LGBTQ Literature

From Christopher Isherwood's enduring 20th-century classic Goodbye to Berlin to contemporary titles like Janet Mock's Redefining Realness, the titles in this study guide collection explore a range of ideas, issues, genres, and forms that speak to the LGBTQ community.

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Society: Class, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Relationships: FriendshipTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, LGBTQ, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2014Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Identity: Race, Identity: Sexuality, Identity: Language, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Society: ImmigrationTags LGBTQ, Gender / Feminism

A Cup of Water Under My Bed is Daisy Hernández’s 2014 coming-of-age story that centers the intersection of race, class, gender, and sexuality. The book received Lambda Literary’s Dr. Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award in 2015. Hernández was also awarded the IPPY Award (Independent Publisher Book Award) for best coming-of-age memoir, and the book was a finalist for the Publishing Triangle Award. This memoir highlights the complicated dynamics that shape race, class, gender, and sexual... Read A Cup of Water Under My Bed Summary


Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Gender, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Self Discovery, Values/Ideas: Order & ChaosTags Fantasy, Romance, LGBTQ

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Relationships: Marriage, Values/Ideas: Good & EvilTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Gothic Literature, LGBTQ, Addiction / Substance Abuse

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: FriendshipTags Realistic Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, LGBTQ, Sports, Relationships

Publication year 2015Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Identity: Masculinity, Identity: DisabilityTags Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Drama / Tragedy, Relationships, LGBTQ, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Depression / Suicide, American Literature

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Identity: Sexuality, Identity: Gender, Life/Time: AgingTags Realistic Fiction, Relationships, LGBTQ

Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Self Discovery, Relationships: Family, Identity: Race, Emotions/Behavior: ConflictTags LGBTQ, Race / Racism, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2008Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Identity: Sexuality, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Historical Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, LGBTQ

A Map of Home is a 2008 coming-of-age novel by Randa Jarrar. The novel follows the life of Nidali, a girl of Palestinian, Greek, and Egyptian descent who grows up between Kuwait, Egypt, and the United States. The novel contains three parts, each of which correspond to Nidali’s time in these three different countries. During her childhood, Nidali navigates extreme circumstances, grappling with violence, family conflict, and the backdrop of war, all while exploring her... Read A Map of Home Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Identity: RaceTags Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction, LGBTQ

Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Natural World: Space & The Universe, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Society: WarTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Fantasy, LGBTQ, Mystery / Crime Fiction

Publication year 1993Genre Play, FictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Identity: Mental Health, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Play: Drama, LGBTQ, History: U.S.

Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes by the American playwright Tony Kushner is an epic story that spans two plays – Millennium Approaches, first produced in 1991, and Perestroika, which debuted in 1992. The entire two-part work premiered on Broadway in 1993. Angels in America is Kushner’s most well-known work and is widely considered to be one of the greatest and most significant American plays of the 20th century. Angels in America... Read Angels in America Summary


Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Hate & AngerTags Realistic Fiction, LGBTQ

Mark Oshiro’s 2018 debut novel Anger Is a Gift is a work of contemporary fiction for young adults exploring the realities of police brutality and racist oppression people of color experience in America. This study guide uses the 2018 edition published by Tor (ISBN: 978-1-250-16702-6). Oshiro is a queer author of color, and this novel seeks to highlight the racial divide in America. He shows through this book that there is no universal American experience... Read Anger Is a Gift Summary


Publication year 1962Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Identity: Sexuality, Identity: Race, Emotions/Behavior: LoveTags LGBTQ, Race / Racism, Love / Sexuality, Depression / Suicide, Relationships, Grief / Death, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Social Justice

Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, LGBTQ

An Unkindness of Ghosts is a 2017 science fiction novel by Rivers Solomon set on a generation starship called Matilda, the political and labor organization of which resembles the antebellum American South. The ship left the ruins of Earth more than 300 years ago, heading towards a destination now forgotten by its residents. Most of the story is told from the perspective of Aster Grey, a resident of the “lower decks” who, like her neighbors... Read An Unkindness of Ghosts Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Memoir in Verse, NonfictionThemes Relationships: Family, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Society: Colonialism, Society: Community, Identity: IndigenousTags Race / Racism, Social Justice, LGBTQ

Genre Poem, FictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Emotions/Behavior: LoveTags Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, LGBTQ, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Poetry: Dramatic Poem

Publication year 2021Genre Novella, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: GratitudeTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Fantasy, LGBTQ, Action / Adventure

Publication year 2012Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Identity: Sexuality, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Realistic Fiction, LGBTQ, Relationships, Bullying, Parenting, American Literature

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz is a young adult fiction novel published in 2012. The novel won a Lambda Literary Award, a Pura Belpre Award, and a Stonewall Book Award. It was also named a Printz Honor Book. Told from a first-person point of view, the book is a work of realistic fiction set in El Paso, Texas, in the late 1980s.Plot SummaryAristotle “Ari” Mendoza is the... Read Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Self Discovery, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Identity: Sexuality, Identity: RaceTags Romance, LGBTQ

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Relationships: Friendship, Values/Ideas: Art, Values/Ideas: Music, Values/Ideas: LiteratureTags LGBTQ, Romance, Historical Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

Publication year 1964Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: NostalgiaTags LGBTQ, Love / Sexuality, Depression / Suicide

Publication year 1956Genre Poem, FictionThemes Society: Nation, Identity: Sexuality, Society: Globalization, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Literature, Emotions/Behavior: NostalgiaTags Lyric Poem, Love / Sexuality, Arts / Culture, The Beat Generation, LGBTQ

“A Supermarket in California” is a prose poem by the American poet Allen Ginsberg. Written in 1955, it appears alongside Ginsberg’s most well-known work, “Howl,” in his book Howl and Other Poems. Published November 1, 1956 by Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s City Lights Books as part of their Pocket Poets Series, Howl and Other Poems was subject to an obscenity trial in 1957 due to its use of sexually explicit language. The trial eventually ruled in the... Read A Supermarket in California Summary


