Queer Women Books Out In May!

Riptide Summer by Lisa Freeman (YA)

The year is 1973, and Nani is firmly established as one of the top girls in the State Beach lineup. She’s looking forward to a long, relaxing summer of days spent in the sun with her surfer boyfriend, and to secret nights with Rox, the lineup’s queen supreme.

But when surf god Nigel breaks her heart, and Rox reveals a secret that tears their friendship—and the lineup—apart, Nani is left to pick up the pieces. If she can’t recruit new Honey Girls to the lineup, the friends will lose their reputation as the beach’s top babes.

With the summer spiraling out of control, Nani starts to question everything she’s always believed about how to rule the beach. Maybe it’s time to leave the rules behind, starting with the most important one:

Girls don’t surf.

What the Mouth Wants: A Memoir of Food, Love and Belonging by Monica Meneghetti (Memoir)

The redefinition of family values as seen from the eyes of a polyamorous, queer Italian Canadian obsessed with food. This mouthwatering, intimate, and sensual memoir traces Monica Meneghetti’s unique life journey through her relationship with food, family and love. As the youngest child of a traditional Italian-Catholic immigrant family, Monica learns the intimacy of the dinner table and the ritual of meals, along with the requirements of conformity both at the table and in life. Monica is thirteen when her mother is diagnosed with breast cancer and undergoes a mastectomy. When her mother dies three years later, Monica considers the existence of her own breasts and her emerging sexuality in the context of grief and the disintegration of her sense of family. As Monica becomes an adult, she discovers a part of her self that rebels against the rigours of her traditional upbringing. And as the layers of her sexuality are revealed she begins to understand that like herbs infusing a sauce with flavour; her differences add a delicious complexity to her life. But in coming to terms with her place in the margins of the margins, Monica must also face the challenge of coming out while living in a small town, years before same-sex marriage and amendments to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms created safer spaces for queers. Through risk, courage and heartbreak, she ultimately redefines and recreates family and identity according to her own alternative vision.

The Gift by Barbara Browning (Literary Fiction)

In the midst of Occupy, Barbara Andersen begins spamming people indiscriminately with ukulele covers of sentimental songs. A series of inappropriate intimacies ensues, including an erotically charged correspondence and then collaboration with an extraordinarily gifted and troubled musician living in Germany.

Large Animals: Stories by Jess Arndt (Short Stories)

JESS ARNDT’s striking debut collection confronts what it means to have a body. Boldly straddling the line between the imagined and the real, the masculine and the feminine, the knowable and the impossible, these twelve stories are an exhilarating and profoundly original expression of voice. In “Jeff,” Lily Tomlin confuses Jess for Jeff, instigating a dark and hilarious identity crisis. In “Together,” a couple battles a mysterious STD that slowly undoes their relationship, while outside a ferocious weed colonizes their urban garden. And in “Contrails,” a character on the precipice of a seismic change goes on a tour of past lovers, confronting their own reluctance to move on.

Arndt’s subjects are canny observers even while they remain dangerously blind to their own truest impulses. Often unnamed, these narrators challenge the limits of language―collectively, their voices create a transgressive new formal space that makes room for the queer, the nonconforming, the undefined. And yet, while they crave connection, love, and understanding, they are constantly at risk of destroying themselves. Large Animals pitches toward the heart, pushing at all our most tender parts―our sex organs, our geography, our words, and the tendons and nerves of our culture.

Tremontaine (Tremontaine Season One) created by Ellen Kushner (Fantasy)

Welcome to Tremontaine, the prequel to Ellen Kushner’s beloved Riverside series that began with Swordspoint! A Duchess whose beauty is matched only by her cunning; her husband’s dangerous affair with a handsome scholar; a foreigner in a playground of swordplay and secrets; and a mathematical genius on the brink of revolution—when long-buried lies threaten to come to light, betrayal and treachery know no bounds with stakes this high. Mind your manners and enjoy the chocolate in a dance of sparkling wit and political intrigue.

Originally presented serially in 13 episodes by Serial Box, this omnibus collects all installments of Tremontaine Season One into one edition.

Things to Do When You’re Goth in the Country: And Other Stories by Chavisa Woods (Short Stories)

Things to Do When You’re Goth in the Country paints a vivid image of the bizarre characters that live on the fringes in America’s heartland. They don’t do what you expect them to do. These aren’t typical stories of triumph over adversity, but something completely other. It’s “Murakami meets the meth heads” says National Book Foundation award winner Samantha Hunt. “Reader, you have never before seen anything like this.”

