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19 Books By Queer Authors Reviewers Fell In Love With

Once upon a time, there was queer representation.

Content warning: Some of these stories mention suicide, racism, violence, and other incidents that could be triggering.

1. Pet by Akwaeke Emezi is a YA novel about the monsters some are too afraid to face.

Cover of "Pet" by Akwaeke Emezi

2. Refuse by Julian Randall is a collection of poems that chronicle a journey into queer Afro-latinidad identity set against the backdrop of the Obama election, Frank Ocean's music, and nostalgia.

Cover of "Refuse" by Julian Randall

3. All Boys Aren't Blue by George M. Johnson, a YA memoir-manifesto about growing into one's queer identity as a young Black man in New Jersey and Virginia. You'll definitely want to read this before the Gabrielle Union-produced TV adaptation hits the screen!

4. Mostly Dead Things by Kristen Arnett, a darkly humorous fiction novel that follows Jessa-Lynn Morton in the wake of her father's death by suicide.

Cover of "Mostly Dead Things" by Kristen Arnett

5. HULL by Xandria Phillips, an experimental collection of poems that grapple with the effects of colonialism and racism on a queer Black person and their body.

Cover of "HULL" by Xandria Phillips

6. Wow, No Thank You by Samantha Irby, a series of essays chronicling her life's most relatable touchstones: Moving, marriage, and meetings with TV executives in Los Angeles.

7. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel, a graphic novel wherein the reader watches Bechdel grow from a young child into a young adult, revealing the truth about her identity to herself and her family while also unveiling the truth about her father's identity after his death.

Cover of "Fun Home" by Alison Bechdel

8. Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde, a collection of essays and speeches in which Lorde interrogates (the failings of) feminism through an intersectional lens. Her writing is at once lyrical and commanding, asking its readers to investigate their biases, and capacity for empathy and growth.

9. The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta, a YA verse novel that follows Michael, a mixed-race gay teen growing up in London, as he comes into his own as a drag queen.

Cover of "The Black Flamingo" by Dean Atta

10. Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado, a collection of short stories that blur the line between horror, fantasy, and science fiction in their depictions of the myriad violences inflicted upon women in their lifetimes.

Cover of "Her Body and Other Parties" by Carmen Maria Machado

11. Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Y. Davis, an education in the racist history of prisons, the call for prison abolition, and the power of the imagination.

Cover of "Are Prisons Obsolete?" by Angela Y. Davis

12. The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin contains two letters written during the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, examining America's history of racism.

Cover of "The Fire Next Time" by James Baldwin

13. Birthright by George Abraham, a collection of poems in which we are all tasked with being present, particularly in the liberation of Palestine. These poems tackle generational trauma and healing via the de/construction of inheritance and home.

Cover of "Birthright" by George Abraham

14. Real Queer America: LGBT Stories from Red States by Samantha Allen follows Allen, a trans woman, as she roadtrips to the heart of conservative America and discovers how the LGBTQIA communities there are fighting for more equitable treatment and policies.

Cover of "Real Queer America" by Samantha Allen

15. Some of Us Did Not Die by June Jordan, a collection of essays that digs into the hypocrisy and contradictions living within American culture and politics.

Cover of "Some of Us Did Not Die" by June Jordan

16. Flannelwood by Raymond Luczak, a fiction novel that follows the lives and loves of Bill, a 40-year-old barista and failed poet, and James, a disabled factory worker. They spend winter in their flannel sheets, but change comes with the spring.

Cover of "Flannelwood" by Raymond Luczak

17. Life of the Party by Olivia Gatwood, a collection of poems about growing into a woman in a world that romanticizes violence against women.

Cover of "Life of the Party" by Olivia Gatwood

18. Ash by Malinda Lo, a fiction novel about a grief-stricken Ash, who is left in the care of her cruel stepmother after the death of her father. This lesbian retelling of the classic Cinderella story gives the reader a new understanding of what a happy ending can look like.

Cover of "Ash by Malinda Lo"

19. And Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn, a fiction novel based in Jamaica's hot tourist destination, Montego Bay. Our protagonist Margot works to send her little sister Thandi to school to avoid having her follow in her own footsteps. But, a new resort exposes Margot to both new work opportunities as well as a forbidden love.

Cover of "Here Comes the Sun" by Nicole Dennis-Benn

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