Publication year 1998Genre Novel/Book in Verse, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags LGBTQ

Anne Carson's Autobiography of Red: A Novel in Verse reimagines the myth of Herakles and Geryon, the red winged monster whom Herakles slays in his tenth labor. Carson bases her version on fragments of the epic poem by Ancient Greek poet Stesichoros. Stesichoros' version of Herakles' tenth labor is unique in that it is told not from Herakles' perspective, but from "Geryon's own experience" (6). Using this as inspiration, Carson retells Geryon and Herakles' story... Read Autobiography Of Red Summary


Publication year 1992Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: FamilyTags Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Southern Literature, LGBTQ, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Bastard out of Carolina is a 1992 semi-autobiographical novel by American writer Dorothy Allison. It was a finalist for the National Book Award and was adapted for film in 1996. Set in Greenville County, South Carolina, where the author herself grew up in the 1950s, it chronicles the childhood and adolescence of Ruth Anne “Bone” Boatwright against the backdrop of poverty, class-based discrimination, and both physical and sexual abuse. Like much of Allison’s work, Bastard... Read Bastard Out Of Carolina Summary


Publication year 2015Genre Biography, NonfictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Trust & DoubtTags LGBTQ

Becoming Nicole, a nonfiction book by Washington Post journalist Amy Ellis Nutt, tells the story of Nicole Maines, a transgender girl who fights for acceptance in her family, at her school, and beyond. Published in 2015, the book chronicles Nicole’s early years as a boy named Wyatt, her adoption of a female name, a lawsuit involving her right to use the girls’ restroom at school, and her relationships with family and friends. Nutt also shows how... Read Becoming Nicole Summary


Publication year 1993Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Life/Time: The Past, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: LiteratureTags Latin American Literature, LGBTQ

The autobiography of Cuban novelist and poet Reinaldo Arenas, Before Night Falls, details his life as a gay man under Fidel Castro’s regime and the consequences of his dissidence. It was published posthumously in 1993. Immediately named one of the best books of the year by The New York Times, it has since been adapted into a movie and, later, an opera. Before Night Falls tells the story of Arenas’s life growing up in a... Read Before Night Falls Summary


Publication year 2013Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Music, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Self DiscoveryTags Realistic Fiction, Humor, LGBTQ, Music

Content Warning: Better Nate Than Ever contains sensitive material, such as bullying and LGBTQ-related slurs.Better Nate Than Ever (2013) is the first book in a trilogy about Broadway hopeful Nate Foster; the next two titles in the series are Five, Six, Seven, Nate! (2014) and Nate Expectations (2018). The novel is intended for middle grade and young adult readers but may also appeal to adult fans of theater-related fiction. Author Tim Federle and the fictional... Read Better Nate Than Ever Summary


Publication year 2014Genre Biography, NonfictionThemes Identity: Gender, Identity: Sexuality, Society: Community, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Relationships: Family, Identity: Masculinity, Identity: Femininity, Self DiscoveryTags LGBTQ, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Mental Health, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Relationships: Marriage, Identity: SexualityTags LGBTQ, Love / Sexuality, Romance, Humor

Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags LGBTQ, Afro-Caribbean Literature

Marlon James’s Black Leopard, Red Wolf (2019) is a dark fantasy novel. It’s the first title in his Dark Star Trilogy, and a fusion of conventional epic storytelling, oral tradition, and creative folklore. A finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction, as well as one of Washington Post’s Top Ten Books of 2019, this novel had its film rights purchased only weeks after publication.Plot SummaryAn interrogation frames the story: Tracker, a mercenary, recounts his... Read Black Leopard, Red Wolf Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Relationships: Grandparents, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Friendship, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Values/Ideas: Music, Values/Ideas: Literature, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Romance, LGBTQ, African American Literature, New Adult, Love / Sexuality

Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Identity: Gender, Identity: Masculinity, Identity: Mental Health, Identity: Race, Relationships: Friendship, Society: CommunityTags LGBTQ

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionTags Fantasy, LGBTQ, Historical Fiction, Romance

Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: courage, Relationships: Friendship, Society: CommunityTags Fantasy, Mystery / Crime Fiction, LGBTQ, Romance, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction

Publication year 2006Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Identity: Disability, Relationships: Family, Relationships: FriendshipTags Disability, Psychology, LGBTQ

Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant is Daniel Tammet’s memoir and his first published book. In it, he recalls his childhood, adolescence, and adulthood leading up to the point in his life when he became independent with a partner and a career. Born on a Blue Day was a New York Times best seller following its publication in 2006.Tammet is, as identified in the subtitle, an autistic savant... Read Born on a Blue Day Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionTags Romance, LGBTQ, Relationships, Love / Sexuality, Class

Publication year 1998Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Gender, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Society: WarTags Realistic Fiction, Historical Fiction, Humor, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, LGBTQ, Military / War, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Irish Literature

Breakfast on Pluto is a novel by the distinguished Irish writer Patrick McCabe, who is known for his experimental style and controversial themes. First published in 1998, the book contains elements of fantasy and historical fiction. It presents the narrative of “the life and times” of Patrick Braden, a transgender person growing up in Ireland and London during the 1960s and 1970s. Through Braden’s journey of self-discovery, McCabe portrays a country amid turbulent political, national... Read Breakfast on Pluto Summary


Publication year 1945Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Society: Class, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Historical Fiction, Classic Fiction, British Literature, LGBTQ

Brideshead Revisited: The Sacred & Profane Memoirs of Captain Charles Ryder (1945) is the ninth published novel by British novelist Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh, who published under “Evelyn Waugh.” It chronicles the life and relationships of Charles Ryder, particularly his complex friendship with the aristocratic Flyte family, during the interwar period in England. The novel was an immediate success, and, despite his later dislike, Waugh referred to it as his “magnum opus.” It has been... Read Brideshead Revisited Summary


Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: Friendship, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Identity: Femininity, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Gender / Feminism, History: U.S., Incarceration, Internet Culture / Social Media, Journalism, LGBTQ, Love / Sexuality, Politics / Government, Psychology, Relationships, Social Justice, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Crime / Legal