The eight stories in this literary collection present a brilliantly surreal and sardonic landscape and language, and offer a periscope into the heart of the rural poor. Among the singular characters, you’ll meet: a “zombie” who secretly resides in a local cemetery; a queer teen goth who is facing ostracism from her small town evangelical church; a woman who leaves New York City once a year to visit her little brothers in the backwoods Midwest, only to discover they’ve been having trouble with some meth dealers and UFOs that trouble the area. In the backdrop of all the stories are the endless American wars and occupations, overshadowed, for these characters, by the many early deaths of their friends and family, that occur regularly for a whole host of reasons.

Pride & Joy: LGBTQ Artists, Icons and Everyday Heroes by Kathleen Archambeau (Nonfiction)

Stories of success, happiness and hope from the LGBT community

Stories that comprise the best of LGBT historyPride and Joy: LGBTQ Artists, Icons and Everyday Heroes tells the stories of queer citizens of the world living OUT and proud happy, fulfilling, successful lives. Diverse and global. Famous and unsung. There is a story here for everyone in the LGBT community who has ever questioned their sexual orientation or gender identity, or discovered it.
Award-winning writer and longtime LGBTQ activist Kathleen Archambeau tells the untold stories from diverse LGBT community voices around the corner or around the world. Not like the depressing, sinister, shadowy stories of the past, this book highlights queer people living open, happy, fulfilling and successful lives.

The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julie Ember (Fantasy YA)

Having long wondered what lives beyond the ice shelf, nineteen-year-old mermaid Ersel learns of the life she wants when she rescues and befriends Ragna, a shield-maiden stranded on the merfolk’s fortress. But when Ersel’s childhood friend and suitor catches them together, he gives Ersel a choice: Say goodbye to Ragna or face justice at the hands of the glacier’s brutal king.
Determined to forge a different fate, Ersel seeks help from the divine Loki. But such deals are never straightforward, and the outcome sees her exiled from the only home and protection she’s known. To save herself from perishing in the barren, underwater wasteland and be reunited with the human she’s come to love, Ersel must try to outsmart the God of Lies.

[Warning for Seafarer’s Kiss: the villain (the God of Lies) is nonbinary and is the only nonbinary representation in the book.]

How To Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake (YA)

    Grace, tough and wise, has nearly given up on wishes, thanks to a childhood spent with her unpredictable, larger-than-life mother. But this summer, Grace meets Eva, a girl who believes in dreams, despite her own difficult circumstances.
One fateful evening, Eva climbs through a window in Grace’s room, setting off a chain of stolen nights on the beach. When Eva tells Grace that she likes girls, Grace’s world opens up and she begins to believe in happiness again.
How to Make a Wish is an emotionally charged portrait of a mother and daughter’s relationship and a heartfelt story about two girls who find each other at the exact right time.

Nico & Tucker by Rachel Gold (Fiction, NA)

The decision can’t be put off any longer.

A medical crisis turns Nico’s body into a battleground, crushing Nico under conflicting family pressures. Having lived genderqueer for years, Nico is used to getting strong reactions (and uninvited opinions!) from everyone, but it is Tucker’s reaction that hurts the most.

Jess Tucker didn’t mean to hurt Nico, but she panicked.

And after the worst year of her life, she’s hanging on by a thread. Forget recovery time and therapy, she needs to put the past behind her and be normal again. But when her relationship with Nico becomes more than she can handle, she cuts and runs.

In this riveting sequel to Just Girls, comes a love story about bodies, healing, and knowing who you really are.

Witches, Princesses, and Women at Arms: Erotic Lesbian Fairy Tales edited by Sacchi Green (Erotica)

In this sexy anthology of fantastical short stories, women are no longer just damsels in distress. Instead, strong, passionate females race to the rescue of their female lovers in this new collection of erotic fantasy.

The stories within Witches, Princesses, and Women at Arms are masterfully crafted to lead your mind down unexpected paths to your favorite fantasy adventure, from the classic fairy-tales of Little Red Riding Hood to Rapunzel to the modern marvel of Game of Thrones. They will wash over you in an epic sea of words meant to entice and embolden your inner princess, heroine, or both.

