Archives de catégorie : LGBT+

AND THEN HE SANG A LULLABY d’Ani Kayode Somtochukwu

Captivating, passionate, and utterly heartbreaking, Ani Kayode Somtochukwu’s debut novel AND THEN HE SANG A LULLABY is the story of two young gay men in Nigeria who are determined to love each other despite all that stands in their way.

AND THEN HE SANG A LULLABY
by Ani Kayode Somtochukwu
Roxane Gay Books/Grove Atlantic, June 2023

The first debut discovered in Roxane Gay Books’ open submission period, AND THEN HE SANG A LULLABY is an arresting, beautiful, and timely novel by twenty-three-year-old Nigerian writer Ani Kayode Somtochukwu, who here announces himself as a voice to watch. August is a God-fearing track star who has left Lagos and the expectations of his overbearing sisters back home. He carries their expectations, the shame of facing himself, and the haunting memory of a mother he never knew. It’s his first semester of uni in Enugu State and he’s making his way, finding friends and maybe even love, but there’s one problem: he can’t stop thinking about Segun, an openly gay student who works at the computer lab on campus. Segun has been wounded in so many ways and is reluctant to open himself up to August, wanting only to be with a man who is comfortable in his own skin, who will see and hold and love Segun, exactly as he is.
After Segun is brutally attacked by his roommates for being gay, August cares for his lover during his recovery as best he can, while grappling with his own fears. Their relationship grows into a comfortable intimacy that defies the violence around them. But there is only so long Segun can stand being loved behind closed doors, while August lives an entirely different life beyond the world they’ve created for themselves. And when a law is passed criminalizing gay marriage, August and Segun’s love is tested like never before.
AND THEN HE SANG A LULLABY is an aching story about all the ways your heart can break even when you find the courage to love. A necessary and urgent new voice, this debut is not to be missed.

Ani Kayode Somtochukwu is an award-winning Nigerian writer and queer liberation activist. His work interrogates themes of queer identity, resistance and liberation and has appeared in literary magazines across Africa, Europe, Asia, and North America. His work has received wide recognition, having been longlisted for the 2017 Awele Creative Trust Prize and the 2020 Afritondo Short Story Prize. He was shortlisted for the 2017 Erbacce Prize for Poetry, the 2020 ALCS Tom-Gallon Trust Award, and the 2020 Toyin Falola Prize. The manuscript for this novel was awarded the 2021 James Currey Prize for African Literature.

BEST MEN de Sid Karger

A romcom that puts a gay spin on classic favorites like Bridesmaids or My Best Friend’s Wedding.

BEST MEN
by Sid Karger
Berkley, Spring 2023
(via Writers House)

Max Moody is in his 30s and thinks he has everything figured out, not the least of which is the best-of-best-friends a gay guy could ask for: Paige. She grew up with Max. She can light up any party. She finishes his sentences. She is always a reliable splunch (NOT brunch) partner. But then everything in Max’s life is turned upside down when Paige announces some big news: she’s engaged! And it turns out there’s not just one new man in Paige’s life… There are two. The groom, who’s a perfectly nice guy. And his charming, younger, and…really (really) hot gay brother, Chasten. As Paige’s wedding draws closer, Max and Chasten realize they’re like oil and water, yet they still have to figure out how to co-exist in Paige’s life while not making her wedding all about them. But can the tiny spark between them elevate their best man roles in a wedding to the best man in each other’s lives?

Sid Karger has been a contributing writer for SNL and Billy on the Street, and has also written and directed for Comedy Central, MTV, IFC, FX, NBC, CBS, SyFy, Sundance, BET, AMC and truTV. BEST MEN is his debut novel.

HOMEBODIES de Tembe Denton-Hurst

HOMEBODIES follows a Black lesbian writer whose career and relationship are in jeopardy after she rekindles an old flame and her manifesto about being a Black woman in media goes viral.

HOMEBODIES
by Tembe Denton-Hurst
Harper, July 2023
(via Sterling Lord Literistic)

Mickey Heyward made it: she’s a Black woman succeeding in the white world of media. She’s in a relationship with another Black woman that’s comfortable, if not exactly fireworks. But when her media company merges, Mickey is targeted for microaggressions and unceremoniously fired.
Shaken and questioning her life without her fancy job title, Mickey returns home to Maryland. It’s the first time she’s been home in six years, and all of the mess she left behind is waiting for her, including her father’s new family and her old flame Tiana—a basketball star whose dreams were dashed after a life-changing injury.
And then there’s Mickey, who’s suddenly no better than anyone else and forced to face the person she could’ve been. When she posts a letter to the Black woman her company hired to replace her that goes viral, and remembers what real fireworks feel like after a night with Tiana, her Instagram-perfect life is upended. But maybe Mickey was looking to make some changes.