Publication year 1997Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: Sexuality, Society: Class, Emotions/Behavior: HopeTags Romance, LGBTQ, Western

“Brokeback Mountain,” by award-winning American author Annie Proulx, addresses themes of Masculine Sexuality and the Forbidden Love of Queer Romance, The Inescapable Effects and Momentum of Poverty, and Powerlessness and Loss of Hope. Like much of Proulx’s work, the story includes a strong sense of place. Wyoming’s unforgiving landscape figures prominently in “Brokeback Mountain,” and the film adaptation by the same name received acclaim for its cinematography as well as its unapologetic portrayal of queer... Read Brokeback Mountain Summary


Publication year 2006Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Relationships: Family, Society: ImmigrationTags LGBTQ, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Immigration / Refugee

Publication year 2007Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Life/Time: The Past, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Identity: LanguageTags Romance, LGBTQ, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

IntroductionCall Me By Your Name by André Aciman is a piece of literary fiction in the subgenres of romance literature and queer literature. Published in 2007, the novel became a bestseller, received positive critical reception, and won the 2008  Lambda Literary Award for Gay Fiction. The 2017 film adaptation of Call Me By Your Name, directed by Luca Guadagnino and starring Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer, won, among other accolades, the Academy Award for Best... Read Call Me By Your Name Summary


Publication year 2015Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: LonelinessTags Fantasy, Romance, Parody, LGBTQ, Class, Education, Love / Sexuality

Published in 2015, Rainbow Rowell’s young-adult fantasy novel Carry On: The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow is a spinoff of her young-adult novel Fangirl (2013) and the first book of the Simon Snow trilogy.Carry On, which was awarded a place on the Rainbow Project Book List in 2016, examines themes of love, power, and free will. Simon Snow is the Chosen One of a magical world. During his eighth and final year at the... Read Carry On Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Identity: Sexuality, Society: Community, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Identity: GenderTags LGBTQ, Fantasy, Grief / Death, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Diversity, Religion / Spirituality, Gender / Feminism, Love / Sexuality

Publication year 1996Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Identity: Gender, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Society: ColonialismTags Colonialism / Postcolonialism, LGBTQ, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Cereus Blooms at Night (1996) is the first novel-length work of fiction written by Shani Mootoo, a Canadian author who was born in Ireland and grew up on the island nation of Trinidad. The novel was originally published in Canada and received critical acclaim there and internationally. It was a finalist for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize and the Giller Prize and was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize. Mootoo is also a visual artist... Read Cereus Blooms At Night Summary


Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Win & Lose, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Fame, Society: Community, Relationships: Teams, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: The Future, Identity: Race, Identity: Gender, Identity: Mental HealthTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Satire, LGBTQ, Black Lives Matter, Business / Economics, Grief / Death, History: U.S., Incarceration, Race / Racism, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Social Justice

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Society: CommunityTags Fantasy, Romance, Historical Fiction, LGBTQ, Gender / Feminism, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

Publication year 1816Genre Poem, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Natural World: Place, Identity: Sexuality, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Relationships: Mothers, Values/Ideas: BeautyTags Narrative / Epic Poem, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Love / Sexuality, LGBTQ, Religion / Spirituality, Romanticism / Romantic Period, British Literature

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, a key figure in the British Romantic Era of poetry wrote the Gothic narrative poem “Christabel” in two parts, the first in 1797, and the second in 1800. Though it was still unfinished, “Christabel” was published in 1816.“Christabel” is Coleridge’s longest poem, at almost 700 lines. It is also the least edited of Coleridge’s work. Most of the poem contrasts the innocent piety of Christabel with the experience and supernatural abilities of... Read Christabel Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Identity: Femininity, Identity: Sexuality, Self Discovery, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Fantasy, Romance, LGBTQ

Publication year 2007Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Fantasy, Romance, Action / Adventure, Class, Love / Sexuality, LGBTQ, Gender / Feminism, Grief / Death

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2007) is the first in the Mortal Instruments series of young adult urban fantasy novels, followed by City of Ashes. The book follows a seemingly ordinary 15-year-old girl as she learns she is descended from an ancient race of demon hunters. City of Bones is a New York Times bestseller and inspired several media adaptations, including a graphic novel of the same name (3rd World... Read City of Bones Summary


Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Mental Health, Relationships: Friendship, Values/Ideas: ArtTags Romance, LGBTQ, Relationships, Depression / Suicide

Publication year 2024Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Society: Education, Identity: Race, Identity: Sexuality, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Relationships, LGBTQ

Publication year 1949Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Identity: MasculinityTags LGBTQ, Japanese Literature

Confessions of a Mask is a novel by Yukio Mishima, first published in Japan in 1949. The novel takes place during and immediately after World War II and centers on the struggles of a young man named Kochan. It has significant elements of the coming-of-age (bildungsroman) and queer literature genres, as Kochan is a closeted gay man trying to navigate his complex inner life and sexuality in contrast with his carefully controlled outer persona. The... Read Confessions of a Mask Summary


Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Gender, Identity: Sexuality, Society: Class, Society: Colonialism, Society: CommunityTags Historical Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, LGBTQ, Class, Incarceration, Gender / Feminism, Love / Sexuality, Social Justice, Colonialism / Postcolonialism

Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Femininity, Society: Politics & Government, Relationships: FriendshipTags Romance, LGBTQ, Irish Literature

Conversations with Friends is Irish writer Sally Rooney’s debut novel, published in 2017. Rooney wrote the novel when she was 25 and followed it up quickly with Normal People in 2018 and Beautiful World, Where Are You in 2021. All three works have garnered award nominations and the first two have been adapted into television series. Conversations with Friends tells the story of Frances and Bobbi— college students, best friends, and former girlfriends—and Nick and... Read Conversations with Friends Summary


Publication year 2016Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Good & EvilTags Fantasy, Action / Adventure, LGBTQ, Romance

