer Anti-Urbanism, by Scott Herring, New York University Press
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: NYU Press (June 1, 2010)
The metropolis has been the near exclusive focus of queer scholars and queer cultures in America. Asking us to look beyond the cities on the coasts, Scott Herring draws a new map, tracking how rural queers have responded to this myopic mindset. Interweaving a wide range of disciplines—art, media, literature, performance, and fashion studies—he develops an extended critique of how metronormativity saturates LGBTQ politics, artwork, and criticism. To counter this ideal, he offers a vibrant theory of queer anti-urbanism that refuses to dismiss the rural as a cultural backwater. Impassioned and provocative, Another Country expands the possibilities of queer studies beyond its city limits. Herring leads his readers from faeries in the rural Midwest to photographs of white supremacists in the deep South, from Roland Barthes’s obsession with Parisian fashion to a graphic memoir by Alison Bechdel set in the Appalachian Mountains, and from cubist paintings in Lancaster County to lesbian separatist communes on the northern California coast. The result is an entirely original account of how queer studies can—and should—get to another country.
Assuming a Body: Transgender and Rhetorics of Materiality, by Gayle Salaman, Columbia University Press
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Columbia University Press (March 15, 2010)
We believe we know our bodies intimately—that their material reality is certain and that this certainty leads to an epistemological truth about sex, gender, and identity. By exploring and giving equal weight to transgendered subjectivities, however, Gayle Salamon upends these certainties. Considering questions of transgendered embodiment via phenomenology (Maurice Merleau-Ponty), psychoanalysis (Sigmund Freud and Paul Ferdinand Schilder), and queer theory, Salamon advances an alternative theory of normative and non-normative gender, proving the value and vitality of trans experience for thinking about embodiment. Salamon suggests that the difference between transgendered and normatively gendered bodies is not, in the end, material. Rather, she argues that the production of gender itself relies on a disjunction between the "felt sense" of the body and an understanding of the body's corporeal contours, and that this process need not be viewed as pathological in nature. Examining the relationship between material and phantasmatic accounts of bodily being, Salamon emphasizes the productive tensions that make the body both present and absent in our consciousness and work to confirm and unsettle gendered certainties. She questions traditional theories that explain how the body comes to be—and comes to be made one's own—and she offers a new framework for thinking about what "counts" as a body. The result is a groundbreaking investigation into the phenomenological life of gender.
The Lunatic, the Lover and the Poet, by Myrlin Hermes, Harper Perennial
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Harper Perennial; 1 edition (January 26, 2010)
A Divinity scholar at Wittenberg University, Horatio prides himself on his ability to argue both sides of any intellectual debate but is himself a skeptic, never fully believing in any philosophy. That is, until he meets the outrageous, provocative, and flamboyantly beautiful Prince of Denmark, who teaches him more about both Earth and Heaven than any of his books. But Hamlet is also irrationally haunted by intimations of a tragic destiny he believes is preordained. When a freelance translation job turns into a full-scale theatrical production, Horatio arranges for the theater-loving prince to act in the play-disguised as the heroine! This attracts the attention of Horatio′s patroness, the dark and manipulative Lady Adriana. A voracious and astute reader of both books and people, she performs her own seductions to test whether the "platonic true-love" described in his poems is truly so platonic. But when a mysterious rival poet calling himself "Will Shake-speare" begins to court both Prince Hamlet and his Dark Lady, Horatio is forced to choose between his skepticism and his love. Laced with quotes, references, and in-jokes, cross-dressing, bed-tricks, mistaken identity, and a bisexual love-triangle inspired by Shakespeare′s own sonnets, this novel upends everything you thought you knew about Hamlet. Witty, insightful, playful, and truly wise about the greatest works of the Bard, THE LUNATIC, THE LOVER, AND THE POET is a delectable treat for people that have loved books like Stephen Greenblatt′s WILL IN THE WORLD and John Updike′s GERTRUDE AND CLAUDIUS.
Border Sexualities, Border Families in Schools, by Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli, Rowman & Littlefield
Paperback: 290 pages
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. (June 16, 2010)
The first book of its kind internationally, Border Sexualities, Border Families in Schools explores the experiences of bisexual students, mixed sexual orientation families, and polyamorous families in schools. For the first time, a book foregrounds the voices and experiences of these students and families who are _falling into the gaps_ or on the borders of a school's gay/straight divide in anti-homophobia policies and programs, and schools recognising families as meaning either heterosexual couples, or, increasingly, homosexual couples.
Holding Still For as Long as Possible, by Zoe Whittall, House of Anansi Press
Paperback: 312 pages
Publisher: House of Anansi Press; Reprint edition (September 1, 2010)
In this robust, scruffy, elegantly plotted, and ultimately life-affirming novel, rising star Zoe Whittall presents a dazzling portrait of a generation we’ve rarely seen in literature — the 25-year-olds who grew up on anti-anxiety meds, text-messaging each other truncated emotional reactions, unsure of what’s public and what’s private. With this extraordinary novel — which offers a thrillingly detailed inside look at the work of paramedics, devastating insight into anxiety disorders, and entertaining celebrity gossip — Zoe Whittall fulfills the promise of her acclaimed first novel, Bottle Rocket Hearts, and proves herself as one of our most talented younger writers.
