Pride

Pride Month Reading List: New Books by LGBTQ+ Authors

Kristin Arnett's With Teeth, R.O. Kwon's Kink: Stories, and More
June 8, 2021
Lee Lai's blue-toned graphic novel Stone Fruit is available at Fantagraphics.

Working your way through the queer lit canon is a noble cause, but if you're overwhelmed with options and are looking for a fresh read for Pride month, start with something released in 2021 (or set to come out by the end of the year) from your nearest bookseller.

On the graphic novel front, we're picking up The Secret to Superhuman Strength by Dykes to Watch Out For progenitor and Fun Home author Alison Bechdel, in which the cartoonist regales her lifelong fascination with fitness crazes of the past and present, concluding that, for her, strength comes from facing her interdependence with others. Lee Lai's somber-but-heartfelt-looking debut Stone Fruit, a blue-toned watercolor about queer couple Bron and Ray who grapple with their depleting emotional intimacy just as they're forming a bond with their niece, is also on our list.

If you're on the hunt for a novel novel, spring for Kristin Arnett's With Teeth. Like her terrifically weird debut, Mostly Dead Things, the story takes place in Florida, where a woman who yearns for a loving queer family finds herself instead with a son who scares her and a wife who's never around.

Over in the short-fiction camp, the R.O. Kwon- and Garth Greenwell-edited anthology Kink: Stories has some gems, many of them centering LGBTQ+ characters. (We recommend flipping to the one by Carmen Maria Machado first; it's a gay macabre delight.)

Want more options? The Seattle Public Library has its own list of fiction picks for Pride month, including André Aciman's Find Me, Zaina Arafat's You Exist Too Much, and K-Ming Chang's Bestiary. Plus, be sure to stop by the Capitol Hill newsstand and bottle shop Big Little News to pick up some "queer-centric titles and goods" newly added to their shelves, from books to zines to tote bags.