Publication year 2016Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: War, Identity: Gender, Identity: Sexuality, Relationships: FamilyTags Western, Historical Fiction, Military / War, LGBTQ, American Civil War, Race / Racism

Days Without End (2016) is a novel by Irish author Sebastian Barry. Days Without End is Barry’s ninth novel and received considerable critical acclaim. The novel won the 2017 Walter Scott Prize, was listed at number 74 on The Guardian’s list of the 100 best books of the 21st century (2019 edition), and made BBC News’s 2019 list of the 100 most influential novels. The novel also won the 2016 Costa Book Award, making Barry... Read Days Without End Summary


Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: Sexuality, Relationships: Family, Self DiscoveryTags Romance, Humor, LGBTQ

Publication year 1905Genre Essay / Speech, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags LGBTQ, Philosophy, Religion / Spirituality

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Femininity, Relationships: Family, Identity: GenderTags LGBTQ, Gender / Feminism

Publication year 2020Genre Graphic Novel/Book, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Society: Community, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Historical Fiction, LGBTQ, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Fantasy, WWII / World War II

Publication year 2003Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Society: Community, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Apathy, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Humor, LGBTQ, Psychology, Addiction / Substance Abuse, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Identity: Indigenous, Relationships: FamilyTags Fantasy, Mystery / Crime Fiction, LGBTQ, Magical Realism, Action / Adventure, Grief / Death, Race / Racism

Publication year 1990Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Identity: SexualityTags LGBTQ

Epistemology of the Closet, published in 1990 in the midst of the AIDS epidemic, is a seminal work of queer studies by intellectual and activist Eve Sedgwick. The book bridges the gap between theory and practice by analyzing homoerotic relationships in literary and philosophical history, thereby calling social and political attention to a systemically marginalized group. The text is a progression of the analysis in Sedgwick’s previous work on homosocial relationships, Between Men: English Literature... Read Epistemology of the Closet Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Mental Health, Identity: Sexuality, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags LGBTQ, Realistic Fiction, Mental Illness, Love / Sexuality, Religion / Spirituality

Publication year 1996Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Music, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Self Discovery, Relationships: Fathers, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Identity: Sexuality, Identity: Race, Emotions/Behavior: FearTags Historical Fiction, LGBTQ, Magical Realism, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Love / Sexuality, Music, Religion / Spirituality, Race / Racism

Fall on Your Knees (1996), first-time novelist Ann-Marie MacDonald’s ambitious multigenerational family saga set in the early decades of the 20th century, moves from the bleak coastal towns of Canada’s Cape Breton Island to the bustling New York City of the Jazz Era. Recalling both the psychological richness of William Faulkner’s family sagas set in Yoknapatawpha County and the dark passions in the Gothic tales of Flannery O’Connor, Fall on Your Knees follows three very... Read Fall on your Knees Summary


Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: SiblingsTags Realistic Fiction, LGBTQ, Parenting, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 1990Genre Play, FictionThemes Identity: Femininity, Relationships: Friendship, Identity: GenderTags Play: Drama, Gender / Feminism, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Disability, LGBTQ, Modernism

Fefu and her Friends is a play by Cuban American playwright Maria Irene Fornés. It premiered in 1977 at the Relativity Media Lab, a small venue on New York’s Lower East Side. Set in 1935 New England, the play concerns a group of women who knew one another in college and gather for a reunion as adults. Within six months, Fefu was produced off-Broadway at the American Place Theatre, earning Fornés her second Obie Award... Read Fefu and Her Friends Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Identity: Race, Identity: Gender, Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags LGBTQ, Romance, Realistic Fiction

Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: The Past, Life/Time: Aging, Identity: Sexuality, Relationships: FamilyTags Romance, LGBTQ

Publication year 2002Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Mothers, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Identity: SexualityTags Historical Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction, LGBTQ, Gothic Literature, Victorian Period, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Love / Sexuality

A thrilling tale of thievery, betrayal, and mistaken identity, Fingersmith, by Welsh author Sarah Waters, tells the story of two women from two very different stations of life whose fates are inextricably linked. Set in the 1860s, Fingersmith is narrated alternately by Sue Smith (also known as Sue Trinder) and Maud Lilly. One is a young “fingersmith”—slang for a thief—lovingly protected from the worst of her world by Mrs. Sucksby; the other is an aristocratic... Read Fingersmith Summary


Publication year 2014Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Identity: Race, Identity: Gender, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Society: CommunityTags Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Race / Racism, LGBTQ, African American Literature

Fire Shut Up in My Bones by the American author Charles M. Blow was published in 2014. The book is a nonfiction memoir of his childhood and early adulthood in the American South. Blow is unflinchingly honest in the details of his own abuse and how he carried that abuse with him for years. Blow is an op-ed columnist for the New York Times and an anchor for the Black News Channel. Fire Shut Up... Read Fire Shut Up in My Bones Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Graphic Novel/Book, FictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Identity: SexualityTags LGBTQ, Realistic Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Relationships

Publication year 2018Genre Short Story Collection, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: Gender, Identity: Indigenous, Identity: Race, Identity: Sexuality, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Self Discovery, Society: Community, Society: Immigration, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Fantasy, Romance, Realistic Fiction, LGBTQ

Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Mental Health, Identity: Gender, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Magical Realism, LGBTQ, Fantasy

Publication year 2017Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Identity: Sexuality, Identity: Indigenous, Natural World: Flora/plants, Relationships: FriendshipTags Free verse, American Literature, Love / Sexuality, Science / Nature, LGBTQ

Publication year 2006Genre Graphic Memoir , NonfictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Identity: Gender, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Values/Ideas: Literature, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Identity: Femininity, Identity: MasculinityTags LGBTQ, Auto/Biographical Fiction, Relationships, Love / Sexuality, Parenting, Depression / Suicide, Mental Illness, Grief / Death, Gender / Feminism

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic (2006) is a graphic novel memoir written and illustrated by underground cartoonist Alison Bechdel. The book centers on Bechdel’s relationship with her late father Bruce Allen Bechdel, who died in what she believes was a death by suicide. Fun Home is a non-linear narrative that rehashes events from Alison Bechdel’s youth and adolescence. Her memories are presented in the comic panels, overlayed with her prosaic, retrospective musings in text boxes... Read Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic Summary