Balancing on the Mechitza: Transgender in Jewish Community, edited by Noach Dzmura, North Atlantic Books
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: North Atlantic Books (June 1, 2010)
While the Jewish mainstream still argues about homosexuality, transgender and gender-variant people have emerged as a distinct Jewish population and as a new chorus of voices. Inspired and nurtured by the successes of the feminist and LGBT movements in the Jewish world, Jews who identify with the “T” now sit in the congregation, marry under the chuppah, and create Jewish families. Balancing on the Mechitza offers a multifaceted portrait of this increasingly visible community. The contributors—activists, theologians, scholars, and other transgender Jews—share for the first time in a printed volume their theoretical contemplations as well as rite-of-passage and other transformative stories. Balancing on the Mechitza introduces readers to a secular transwoman who interviews her Israeli and Palestinian peers and provides cutting-edge theory about the construction of Jewish personhood in Israel; a transman who serves as legal witness for a man (a role not typically open to persons designated female at birth) during a conversion ritual; a man deprived of testosterone by an illness who comes to identify himself with passion and pride as a Biblical eunuch; and a gender-variant person who explores how to adapt the masculine and feminine pronouns in Hebrew to reflect a non-binary gender reality.
Sometimes She Lets Me: Best Butch/Femme Erotica, edited by Tristan Taormino, Cleis Press
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Cleis Press (February 16, 2010)
Does the swagger of a sure-footed butch make you swoon? Do your knees go weak when you see a femme straighten her stockings? A duet between two sorts of women, butch/femme is a potent sexual dynamic. Tristan Taormino chose her favorite butch/femme stories from the Best Lesbian Erotica series, which has sold over 200,000 copies in the 16 years she was editor. And if you think you know what goes in in the bedroom between femmes and butches, these 22 shorts will delight you with erotic surprises. In Joy Parks's delicious "Sweet Thing," the new femme librarian in town shows a butch baker a new trick in bed. The stud in "Tag!," by D. Alexandria, finds her baby girl after a chase in the woods by scent alone. And the girl in a pleated skirt gets exactly what she wants from her Daddy in Peggy Munson's "The Rock Wall." Sometimes She Lets Me shows that it's all about attitude — predicting who will wind up on top isn't easy in stories by S. Bear Bergman, Rosalind Christine Lloyd, Samiya A. Bashir, and many more.
Teleny and Camille, by Jon Macy, Northwest Press
Paperback: 248 pages
Publisher: Northwest Press (2010)
Jon Macy adapted this 240-page graphic novel from the anonymous 1893 erotic novel, "Teleny," often attributed to Oscar Wilde and his circle. Camille, a wealthy young gentleman in Victorian London, falls in love with the handsome and mesmerizing pianist Teleny. While Teleny performs on stage, the two star-crossed lovers discover they share a psychic link in the form of an erotic vision. While Camille struggles to resist his homosexuality Teleny is being pursued by others. After telepathically witnessing the erotic encounters Teleny has with both sexes, Camille attempts suicide. Teleny rescues Camille physically and emotionally with his rapturous love forsaking all others. In this newfound happiness Camille tries to forget that Teleny owes much of his success to the generosity of the women who desire him.
The Nights Also, by Anna Swanson, Tightrope Books
Paperback: 93 pages
Publisher: Tightrope Books (May 1, 2010)
Anna Swanson s poetry leads you through a life that tries to deal with a misunderstood illness, a gradual acceptance of one s sexuality, and a sometimes onerous relationship with nature. Her writing is as honest as it is complex, and it attempts to reconcile an identity that has been distorted by illness through a profound analysis of memory and individual meaning. With poems that run the gamut from fearful to the absurd, that are at once deep and pithy, Anna Swanson proves in The Nights, Also that she is a brave new voice in Canadian poetry.
Pleasure, by Brian Teare, Ahsahta Press
Paperback: 88 pages
Publisher: Ahsahta Press (September 15, 2010)
Like Tennyson's In Memorium, Teare's book sees within a personal loss evidence of an epochal shift at work, a shift at once historical, political, and cosmological. Asserting the lover's body as a lost Eden, revisiting again and again the narrative of "the fall"--its iconic imagery as well as Gnostic reinterpretations--the book also records the eventual end of mourning and a return to the ecology not of myth but of the literal weather and landscape of California. The book is haunted throughout by the task of "writing the disaster" of AIDS; its lyrics link emergency to inquiry in an attempt to make a memorial "in language sufficient/to pain : not in itself the world : the thought of it."
River Walker, by Cate Culpepper, Bold Strokes Books
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (November 16, 2010)
Any night La Llorona walks the river is a night to stay indoors. One moonlit midnight, two very different women meet on the banks of the muddy Rio Grande. Grady Wrenn is a cultural anthropologist, enthralled by a local ghost story about a vengeful spirit known as the River Walker. Elena Montalvo, a spiritual healer, is that tortured spirit’s only defender. Together, Grady and Elena must find a way to end the River Walker’s murderous vendetta— and overcome a maze of cultural barriers to find each other.
Normal Miguel, by Erik Orrantia, Cheyenne Press
Paperback: 226 pages
Publisher: Cheyenne Publishing (June 1, 2010)
Miguel Hernández is a teacher who has left Mexico City to complete a one year student internship in the rural hills of Puebla. He came to the school intending to focus on his teaching and his students but quickly learns that it is impossible to keep his private and professional lives separate-particularly as his experience turns into a voyage of self-discovery. His students, the Directora of the school, the baker, and other people from the town all contribute to his growing awareness. But most important is Ruben, the owner of the candy store who progresses from merchant to friend to lover. He will be the man who has the most effect on Miguel-and who, in turn, is transformed by the impact of Miguel on his own life. This is a lyrical story that brings to life the countryside of rural Mexico, with its grinding poverty but care of the people for their native land; expressing prejudice and hate but at the same time affirming the power of love and acceptance in overcoming obstacles. As a slice of life in the year of Miguel, Normal Miguel will certainly capture the hearts and imaginations of those who join him on his journey in the pages of the book.