12 LGBTQIA+ Novels to Celebrate Pride Month

June 23 2016

June is Pride Month and there are countless ways you can celebrate this year: marching in a pride parade; learning about the history of LGBTQIA+ civil rights (we recommend Lillian Faderman’s THE GAY REVOLUTION); supporting youth outreach centers; and reading great queer novels. Here are some of our favorites.

Aquamarine
by Carol Anshaw

After losing to her rival (and romantic interest) in the 1968 Olympics, Jesse is devastated. Fast-forward two decades, and the story’s narrative splits into three parallel versions of what Jesse’s present life could be: a small-town wife, a cosmopolitan woman in a lesbian relationship, or a divorcee with two children.

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Aquamarine
Carol Anshaw

After losing to her rival (and romantic interest) in the 1968 Olympics, Jesse is devastated. Fast-forward two decades, and the story’s narrative splits into three parallel versions of what Jesse’s present life could be: a small-town wife, a cosmopolitan woman in a lesbian relationship, or a divorcee with two children.

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Tender
by Belinda McKeon

When Catherine, a sheltered college student, and James, an adventurous, charismatic young artist, meet in 1990s Dublin, they become fast friends. But their initiation into young adulthood become heartbreaking: as Catherine develops a deep and obsessive love for James, he is secretly struggling to come to terms with his homosexuality.

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Tender
Belinda McKeon

When Catherine, a sheltered college student, and James, an adventurous, charismatic young artist, meet in 1990s Dublin, they become fast friends. But their initiation into young adulthood become heartbreaking: as Catherine develops a deep and obsessive love for James, he is secretly struggling to come to terms with his homosexuality.

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A Single Man
by Christopher Isherwood

In sunny 1960s California, George is a gay middle-aged English professor adjusting to solitude after the tragic death of his partner. Following him over the course of twenty-four hours, A SINGLE MAN sympathetically portrays a man who—behind his British reserve, tides of grief, and loneliness—loves being alive despite the everyday injustices he experiences.

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A Single Man
Christopher Isherwood

Delicately wrenching, mourning and memory, the story of a spouse, newly alone, and the uncertain life now before him. - Scott O'Connor

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Fingersmith
by Sarah Waters

Sue was raised by a transient family of petty thieves, known as fingersmiths, in the heart of a mean London slum. Now Sue is a young adult and they plan to seduce the naïve Maud Lily, a wealthy local gentlewoman, in order to gain access to her vast inheritance. But as Sue gets to know her helpless mark, she develops feelings for her in unexpected ways.

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Fingersmith
Sarah Waters

Read an LGBTQ+ Romance Novel

Orphan Sue Trinder is raised amongst “fingersmiths”—transient petty thieves. When a fingersmith known as Gentleman asks Sue to help him con a wealthy woman out of her inheritance, she never expects to pity her helpless mark, let alone come to care for her. But no one and nothing is as it seems in this Dickensian novel of thrills and reversals.

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The Left Hand of Darkness
by Ursula K. Le Guin

In this feminist science fiction novel, planet Gethen’s society of intersex people exist without any gender-based discrimination. But when Genly, an emissary from the human galaxy, arrives, he struggles to overcome his ingrained prejudices about the significance of “male” and “female.”

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The Left Hand of Darkness
Ursula K. Le Guin

The very best science fiction creates deeply immersive, textured worlds that at the same time reveal something about the way we live today. More than forty years after its publication, Ursula Le Guin’s novel still challenges our notions of gender and remains a landmark achievement in the annals of intellectual science fiction.

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Rubyfruit Jungle
by Rita Mae Brown

In this landmark coming-of-age novel, Molly Bolt is startlingly beautiful and possesses a crackling wit. Forging her own path in life and intent on being true to herself, Molly finds that women are drawn to her wherever she goes—and she refuses to apologize for loving them back.

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Rubyfruit Jungle
Rita Mae Brown

In this landmark coming-of-age novel, Molly Bolt is startlingly beautiful and possesses a crackling wit. Forging her own path in life and intent on being true to herself, Molly finds that women are drawn to her wherever she goes—and she refuses to apologize for loving them back.