Enter a time where you may be abducted by bandits or seduced by witches one second and find your heart spellbound by a dryad the next. But be warned, gentle traveler! With this new, provocative collection edited by Sacchi Green, the stories may begin with “Once upon a time”, but they will leave you coming back, time and time again.

Rough Patch by Nicole Markotic (YA)

When fifteen-year-old Keira starts high school, she almost wishes she could write “Hi, my name is Keira, and I’m bisexual!” on her nametag. Needless to say, she’s actually terrified to announce—let alone fully explore—her sexuality. Quirky but shy, loyal yet a bit zany, Keira navigates her growing interest in kissing both girls and boys while not alienating her BFF, boy-crazy Sita. As the two acclimate to their new high school, they manage to find lunch tablemates and make lists of the school’s cutest boys. But Keira is caught “in between”—unable to fully participate, yet too scared to come clean.

She’s also feeling the pressure of family: parents who married too young and have differing parenting styles; a younger sister in a wheelchair from whom adults expect either too little or too much; and her popular older brother who takes pleasure in taunting Keira. She finds solace in preparing for the regional finals of figure skating, a hobby she knows is geeky and “het girl” yet instills her with confidence. But when she meets a girl named Jayne who seems perfect for her, she isn’t so confident she can pull off her charade any longer.

Rough Patch is an honest, heart-wrenching novel about finding your place in the world, and about how to pick yourself up after taking a spill.

Notes of a Crocodile by Qiu Miaojin (Fiction)

Set in the post-martial-law era of late-1980s Taipei, Notes of a Crocodile is a coming-of-age story of queer misfits discovering love, friendship, and artistic affinity while hardly studying at Taiwan’s most prestigious university. Told through the eyes of an anonymous lesbian narrator nicknamed Lazi, this cult classic is a postmodern pastiche of diaries, vignettes, mash notes, aphorisms, exegesis, and satire by an incisive prose stylist and major countercultural figure.

Afflicted by her fatalistic attraction to Shui Ling, an older woman, Lazi turns for support to a circle of friends that includes a rich kid turned criminal and his troubled, self-destructive gay lover, as well as a bored, mischievous overachiever and her alluring slacker artist girlfriend.

Illustrating a process of liberation from the strictures of gender through radical self-inquiry, Notes of a Crocodile is a poignant masterpiece of social defiance by a singular voice in contemporary Chinese literature.

Birdy Flynn by Helen Donohoe (YA)

Birdy Flynn carries secrets. There is the secret of Birdy’s dead grandmother’s cat. How the boys tortured it and Birdy had to drown it in the river to stop it from suffer-ing. There’s the secret of Mrs. Cope, the teacher who touched Birdy. The secret of the gypsy girl at school who Birdy likes. But she can’t tell anyone about any of these secrets. Because Birdy’s other secret is that while she fights as good as the boys, she is a girl, and she doesn’t always feel like a girl is supposed to. So Birdy holds on to her secrets and tries to become what others want, even it if means losing herself. BIRDY FLYNN is a beautifully nuanced and deeply felt portrayal of a girl growing up amid an imperfect family, and an imperfect world, to become the person she was meant to be.

Not One Day by Anne Garréta (Fiction)

Not One Day begins with a maxim: “Not one day without a woman.” What follows is an intimate, erotic, and sometimes bitter recounting of loves and lovers past, breathtakingly written, exploring the interplay between memory, fantasy, and desire.

“For life is too short to submit to reading poorly written books and sleeping with women one does not love.”

Anne Garréta, author of the groundbreaking novel Sphinx (Deep Vellum, 2015), is a member of the renowned Oulipo literary group. Not One Day won the Prix Médicis in 2002, recognizing Garréta as an author “whose fame does not yet match their talent.”

Knit One, Girl Two by Shira Glassman (Romance) (only $1.99!)

Small-batch independent yarn dyer Clara Ziegler is eager to brainstorm new color combinations–if only she could come up with ideas she likes as much as last time! When she sees Danielle Solomon’s paintings of Florida wildlife by chance at a neighborhood gallery, she finds her source of inspiration. Outspoken, passionate, and complicated, Danielle herself soon proves even more captivating than her artwork…

Fluffy Jewish f/f contemporary set in the author’s childhood home of South Florida.

Queer Women Books Out This Month!

See more lesbian and bi women new releases at Women in Words, or more queer new releases at Lambda Literary.

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