Publication year 2014Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Identity: Sexuality, Relationships: FamilyTags LGBTQ, Addiction / Substance Abuse

Gabi, A Girl in Pieces (2014) is a young adult fiction novel by Southern Californian writer Isabel Quintero. It is a bildungsroman following Gabi’s transition to adulthood, her evolution as a writer, and her growing acceptance of herself. Gabi, A Girl in Pieces is Quintero’s first novel and earned various awards for young adult readers, including the California Book Award (2015 Gold Medal) and the William C. Morris Award for YA Debut Novel. This summary... Read Gabi, a Girl in Pieces Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Apathy, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Self DiscoveryTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Fantasy, Sports, LGBTQ, Race / Racism

Publication year 2019Genre Graphic Memoir , NonfictionThemes Identity: Gender, Self Discovery, Identity: Sexuality, Relationships: FamilyTags LGBTQ

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Publication year 2015Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Shame & PrideTags Realistic Fiction, LGBTQ, Children's Literature

Genderqueer writer Alex Gino wrote George in response to an unfulfilled, youthful wish for a positive representation of a transgender person. The novel tells the story of ten-year-old George, who is anatomically a boy, but knows she is a girl. George has won the Stonewall Book Award, the Lambda Literary Award, and the E.B. White Honor.The novel opens with George sneaking into the bathroom to look at her secret stash of girls’ magazines, concealing them... Read George Summary


Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & BetrayalTags Fantasy, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, LGBTQ, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction

Publication year 1956Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Identity: Masculinity, Identity: Gender, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Emotions/Behavior: FearTags LGBTQ, Classic Fiction

Giovanni’s Room, originally published in 1956, is a romantic tragedy written by author and activist James Baldwin. The book follows American protagonist David’s life and relationships in France during the 1950s. David tries to come to terms with his sexuality after falling in love with Giovanni, an Italian barman, but he also seeks the safety of his heterosexual relationship with another American expatriate, Hella. Due to the story’s depiction of diverse sexual orientations, the novel... Read Giovanni's Room Summary


Publication year 2016Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Identity: Femininity, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Gender / Feminism, Parenting, Psychology, Love / Sexuality, LGBTQ

Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: FamilyTags Gender / Feminism, Race / Racism, LGBTQ, Realistic Fiction

Bernardine Evaristo’s polyphonic novel of modern Britain and womanhood, Girl, Woman, Other, won the 2019 Booker Prize. Evaristo is the first black woman to receive this literary prize for books written in the English language. Employing an experimental, poetic form, the novel follows several generations of mainly black, British women interlinked by family, love, loss, and diaspora to interrogate the intersections of identity. Girl, Woman, Other is Evaristo’s eighth book. The novel’s title could be... Read Girl, Woman, Other Summary


Publication year 2000Genre Essay / Speech, NonfictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Self Discovery, Society: Community, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Society: EducationTags Diversity, LGBTQ, Love / Sexuality, Relationships, Social Justice, Sports

Publication year 1939Genre Novel, FictionTags LGBTQ, WWII / World War II, Holocaust

Christopher Isherwood’s novel, Goodbye to Berlin, was first published in 1939. The novel’s narrator, who is also named Christopher Isherwood, recounts his experiences living in Berlin, Germany from 1929 to 1933. Isherwood focuses the novel on the relationships he has with his friends and acquaintances and explores both the beautiful and unseemly parts of the city he calls home, all while the rise of Nazi influence grows steadily in the background.Goodbye to Berlin’s chapters are... Read Goodbye To Berlin Summary


Publication year 2019Genre Graphic Memoir , NonfictionThemes Relationships: Family, Identity: Race, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Relationships: Friendship, Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Siblings, Relationships: Marriage, Relationships: Fathers, Society: Community, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: The Future, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: LonelinessTags Race / Racism, Politics / Government, September 11 Attacks, Relationships, LGBTQ, Grief / Death, Parenting, Social Justice, Immigration / Refugee

Publication year 2014Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Relationships: Friendship, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: FamilyTags Realistic Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, LGBTQ, Relationships

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Gender, Identity: Sexuality, Values/Ideas: ArtTags Historical Fiction, LGBTQ, Gender / Feminism, Arts / Culture

Publication year 2014Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Self Discovery, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Society: Community, Relationships: Siblings, Emotions/Behavior: ConflictTags Fantasy, LGBTQ

Half Bad (March 2014) is the debut novel of author Sally Green. It is also the first book in a trilogy of the same name. The book became an instant bestseller because of its similarity to the Harry Potter series. Green followed Half Bad with Half Wild (2015) and Half Lost (2016). The Half Bad trilogy was eventually produced as the Netflix series entitled The Bastard Son & the Devil Himself. It ran for one... Read Half Bad Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Identity: Mental HealthTags Fantasy, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, LGBTQ

Publication year 2018Genre Graphic Novel/Book, FictionThemes Identity: Mental Health, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Relationships: Friendship, Identity: Sexuality, Identity: Masculinity, Identity: Gender, Life/Time: Childhood & YouthTags Romance, LGBTQ, Bullying, Love / Sexuality, Relationships

Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Mental Health, Identity: Gender, Identity: Race, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Self DiscoveryTags Romance, Humor, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, LGBTQ

Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Mental Health, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Relationships: FriendshipTags Romance, LGBTQ

Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Mental Health, Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Identity: SexualityTags Realistic Fiction, LGBTQ, Mental Illness

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Identity: Indigenous, Identity: Language, Natural World: Climate, Relationships: Family, Society: Colonialism, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Fantasy, Survival Fiction, LGBTQ

Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Identity: Gender, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, LGBTQ, Afro-Caribbean Literature

