So my prompt for this challenge is to talk about my favorite, or most anticipated LGBTQIA+ YA books. Unfortunately, I haven't read too many YA books where the main character doesn't identify as cis and het. SO, this post ventures a bit beyond my usual realm and shall dive into important books in queer history (aka not YA) and my anticipated YA reads that are available to us because of the books that opened the door before them!
1890A Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. What would this list be without the most famous closeted, subtext-riddled book? Dorian, can be interpreted as bisexual, and the affectionate painter as gay. It's a pretty tragic story of corruption and untimely deaths, but we would be amiss to not include Oscar Wilde on our list!
1936Nightwood by Djuna Barnes. Honestly this book isn't just about queers, it embodies queerness. The novel is a disorientation from reality, centered around Robin Vote who is also bisexual and is mostly seen with female lovers. This book is seriously a piece of work and tough to tackle, I don't think I'll ever fully understand this novel. It's been called "a masterpiece of modernism" by the Washington Post Book World, and a "lesbian classic" by Dorothy Allison.
1973Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown. Honestly this is my favorite book on this list. This book is about growing up a lesbian in America. It's pretty humorous, and tackles being human and her sexuality in a less serious tone than the rest of this list. Now you may be questioning this book's artistic merit- fair point. It's not quite the prose of Nightwood, however, it contains radical ideas. It shows that society values women as a necessary component to male sexuality. Women are objects for the male libido. Having value as an individual, outside of men is so important.
1982Zami: A New Spelling of My Name by Audre Lorde. Audre Lorde is a technical and emotional master with a pen. Feminist and Civil Rights Activist, this book is an biomythography about herself. In my personal opinion, this is the most powerful book in this list. Audre Lorde gives us a look into her poor, lesbian, POC life in (primarily) New York. This is so multifaceted, facing a wide range of issues starting early in her childhood.
2008A Life Apart by Neel Mukherjee. A gay, illegal immigrant in London, and an English woman in India during Partition are intertwined in this novel. Partition is not talked about much in the world, and this book contains so many important elements. They both go through a lot with culture shock and working towards self-discovery.
2015Hanayome wa Motodanshi (The Bride Was a Boy) by chii. This is in manga form and will be one of the cutest things you ever read. This is about a trans women and the experiences that led her to her present situation. Written by chii, about her life, this was so powerful to read. chii describes meeting her husband, many of the tricky laws in Japan regarding sexuality and gender, and her experience navigating everything.
A Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. Bisexuals in 18th century Europe. (June 27th 2017)
Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan. Genderfluid child of Loki. (October 3rd 2017)
Let's Talk About Love by Claire Kann. Asexual Biromantic librarian. (January 23rd 2018)
What are your most anticipated LGBTQIA+ books?
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Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me
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