Most Anticipated LGBT (Relevant) Books of Fall 2010
Author: Antonio Gonzalez Cerna
September 1, 2010
UPDATE 9/13/10: Fall 2010 signals the publication of several high-profile books, including one we’ve been waiting for since February. From a few well-known authors (Emma Donoghue), to a relative unknown (Tristan Garcia), to a Grammy winner (Ricky Martin), the fall book line up is all over the map.
Here are 12 books (in no particular order) that we expect will make a big impact this autumn.
1. Mary Ann in Autumn by Armistead Maupin (Harper)
After 20 years away, Mary Ann Singleton (now 57 years old) returns to San Francisco with news she can only share with her pal Michael Tolliver—who’s happily married to a younger man.
By the way, did you know there’s a musical of “Tales from the City” coming out in 2011 in SF with a score and lyrics by Jake Shears and John Garden of Scissor Sisters!?! Now you know. (Nov. 2010)
2. Hate: A Romance by Tristan Garcia, trans. Marion Duvert, Lorin Stein (Faber and Faber)
Winner of France’s prestigious literary award Prix de Flore, Hate.
Previously titled The Best Part of Men, recieved a tepid review from PW but with a cover like this, who can resist picking up this new translation? (Nov. 2010)
3. Inferno (A Poet’s Novel) by Eileen Myles (OR Books)
If the glowing reviews from John Waters, Alison Bechdel, and John Ashbery don’t convince you then perhaps you need to read the first two sentences:
“My English professor’s ass was so beautiful. It was perfect and full as she stood at the board writing some important word.” (Nov. 2010)
4. By Nightfall by Michael Cunningham (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux)
Despite making Anis Shivani’s list of Most Overrated Contemporary Authors, Cunningham’s talent cannot be overlooked, even when he’s writing about the existential crises of wealthy New Yorkers.
On a side note, LLF contributor, June Thomas submitted her review for this book two months in advance! (Oct. 2010)
5. Me by Ricky Martin (Celebra)
According to the press release, Martin’s memoir, “deals with his experiences in the renowned boy band Menudo, the challenges of increased fame that came with the Livin’ La Vida Loca phenomenon, his continued growth as a musician, and his unique personal connection with millions of fans around the world.” (Nov. 2010)
6. Grant Wood: A Life by R. Tripp Evans (Knopf)
The artist behind one of America’s most famous paintings, American Gothic, was much more complicated than the image of simple, decent, homespun Americana that his paintings reflected. (Oct. 2010)
7. Fever of the Bone by Val McDermid (Harper)
The sixth in the Tony Hill mystery series received a starred review and high praise from Publishers Weekly. “McDermid demonstrates once again that she’s as adept with matters of the heart as she is with murder.” (Sept. 2010)
8. Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture by Jonathan D. Katz and David C. Ward (Smithsonian Books)
The companion volume to an exhibition of the same name at the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, highlights the often overlooked influence of gay and lesbian artists on American art and portraiture through 140 full-color illustrations, drawings, and portraits by leading American artists from Eakins, to O’Keeffe, to Rauschenberg, to Warhol, to Mapplethorpe.
9. Room by Emma Donoghue (Little, Brown)
Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Donoghue’s new novel tackles kidnapping, sociopaths, and child psychology.
PW writes: “While there have been several true-life stories of women and children held captive, little has been written about the pain of re-entry, and Donoghue’s bravado in investigating that potentially terrifying transformation grants the novel a frightening resonance that will keep readers rapt.” (Sept. 2010)
10. Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi (Atria)
The pub date for this embargoed book keeps changing (we’ve been waiting since February 2010—and we’re not sure if this is the final cover pictured above), but according to Amazon, de Rossi “shares her struggles with eating disorders and her sexuality in this riveting memoir.”
Back in February, Portia confirmed her book was “definitely not self-help.” So what is it about? According to The Advocate, “the story starts in 1997 (when her acting career took off) and goes through 2004 (when she began dating DeGeneres), with flashbacks to her childhood.” (Nov. 2010)
11. The Sixties: Diaries: 1960-1969 by Christopher Isherwood (Harper)
The follow-up to Lost Years explores Isherwood’s friendships with Francis Bacon, David Hockney, Richard Burton, and Gore Vidal—and continues the story of his romance with Don Bachardy, 30 years his junior. Oh, and did we mention that Christopher Hitchens wrote the forward? (Nov. 2010)
12. The Petting Zoo: A Novel by Jim Carroll (Viking)
Caroll’s sudden death last fall shocked many, and now a year later Viking has published his novel in progress, The Petting Zoo, about an artist who grapples with fame, sexuality and spirituality amidst the budding 1980’s New York art scene. Early reviews have been mixed, but this promises to be a powerful read.
Notable Books To Watch For:
Gay Bar by Will Fellows and Helen P. Branson (Univ of Wisconsin Press)
Though at the time California statutes prohibited homosexuals from gathering in bars, in 1957 a divorced grandmother opened up one of the country’s first gay bars and wrote a memoir about it. In this new reissue, Will Fellows provides context and perspective to Helen P. Branson’s original story. (Oct. 2010)
Take Me Home by Brian Leung (Harper)
“Brian Leung’s Take Me Home is powerfully imagined. He vividly and precisely renders pioneer life …the unforgiving landscape of an 1880s coalmining town, a time when we were all immigrants in search of a place we could call home.” —Helena María Viramontes (Oct. 2010)
Jumpstart the World by Catherine Ryan Hyde (Knopf)
Sixteen-year-old Ellie falls in love her new next door neighbor, an older trans man, in this thoughtful young adult tale that promises to be equally enjoyable for adults. (Oct. 2010)
Dear John, I Love Jane: Women Write about Leaving Men for Women edited by Candace Walsh and Laura Andre (Seal Press)
The subtitle says it all. (Oct. 2010)
Finishing the Hat by Stephen Sondheim (Knopf)
Theater lovers will rejoice over Sondheim’s catalogue (between 1954 and 1981) with “candid and illuminating notes on how the verbal side of his genius found its form.” Photographs throughout. (Oct. 2010)