Hurricane Child is a middle-grade debut novel by Kacen Callender. The realistic fantasy and coming-of-age book was published in March 2018 by Scholastic Press and received the Stonewall Book Award and the Lambda Literary Award in 2019. (While the author’s name on the cover is Kheryn, they are trans and prefer to be called Kacen.) Callender was born in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, where Hurricane Child is set. Kacen is a queer Black writer... Read Hurricane Child Summary


Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Mental Health, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Romance, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, LGBTQ, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Relationships

Publication year 2016Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Gender, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: FathersTags Romance, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, LGBTQ, Relationships, Depression / Suicide, Bullying

Meredith Russo’s 2016 young adult novel, If I Was Your Girl, focuses on the experiences of Amanda, an 18-year-old trans girl going through her senior year in a new school.A few critics point out what Russo herself acknowledges in an author’s note that follows the text: the novel glosses over some of the obstacles faced by most trans teens—the protagonist has no issues passing, is able to get gender-confirming surgery at a very young age... Read If I Was Your Girl Summary


Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: Sexuality, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Literature, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, LGBTQ

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Gender, Identity: Sexuality, Self Discovery, Emotions/Behavior: LoveTags Romance, Humor, LGBTQ

Publication year 2014Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Art, Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Life/Time: Aging, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Identity: Sexuality, Life/Time: The Past, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Siblings, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Win & LoseTags Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Magical Realism, Romance, Realistic Fiction, LGBTQ, Grief / Death, Love / Sexuality

I’ll Give You the Sun (2015) is an award-winning novel penned by Jandy Nelson about relationships, art, and destiny. It follows the story of twins Noah and Jude Sweetwine who once shared a close relationship but find themselves barely speaking to each other two years after their mother’s death.Jandy Nelson is an American author who writes young adult fiction. I’ll Give You the Sun is her second novel, which won numerous awards and honors, including... Read I'll Give You the Sun Summary


Publication year 2015Genre Play, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: Language, Identity: Race, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Relationships: Teams, Society: Immigration, Society: War, Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: LiteratureTags Play: Drama, Historical Fiction, LGBTQ, Jewish Literature, Gender / Feminism

Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Literature, Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & BetrayalTags Fantasy, Magical Realism, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, LGBTQ

Publication year 2019Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: Sexuality, Self Discovery, Emotions/Behavior: ConflictTags LGBTQ, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Relationships, Love / Sexuality, Arts / Culture

Carmen Maria Machado’s memoir In the Dream House chronologizes her experiences in an abusive relationship with a woman. In the Dream House was published in 2019 and won the 2021 Folio Prize and the 2020 Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Nonfiction. The memoir discusses potential modes for queer representation through the use of multiple narrative techniques. As of 2022, Machado lives in Pennsylvania with her wife and works at the University of Pennsylvania.This guide is... Read In the Dream House Summary


Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: LoveTags Fantasy, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Romance, LGBTQ, Fairy Tale / Folklore

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Self Discovery, Identity: Femininity, Life/Time: Midlife, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & BetrayalTags Romance, Humor, LGBTQ, British Literature

Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Identity: Sexuality, Identity: Gender, Self DiscoveryTags LGBTQ

The novel Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead was originally published in 2018 by Arsenal Pulp Press. Whitehead, a queer Indigenous writer from Peguis Frist Nation, uses the auto-fictional character of Jonny to explore the intersections of LGBTQ+ and Indigenous identity. The novel was a 2021 Canada Reads Winner and the winner of a Lambda Literary Award. It was also a Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year and longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize.This... Read Jonny Appleseed Summary


Publication year 2016Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Identity: Race, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Realistic Fiction, LGBTQ, Love / Sexuality, Relationships, American Literature

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Identity: Sexuality, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags LGBTQ, Realistic Fiction, Magical Realism

Publication year 1998Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Relationships: Family, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Society: ColonialismTags Realistic Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, Animals, Love / Sexuality, LGBTQ

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Self Discovery, Identity: Sexuality, Identity: Race, Identity: Gender, Identity: Femininity, Identity: Masculinity, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Relationships: Family, Relationships: FriendshipTags Historical Fiction, LGBTQ, Romance, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Love / Sexuality, Women's Studies (Nonfiction)

Publication year 2019Genre Graphic Novel/Book, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Relationships: Friendship, Self DiscoveryTags LGBTQ, Romance

Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Society: Class, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Identity: SexualityTags Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, LGBTQ, Relationships, Class

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: MothersTags Fantasy, Romance, LGBTQ, Race / Racism, Gender / Feminism

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Self Discovery, Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags Fantasy, Romance, LGBTQ

Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: SexualityTags LGBTQ

Written by Andrew Sean Greer and published in 2017, Less is a satirical comedy novel. It portrays the journey of Arthur Less, who after a difficult breakup plots a round-the-world trip to better understand himself. It won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.Plot SummaryApproaching 50, Arthur Less sits in a hotel lobby waiting to be picked up for a literary event. He is a writer and will be interviewing another writer, albeit a sci-fi author... Read Less Summary


Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Community, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Identity: Masculinity, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Life/Time: Midlife, Life/Time: The FutureTags LGBTQ, Humor, Romance, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Identity: GenderTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Fantasy, LGBTQ

Publication year 2016Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Relationships: FriendshipTags LGBTQ, Realistic Fiction, Bullying

Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart was originally published in 2016. A coming-of-age novel set in contemporary America, the book tells the stories of two unique and inspiring teenagers who find themselves and each other. Lily and Dunkin was named one of NPR’s Best Kids’ Books of 2016, one of Amazon’s Top 20 Children’s Books of 2016, and one of YALSA’s picks for Best Fiction for Young Adults in 2017. This guide is based on... Read Lily and Dunkin Summary


Publication year 2019Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: LoveTags Lyric Poem, LGBTQ, Love / Sexuality

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Self Discovery, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: Sexuality, Society: Community, Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Identity: GenderTags Romance, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, LGBTQ

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Identity: Gender, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Trust & DoubtTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Romance, LGBTQ, Bullying, Depression / Suicide, Parenting, Love / Sexuality, Social Justice, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Diversity, Relationships, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Identity: Sexuality, Identity: Gender, Identity: FemininityTags Historical Fiction, LGBTQ, Medieval Literature / Middle Ages, Gender / Feminism

