QUEER READING IDEAS FOR A COZY FALL
September 21, 2022
March 30, 2023
It’s couch, blanket, overpriced warm drinks and books about shapeshifting lesbians fisting each other, right? Check out the latest reading recommendations from our boo Gay Writes.
Ahhhhhhh, autumn. My favourite time of year to curl up under a blanket with a pumpkin spice latte and read about shapeshifting lesbians fisting each other — 'tis the season, no?
Here are some Gay Writes favs that'll have you lusting for literature…
PAUL TAKE THE FORM OF A MORTAL GIRL
It’s the story of Paul (clearly), a shapeshifting bartender in 1993 who can grow a set of knockers or low hangers tout suite, whichever gets a fist up his hole fastest.
Did I mention this book was lewd??
Paul gives new definition to sodomy as he spreads his seed across the country, from the fields of Michfest to the leather bars of San Francisco. He's each letter of the queer acronym at once, body and gender ever-changing. And through sex, he finds pleasure, chaos, and community, teaching exactly what kind of slut we want to be.
Paul's carnal journey is the epitome of a GW pick — equal parts pop culture, gender theory, and certifiable smut.
Nevada is the og t4t cult classic. It follows 29-year-old Maria just as her life is beginning to spiral out of control — her I've-got-my-shit-together girlfriend beats her to the breakup punch, she's fired from her dead-end job at a used bookstore, and she steals her (now ex) gf's car to drive to Nevada in an attempt to sort out what she wants and who she is. Along the way, she meets James, a small town Walmart employee she concludes is an egg (a lil bb not-yet-aware-of-it trans) whomst she's determined to help hatch.
With its release in 2013, Imogen transformed the landscape of trans lit, offering readers a look at a trans woman's consciousness from the inside and detailing in realist ISBN fiction thoughts and feelings only previously expressed in blog posts and chat rooms. Ten years later, its rejection of the Trans 101 narrative is ever relevant - its characters are just trying to explain who they are (or avoid someone else's explanation).
Move over, Jack Keroac, THiS is the great American road trip novel.
THE DEATH OF VIVEK OJI
This novel opens by telling us that, “They burned down the market on the day Vivek Oji died,” his mother finding his body wrapped on her doorstep in Ngwa, Nigeria. The story then Tarantino's back through Vivek's adolescence via the memories of his friends and family, interspersed with his mother's frantic investigation into his death. But as she digs deeper into her son's past, she only uncovers more questions of who Vivek really was while alive — questions that are key to unlocking the secret of his death.
Akwaeke takes a traditional murder mystery set up and flips it on its head, investigating ideas of selfhood and sexuality and family and grief along the way, all the while keeping us on the edge of our seats.
BECAUSE ONE GENRE IS SIMPLY NOT ENOUGH FOR US HERE AT GAY WRITES.
Take a bow, Akwaeke. This truly is a masterwork.
Manhunt takes place in the not-so-distant future, after a plague has brought about the zombification of men. It follows two trans women, Beth and Fran, who hunt the ferals to harvest (and eat!!!) their testicles, in which are stored natural reserves of E — the only thing keeping the women from turning themselves. And if that wasn’t bad enough, they’re being hunted by the chromosome crusading TERFs who have claimed authority in a world of mass masc mayhem.
It’s a ruthless and wicked smart splatterpunk gender apocalypse that centres enbie survival, and the only horror novel that asks: will JK Rowling survive the end of the world?
C’mon Armageddon, let’s get absolutely revolting!
MAKING LOVE WITH THE LAND
This one’s billed as a collection of essays, but that doesn’t do justice to Joshua’s deeply personal excavation of memory and trauma on the page. With unflinching vulnerability, he picks himself apart — his Indigeneity, his queerness, his mental health — to craft a work free of genre, entirely his own. Dissecting language and pain and the stories they tell, he charts the connection of our bodies with our kin, rooted in the land around us.
This book is spilling over with a deep affection for community, and it moved me in a way that writing hasn’t in quite some time — “Me, the Joshua Tree,” addressed to a lover amidst the heartbreak of their separation, broke me to pieces. But I can think of no other word than “gratitude” for the soul that Joshua breathed into his words, and I’ll carry that with me for years to come.
Queer / POC indies to support in Toronto:
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