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May 15, 2018 BOOKLIST
Find more Over the Rainbow
The Case of Alan Turing: The Extraordinary and Tragic Story of the Legendary Codebreaker. By Arnaud Delalande. Illus. by Éric Liberge. 2016. Arsenal Pulp, $23.95 (9781551526508).
A moving look into the life of Alan Turing, who is famous for creating a machine capable of decrypting German messages during WWII. The graphic novel flashes between Turing’s struggle with his sexuality and workplace challenges, and visualizes his thought processes in a captivating way.
Doll Parts. By Amanda Lepore and Thomas Flannery. 2017. Regan Arts, $39.99 (9781942872856).
This coffee-table book is almost as gorgeous as its subject. Lepore is one of the most famous transgender women in the world, having modeled for famous photographers while becoming a staple of New York City’s Club Kids scene in the 1980s and 1990s. Acting, singing, and just being seen, Lepore is instantly recognizable with her numerous plastic-surgery procedures to look like a living doll. This book flaunts her fabulousness with beautiful photographs, unbelievable tales, and choice words of wisdom on how to live life to the fullest.
Gay Gotham: Art and Underground Culture in New York. By Donald Albrecht. 2016. Skira Rizzoli, $65 (9780847849406).
An accessible examination of the history of queer-art culture in New York City with beautiful photographs and artwork that ranges from 1910 to 1992. Albrecht provides a unique look into how New York artists have struggled with oppression, asserted their identities, and employed art to find strength.
Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me. By Bill Hayes. 2017. Bloomsbury, $36 (9781620404935).
Grieving the death of his lover, Hayes uproots his life and moves to New York City, where he finds healing through street photography and an unexpected romance. Entering into a second act of his life, Hayes falls in love with renowned neurologist and author Oliver Sacks, who ends up battling and losing his fight with cancer. This is an homage to Sacks, a celebration of his life and the love that he and Hayes shared.
Logical Family. By Armistead Maupin. 2017. Harper, $27.99 (9780062391223).
This is a long-overdue memoir by the acclaimed author of the modern-day classic series Tales of the City. Maupin invites us into his childhood in the American South during the mid-twentieth-century, then takes us on a wild ride through his adventures serving in the Vietnam War, and finally lands in 1970s San Francisco, where gay liberation would shape this young man into one of the biggest influences on gay culture and literature today.
Marriage of a Thousand Lies. By SJ Sindu. 2017. Soho, $25 (9781616957902).
Hoping to placate their traditional South Asian immigrant parents, two college friends, Lucky (Lakshmi), a lesbian, and Kris, a gay man, enter into a marriage of convenience. Lucky’s family life becomes complicated when she returns home to care for her grandmother. Sindu’s novel is a study of love lost, understanding, and family that is both sensitive and dryly humorous.
My Cat Yugoslavia. By Pajtim Statovci. 2017. Pantheon, $25.95 (9781101871829).
Statovci’s novel is really two stories entwined by family, that of Bekim, a gay man who immigrated with his family to Helsinki from Kosovo as a child, and of Bekim’s mother, Emine, a Muslim woman in an arranged marriage. Bekim inhabits a fantasy world of bigoted talking cats, while his mother’s experiences of abuse and war are told more conventionally. Both mother and son are outcasts in a difficult family in a changing world.
No One Can Pronounce My Name. By Rakesh Satyal. 2017. Picador, $26 (9781250112118).
Three Indian immigrants—Harit, a lonely gay man; Ranjana, a receptionist whose dream is to be an author of vampire fiction; and her son, Prashant, who tries to be anything but the Indian college kid who is good at math—are the intersecting characters in this sensitive novel of outsiders looking for a place to belong in their families and in their new country.
Notes of a Crocodile. By Qiu Miaojin. 2017. NYRB, $15.95 (9781681370767).
In this beautifully written novel about a lesbian university student, her entertainingly diverse social circle, and her failed loves, set in the 1990s in Taipei, she imagines herself a crocodile in a human suit as she navigates the relationships that create her story. Recently translated from the Chinese.
Tomboy Survival Guide. By Ivan E. Coyote. 2016. Arsenal Pulp, $17.95 (9781551526560).
Prolific writer, storyteller, and performer Coyote’s memoir of a childhood in the Canadian Yukon is both joyous and bittersweet. It invites the reader into a personal yet often-uncomfortable place by recounting the daily stresses of not fitting in one’s body or community while simultaneously dispensing sage advice to teens about coming out. The book is illustrated with drawings of machines and tools and their instructions for us as would be included in a conventional survival guide.
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