Tembe Denton-Hurst is a staff writer at New York Magazine’s The Strategist, covering beauty, lifestyle, and books; she previously wrote about beauty, gender, and culture for NYLON, them., and Elle. When she’s not writing, Tembe can be found on her couch in Queens where she lives with her partner and their two cats, Stella and Dakota.

CITY OF LAUGHTER de Temim Fruchter

A rich and riveting work that marries centuries-old folklore to 21st-century queer literary fiction, CITY OF LAUGHTER spans four generations of Jewish women who are bound by blood, half-hidden secrets, and the fantastical visitation of a shapeshifting stranger over the course of 100 years

CITY OF LAUGHTER
by Temim Fruchter
Grove Press, Spring 2023

The exciting debut of a Rona Jaffe Award winner, CITY OF LAUGHTER is a book for the reader of Orlando, Jeanette Winterson, Andrea Lawlor, and the dog-eared Bashevis Singer paperback she still returns to after her first gay kiss. It tangles beautifully with Jewish spirituality and generational silence, with a history of displacement and a present life half-lived for fear of invoking ancestral judgment—and young queer people have a way of upsetting the familial applecart…
Ropshitz, Poland, was once known as the City of Laughter, and as this story opens an 18th century badchan, a holy jester whose job is to make the bride and groom laugh on their wedding day, receives a visitation from a mysterious stranger—bringing the laughter that the people of Ropshitz desperately need.
In the present day, Shiva Margolin, a young woman named for a mourning rite, is a graduate student in Jewish folklore getting over the heartbreak of her first big queer love amid mourning the death of her beloved father. She struggles to connect with her mother, who harbors secrets and barriers that Shiva can’t break. When the opportunity arises for her to visit Poland on a half-formed research trip, she takes it; she’s interested in her mysterious matriarchal line, in particular Mira Wollman, the great-grandmother about whom no one speaks, and who left a piece of herself behind in Poland when she emigrated. But as in most folklore, the answers to Shiva’s questions won’t come so easily. Zigzagging between our known universe and a tapestry of real and invented Jewish folklore, CITY OF LAUGHTER is epic and sharply intimate, both fantastical and hyperreal.

Temim Fruchter was raised in a Modern Orthodox Jewish household, and her faith in communal experience and the spirit world remains central to her identity; this novel was inspired by her own great-grandmother, who was born in Ropshitz. Temim holds an MFA in fiction from the University of Maryland, and was previously a founding member and drummer for The Shondes, a feminist punk band. She has received fellowships from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Vermont Studio Center, first prize in short fiction from both American Literary Review and New South, the 2020 Jane Hoppen Residency, and a 2020 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award. She lives in Brooklyn.

THE COMEDIENNE’S GUIDE TO PRIDE de Hayli Thomson

A funny, thoughtful YA debut about going after what you really want and letting people love who you really are, perfect for fans of Jaye Robin Brown’s Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit.

THE COMEDIENNE’S GUIDE TO PRIDE
by Hayli Thomson
‎ Page Street Kids, June 2022
(via JABberwocky)

Wicked funny and hella gay, it’s time for Taylor Parker to come out about a lot of things. Taylor Parker has always been a funny girl―but when she is accepted as a finalist for a diverse writers’ internship at Saturday Night Live, it turns her life upside down. If she wants a shot at winning in a little more than a month, Taylor will have to come out about both of her secrets: She wants to be a comedian . . . and she’s a lesbian.
With a mom who gave up a career in comedy to raise her, and a comedian dad who left for a younger woman, working in comedy is a sore subject in Taylor’s house. To keep her secret under wraps, she sneaks out to do improv and hides her sketches under the bed, and to distract from her anxiety about the competition, Taylor
frequents Salem’s Museum of Witchcraft to pine for Abigail Williams from the back row.
It’s at the Museum of Witchcraft where Taylor falls deeper in love with the girl who plays Abigail Williams―Charlotte Grey, an out and proud lesbian at Nathaniel Hawthorne High. Charlotte radiates so much confidence in her acting and queerness that Taylor can’t resist her. So when Charlotte reaches out for help on a school project, Taylor readily agrees. As they spend more time together, Taylor sees what living her truth and pursuing her dreams could bring her, but Charlotte can’t understand why someone as funny as Taylor wouldn’t go all out to make the most of her opportunities. To live up to her own comedy dreams and become the person she wants to be, Taylor will have to find the confidence to tell everyone exactly who she is and what she wants.

Hayli Thomson lives in Sydney, Australia, and writes novels about candid characters for anybody who ever watched Jo March leap a fence and longed to be her best friend. Bizarrely, during her teen years, Hayli was afflicted with a “headache” every third Monday in September, when she was left with no option but to stay home from school and watch her favorite female comedians collect Emmys live on the other side of the world.