For a reader, inspiring and powerful books can open their minds to a myriad of worlds, both relatable and new. The diverse and vast LGBTQIA+ literary universe speaks of the history, struggle, and the feeling of hope with regards to the LGBTQIA+ movement wherein queer and gender non-conforming authors have put pen to paper to share their own moving life experiences.
The following list of books from LGBTQIA+ and gay authors is as diverse and colorful as the world we live in. From stories of gender transitions and first queer romance to fictional and historical tales, these moving accounts are explorations of gay lives around the world.
STEVEN ROWLEY - THE GUNCLE
We’ve come to expect a lot from his humorous and heartfelt literary work and with “The Guncle,” author Steven Rowley certainly does not disappoint. The deeply funny and warm novel relays the story of a once-popular sitcom actor who ends up spending a summer with his niece and nephew after tragedy strikes.
A story about growth, connection, and healing when it is least expected, the trio develops a close bond after the two young family members are introduced to the actor’s wealthy and reclusive celebrity lifestyle in Palm Springs. In June 2021, Lionsgate managed to successfully secure the filming rights of “The Guncle,” merely a few months after the novel was published by Penguin Random House.
SAM COHEN - SARAHLAND
“Sarahland” is a collection of short stories that pertain to ]different characters who are in different walks of life but all of them are named Sarah. From a Sarah attending a Jewish college in pursuit of an MRS degree to another Sarah pleasuring a wealthy necrophiliac by playing dead, Cohen’s debut is wonderfully weird.
Cohen’s extremely unconventional writing style aims to show us how traditional books can be, well, boring. By the end of the book, Sarah successfully manages to defy social norms to build a better home for us all that demands no physical compromise, no consumerism, and no fixity of self.
JEAN KYOUNG FRAZIER - PIZZA GIRL
In her debut, novelist Jean Kyoung Frazier tells the story of a pregnant eighteen-year-old girl who is in denial about everything. From avoiding her loving boyfriend and supportive mother to grieving her father’s passing, the heroine is living an otherwise unremarkable life delivering pizza in Los Angeles.
That’s when she meets Jenny, her weekly pizza customer who is a stay-at-home mom. Despite the two of them being in significantly different phases of their individual lives, their lives fuse in complicated and ultimately heartbreaking style.