Publication year 1971Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: Sexuality, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Society: ClassTags Romance, Modern Classic Fiction, LGBTQ, Arts / Culture, Class, Love / Sexuality, British Literature

Maurice (1971) is a coming-of-age novel and love story by English author E. M. Forster. Like much of Forster’s work, it straddles the realist and modernist eras; stylistically, it resembles the literature of the 19th century, but its themes—in particular, its depiction of unconscious experience—anticipate the work of writers like Virginia Woolf and D. H. Lawrence. Drafted between 1913 and 1914, it was not published until 1971—one year after Forster’s death—because of its subject matter;... Read Maurice Summary


Publication year 2002Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: Gender, Identity: Sexuality, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Self Discovery, Society: Community, Society: Immigration, Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Literature, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Historical Fiction, LGBTQ

Middlesex is a 2002 novel by Jeffrey Eugenides that tells a multigenerational, epic tale of a Greek family who immigrates to the US. The narrator, Calliope (or Cal) tells the story of how his grandparents, Lefty and Desdemona Stephanides, flee their homeland during a time of war and uncertainty, settling in the US. They harbor a family secret that changes the course of the narrator’s life: They’re brother and sister, and carry a genetic mutation... Read Middlesex Summary


Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Society: Colonialism, Identity: GenderTags Fantasy, Historical Fiction, LGBTQ, Gender / Feminism, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2015Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags LGBTQ, Romance

More Happy Than Not (2015) is Adam Silvera’s debut novel. It was well received and marked Silvera’s entrance into the growing field of queer young adult fiction. In the Author’s Note, Silvera speaks about his own sexuality and the difficulty of feeling “wrong” when surrounded by his straight friends. This insight and a deft writing hand have allowed him to produce several books featuring young queer protagonists, such as the acclaimed They Both Die at... Read More Happy Than Not Summary


Publication year 2013Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Emotions/Behavior: GuiltTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, LGBTQ, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2013Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Society: CommunityTags LGBTQ, Romance, Race / Racism

Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: Siblings, Life/Time: The Past, Relationships: MothersTags Historical Fiction, LGBTQ, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2017Genre Graphic Novel/Book, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Society: Class, Identity: Sexuality, Society: Community, Relationships: Friendship, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Relationships: Siblings, Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Art, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Relationships: Mothers, Identity: Race, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Relationships: FathersTags Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Realistic Fiction, LGBTQ, Arts / Culture

Publication year 1997Genre Essay Collection, NonfictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Relationships: Siblings, Relationships: Family, Identity: Mental HealthTags Humor, LGBTQ

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Relationships: Siblings, Relationships: Family, Identity: Race, Society: Class, Relationships: FriendshipTags Race / Racism, Poverty, LGBTQ, Black Lives Matter, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 1936Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: MothersTags Modern Classic Fiction, Psychological Fiction, LGBTQ

Nightwood, by Djuna Barnes, was first published in 1936. It tells the story of Robin Vote and the lives of those she becomes entangled with as she struggles with her desires and need for freedom. While set mostly in 1930s Paris, the novel is cosmopolitan in nature, with action also taking place in Vienna, Berlin, and various parts of America. This book is an example of modernist literature from the period between world wars and... Read Nightwood Summary


Publication year 2015Genre Graphic Novel/Book, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Identity: Sexuality, Values/Ideas: Good & EvilTags Fantasy, LGBTQ, Humor, Action / Adventure, Fairy Tale / Folklore

Nimona is a young adult graphic novel created by N. D. Stevenson and published in 2015 by HarperCollins. It is based on Stevenson’s webcomic, also titled Nimona, which was published in 2012 and earned Slate magazine’s 2012 Cartoonist Studio Prize for Best Web Comic of the Year. The graphic novel adaptation also received critical acclaim, earning the 2016 Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album: Reprint and becoming a 2015 National Book Award Finalist.Nimona is a... Read Nimona Summary


Publication year 1930Genre Poem, FictionTags Lyric Poem, LGBTQ

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Politics & Government, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Mothers, Identity: Sexuality, Identity: Race, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Society: Colonialism, Society: EconomicsTags Realistic Fiction, LGBTQ, Class, Finance / Money / Wealth, History: U.S., Natural Disaster, Parenting

Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: GriefTags LGBTQ, Realistic Fiction

Raised by his mother, Rose, and his grandmother, Lan, Little Dog grows up in a lower working-class neighborhood of Hartford, Connecticut, beginning in the early 90s. Troubled by loss and abuse, Little Dog, at age 28, decides to write a letter to his illiterate mother, using it as a method of exorcising his demons, exploring the loss and trauma that shaped his and his family’s lives, and the love and beauty that defines their lives... Read On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: The Future, Life/Time: The Past, Identity: Sexuality, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Identity: GenderTags Romance, LGBTQ, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Humor, Magical Realism

Publication year 1985Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Identity: Sexuality, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Relationships: Family, Relationships: MothersTags LGBTQ, Auto/Biographical Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Gender / Feminism

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is the debut novel of Jeannette Winterson, originally published on March 21, 1985 by Pandora Press in London. The story is a semi-autobiographical novel that closely follows the childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood of Jeanette, who, like Winterson, is adopted into a Pentecostal Evangelist household and raised in the church. As she grows, she comes to terms with her sexuality as a lesbian and faces condemnation and judgment from... Read Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit Summary


Publication year 1928Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Art, Values/Ideas: Literature, Identity: GenderTags Gender / Feminism, LGBTQ, Historical Fiction, Classic Fiction, British Literature, Modernism

Orlando: A Biography is a novel published in 1928 by the English author Virginia Woolf. It tells the story of Orlando, a member of the English nobility who is born a male in 16th century England. Around the age of 30, Orlando mysteriously changes into a woman and lives for centuries without visibly aging. Author Jeanette Winterson called Orlando “the first trans novel in English.” (Winterson, Jeanette. “’Different sex. Same person’: How Woolf’s Orlando became... Read Orlando Summary


Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Language, Society: Colonialism, Values/Ideas: Fate, Self Discovery, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance, LGBTQ

Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Marriage, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, LGBTQ

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Community, Identity: Gender, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Western, Action / Adventure, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Historical Fiction, LGBTQ, Gender / Feminism, Love / Sexuality, American Literature

Publication year 2023Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Self Discovery, Identity: Gender, Identity: Sexuality, Relationships: Family, Relationships: FriendshipTags Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, LGBTQ

Publication year 1929Genre Novel, FictionTags Psychological Fiction, Drama / Tragedy, LGBTQ

Passing is a riveting novel by African-American writer Nella Larsen. As a prominent figure in the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, Larsen’s work often dealt with what it meant to be black in America. One facet of the so-called “Negro problem,” and one that other writers tackled as well, was the concept of “passing,” which entailed black people pretending to be white, in order to avoid discrimination and gain access to the privilege of whiteness... Read Passing Summary


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Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Gender, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Good & EvilTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Fantasy, LGBTQ, Social Justice, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, African Literature, Black Lives Matter

Akwaeke Emezi’s Pet, published in 2019, is a Speculative Fiction/Fantasy novel intended for Young Adult readers. Named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time, Pet was also a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. The novel received the Stonewall Book Award, which recognizes achievement in LGBTQIA+ literature. Emezi, a non-binary Nigerian Igbo and Tamil writer who uses they/them pronouns, is also the author of two novels... Read Pet Summary


Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Hope, Self Discovery, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Art, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Relationships: FriendshipTags Realistic Fiction, LGBTQ, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Arts / Culture, Depression / Suicide, Grief / Death, Mental Illness

Picture Us in the Light is a young adult novel written by Kelly Loy Gilbert and published in 2018 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Gilbert is the author of three young adult novels, all of which focus on the young Asian American experience. Picture Us in the Light is written in the first-person perspective of protagonist Danny Cheng, but Gilbert includes flashbacks to China to connect Danny to a past his parents have... Read Picture Us in the Light Summary


Publication year 2022Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Win & Lose, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Art, Society: Colonialism, Society: Immigration, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Identity: RaceTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, LGBTQ

Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: FriendshipTags Realistic Fiction, Bullying, LGBTQ

Publication year 2004Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Society: War, Society: Politics & GovernmentTags Philosophy, Politics / Government, Gender / Feminism, LGBTQ

Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Self Discovery, Relationships: Teams, Identity: SexualityTags Romance, Sports, LGBTQ, Love / Sexuality

Publication year 2014Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags LGBTQ

Redefining Realness is the 2014 memoir of Janet Mock, the editor of People.com who came out in 2011 as a trans woman via a Marie Claire profile. The book is a work of creative nonfiction, chronicling Mock’s trajectory from a lonely and unhappy child who does not feel understood to a fiercely independent and self-motivated young adult. Since her disclosure in 2011, Mock has become a prominent trans advocate who people respect for her honesty... Read Redefining Realness Summary


Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: LoveTags LGBTQ, Romance

Red, White & Royal Blue is the debut novel of author Casey McQuiston. When first published in May of 2019, it created an immediate sensation and rose to the top of the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists and earned awards from NPR, Kirkus, Library Journal, and others.Red, White & Royal Blue is the story of a gay romance between FSOTUS (First Son of the United States) Alex Claremont-Diaz and Prince Henry, a... Read Red, White, and Royal Blue Summary


Publication year 1941Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Identity: Sexuality, Identity: Mental HealthTags Southern Gothic, LGBTQ, Love / Sexuality

Reflections in a Golden Eye (1941), Carson McCullers’s second novel, is set at an American Southern army base during the 1930s and portrays the lives of six interconnected people who are alienated from themselves and the world in different ways. Though the story involves murder, voyeurism, sadism, self-mutilation, and repressed gay desire, it examines these topics through the filter of quotidian domestic life. Reflections in a Golden Eye is one of the few works of... Read Reflections in a Golden Eye Summary


Publication year 1996Genre Play, FictionTags Poverty, LGBTQ

Jonathan Larson, who wrote the book, music, and lyrics, began working on the American rock opera Rent in 1989, when playwright Billy Aronson sought a collaborator for an adaptation of Giacomo Puccini’s opera La Bohème (1896) set in contemporary New York City. Later, Larson completed the project on his own with Aronson’s blessing and credited him for his contributions.Rent was an immediate hit, lauded for broaching the issue of HIV/AIDS, depicting LGBTQ+ identities, and including... Read Rent Summary


Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Identity: Gender, Identity: Sexuality, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Realistic Fiction, LGBTQ

Publication year 2002Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Relationships: Family, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Self Discovery, Identity: Sexuality, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / PerseveranceTags LGBTQ, Mental Illness, Humor

Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs was first published in 2002 as a memoir. After several of the figures it features sued for defamation and dishonesty of its claims, however, it was recategorized as a book. It can also be classified as a bildungsroman since it follows the adolescent growth of its narrator and protagonist. Running with Scissors was adapted into a feature film in 2006.This guide uses the 2002 Picador edition of the book.Content... Read Running With Scissors Summary


Publication year 2011Genre Play, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Relationships: Siblings, Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags Play: Drama, Play: Comedy / Satire, Fantasy, LGBTQ

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Self Discovery, Values/Ideas: Fate, Identity: Gender, Society: CommunityTags Fantasy, Historical Fiction, LGBTQ

Publication year 2020Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Relationships: Mothers, Society: ClassTags Realistic Fiction, Addiction / Substance Abuse, LGBTQ, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Publication year 2015Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Identity: Sexuality, Society: Community, Relationships: Siblings, Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Identity: Gender, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Romance, LGBTQ, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Music

Publication year 1984Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Relationships: Mothers, Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Identity: Sexuality, Identity: Race, Society: CommunityTags Race / Racism, LGBTQ, Social Justice, Gender / Feminism, Women's Studies (Nonfiction)

Publication year 2021Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Ide