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The American People
by Larry Kramer

THE AMERICAN PEOPLE is the heartbreaking, heroic, and radically reimagined fictional history of the United States. Early English settlers live as loving same-sex couples; Washington and Hamilton revel in unexpected intimacies; and a religious sect conspires with eugenicists and McCarthyites to exterminate homosexuals.

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The American People
Larry Kramer

THE AMERICAN PEOPLE is the heartbreaking, heroic, and radically reimagined fictional history of the United States. Early English settlers live as loving same-sex couples; Washington and Hamilton revel in unexpected intimacies; and a religious sect conspires with eugenicists and McCarthyites to exterminate homosexuals.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

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The Life and Death of Sophie Stark
by Anna North

This haunting story of fame, love, and legacy follows the propulsive rise of an imperfect artist who wreaks havoc on those closest to her through her art. Sophie Stark’s story is told from the perspective of the people who loved her most, including an ex-husband and an ex-girlfriend.

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The Life and Death of Sophie Stark
Anna North

Gripping and provocative, this is a haunting story of fame, love, and legacy told through the propulsive rise of an iconoclastic artist. As Lena puts it: “This novel is perceptive, subtle, funny and lingers in unexpected ways. The analysis of a woman who puts her art above all else is equal parts inspiration and warning story.”

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Stone Butch Blues
by Leslie Feinberg

Written by the late Leslie Feinberg, a noted activist on transgender issues, STONE BUTCH BLUES is one of the finest accounts ever written about the transgendered experience. It follows Jess, who struggles with the complexities of being a trans person in a world that demands simple representations and explanations of gender.

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Stone Butch Blues
Leslie Feinberg

Written by the late Leslie Feinberg, a noted activist on transgender issues, STONE BUTCH BLUES is one of the finest accounts ever written about the transgendered experience. It follows Jess, who struggles with the complexities of being a trans person in a world that demands simple representations and explanations of gender.

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Close
Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932
by Francine Prose

Paris in the 1920s shimmered with excitement, ambition, passion, and freedom. The Chameleon Club was at the heart of it: filled with expats, artists, and libertines looking to express their true selves. So when Lou Villars, an extraordinary athlete and scandalous cross-dressing lesbian walks in, she knows she’s found her home.

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Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932
Francine Prose

Paris in the 1920s shimmered with excitement, ambition, passion, and freedom. The Chameleon Club was at the heart of it: filled with expats, artists, and libertines looking to express their true selves. So when Lou Villars, an extraordinary athlete and scandalous cross-dressing lesbian walks in, she knows she’s found her home.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

5 Poignant Novels about the Search for Family and Belonging

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Close
The Days of Anna Madrigal
by Armistead Maupin

Anna Madrigal is the legendary 92-year-old transgender landlady of 28 Barbary Lane who has just embarked on a road trip that will take her deep into her past. Setting out in a beat-up RV with a close friend, she travels to the lonely Nevada town where the 16-year-old boy she once was ran away from home.

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The Days of Anna Madrigal
Armistead Maupin

Anna Madrigal is the legendary 92-year-old transgender landlady of 28 Barbary Lane who has just embarked on a road trip that will take her deep into her past. Setting out in a beat-up RV with a close friend, she travels to the lonely Nevada town where the 16-year-old boy she once was ran away from home.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

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Close
All I Love and Know
by Judith Frank

Until now, Matthew and Daniel have enjoyed a quiet domestic life together. But when Daniel’s brother and sister-in-law die tragically, they are asked to take custody of their two young nephews. During the challenging adoption process, Matthew and Daniel face doubt from conservative family members and discriminatory legal struggles, which strains their relationship.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
All I Love and Know
Judith Frank

Until now, Matthew and Daniel have enjoyed a quiet domestic life together. But when Daniel’s brother and sister-in-law die tragically, they are asked to take custody of their two young nephews. During the challenging adoption process, Matthew and Daniel face doubt from conservative family members and discriminatory legal struggles, which strains their relationship.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

5 Poignant Novels about the Search for Family and Belonging

By Helen Fisher | January 26, 2021

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By Courtney Smith | January 22, 2021

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Readers’ Choice: Your Favorite Reads of 2020 (and What to Read Next)

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 19, 2021

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