April 2017 Selection: Before Buffy, before Twilight, before Octavia Butler's Fledgling, there was The Gilda Stories, Jewelle Gomez's sexy vampire novel. This remarkable novel begins in 1850s Louisiana, where Gilda escapes slavery and learns about freedom while working in a brothel. After being initiated into eternal life as one who "shares the blood" by two women there, Gilda spends the next two hundred years searching for a place to call home. An instant lesbian classic when it was first published in 1991, The Gilda Stories has endured as an auspiciously prescient book in its explorations of blackness, radical ecology, re-definitions of family, and yes, the erotic potential of the vampire story.
March 2017 Selection: Dispatches from Lesbian America is a collection of more than forty works of short fiction and memoir from contemporary writers, some newly emerging and some well-known. Unique in recent lesbian anthologies, these thoughtful stories address themes meaningful to us in the modern world. Featured Authors: Charlene Allen, Mari Alschuler, Joan Annsfire, Roxanne Ansolabehere, Terry Baum, Xequina Maria Berber, Elizabeth Bernays, Lynn Brown, Giovanna Capone, Susan Clements, Elana Dykewomon, Haley Fedor, Joanne Fleisher, Pippa Fleming, Judy Grahn, Felicia Hayes, Lois Rita Helmbold, Chante Shirelle Holsey, Toke Hoppenbrouwers, Happy/L.A. Hyder, Bev Jafek, Bev Jo, Lenn Keller, Heidi LaMoreaux, Alison Laurie, Mo Markham, Arielle Nyx McKee, Heal McKnight, Helena Montgomery, Dr. Bonnie J. Morris, Ashley Obinwanne, Artemis Passionflower, Tonya Primm, Francesca Roccaforte, Lilith Rogers, Ruth A. Rouff, Heath Atom Russell, Barbara Ruth, Mary Saracino, Cheela "Rome" Smith, Tess Tabak, and Polly Taylor.
February 2017 Selection: After 15 years of designing more than 1,500 book jackets at Knopf for such authors as Anne Rice and Michael Chrichton, Kidd has crafted an affecting an entertaining novel set at a state university in the late 1950s that is both slap-happily funny and heartbreakingly sad. The Cheese Monkeys is a college novel that takes place over a tightly written two semesters. The book is set in the late 1950s at State U, where the young narrator, has decided to major in art, much to his parents dismay. It is an autobiographical, coming-of-age novel which tells universally appealing stories of maturity, finding a calling in life, and being inspired by a loving, demanding, and highly eccentric teacher.
January 2017 Selection: The Pink Marine is the story-full of hilarity and heartbreak-of how a teenage boy who struggles with self-acceptance and doesn't fit the traditional definition of masculinity finds acceptance and self-worth in Marine Corps boot camp. When Greg Cope White's best friend tells him he's spending his summer in Marine Corps boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina, all Greg hears is 'summer' and 'camp'. Despite dire warnings from his friend, Greg vows to join him in recruit training. He's eighteen, underweight, he's never run a mile-and he's gay. Greg's sheltered life hadn't prepared him for military service. A prince out of water, he packed five suitcases since he'd never been away from home for thirteen weeks. The U.S. Marines stripped him from all of that, shaved his head and put a rifle in his hands. At first he struggles to keep up, and afraid his secret will be discovered. But midway through, the desire to survive and become a Marine trumps fear. He learns that everyone, just like in the real world, comes into the service feeling 'different'; possibly prejudged for the color of their skin, their weight, their poverty--some have even chosen boot camp over jail. Can a flighty, 112-pound, unmanly Texan transform into one of the few, the proud, the Marines? Will Greg even survive?
November 2016 Selection: "Dora: A Headcase" is a contemporary coming-of-age story based on Freud's famous case study--retold and revamped through Dora's point of view, with shotgun blasts of dark humor and sexual play.
Ida needs a shrink . . . or so her philandering father thinks, and he sends her to a Seattle psychiatrist. Immediately wise to the head games of her new shrink, whom she nicknames Siggy, Ida begins a coming-of-age journey. At the beginning of her therapy, Ida, whose alter ego is Dora, and her small posse of pals engage in "art attacks." Ida's in love with her friend Obsidian, but when she gets close to intimacy, she faints or loses her voice. Ida and her friends hatch a plan to secretly film Siggy and make an experimental art film. But something goes wrong at a crucial moment--at a nearby hospital Ida finds her father suffering a heart attack. While Ida loses her voice, a rough cut of her experimental film has gone viral, and unethical media agents are hunting her down. A chase ensues in which everyone wants what Ida has.
October 2016 Selection: In her starkly beautiful and wholly unexpected tale, Jackie Kay delves into the most intimate workings of the human heart and mind and offers a triumphant tale of loving deception and lasting devotion.
The death of legendary jazz trumpeter Joss Moody exposes an extraordinary secret, one that enrages his adopted son, Colman, leading him to collude with a tabloid journalist. Besieged by the press, his widow Millie flees to a remote Scottish village, where she seeks solace in memories of their marriage. The reminiscences of those who knew Joss Moody render a moving portrait of a shared life founded on an intricate lie, one that preserved a rare, unconditional love.
August 2016 Selection:
A revelatory novel about being queer and Muslim, set in war-torn Iraq in 2003. Ramy is a young gay Iraqi struggling to find a balance between his sexuality, religion, and culture. Ammar is a sheikh whose guidance Ramy seeks, and whose tolerance is tested by his belief in the teachings of the Qur'an. Full of quiet moments of beauty and raw depictions of violence, "God in Pink "poignantly captures the anguish and the fortitude of Islamic life in Iraq.
Hasan Namir was born in Iraq in 1987. "God in Pink" is his first novel.
June 2016 Selection: In the far future, human culture has developed five distinctive genders due to the effects of a drug easing sickness from faster-than-light travel. But on the planet Hara, where society is increasingly instability, caught between hard-liner traditions and the realities of life, only male and female genders are legal, and the "odd-bodied" population are forced to pass as one or the other. Warreven Stiller, a lawyer and an intersexed person, is an advocate for those who have violated Haran taboos. When Hara regains contact with the Concord worlds, Warreven finds a larger role in breaking the long-standing role society has forced on "him," but the search for personal identity becomes a battleground of political intrigue and cultural clash. Winner of a Lambda Literary Award for Gay/Lesbian Science Fiction, Shadow Man remains one of the more important modern, speculative novels ever published in the field of gender- and sexual identity.
April 2016 Selection:"New York Times" Bestseller Winner of the 2015 WOMEN'S WAY Book Prize Goodreads Best of 2014 Semi-Finalist Books for a Better Life Award Finalist Lambda Literary Award Finalist "Time" Magazine 30 Most Influential People on the Internet American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book
In her profound and courageous "New York Times" bestseller, Janet Mock establishes herself as a resounding and inspirational voice for the transgender community and anyone fighting to define themselves on their own terms.
With unflinching honesty and moving prose, Janet Mock relays her experiences of growing up young, multiracial, poor, and trans in America, offering readers accessible language while imparting vital insight about the unique challenges and vulnerabilities of a marginalized and misunderstood population. Though undoubtedly an account of one woman s quest for self at all costs, "Redefining Realness" is a powerful vision of possibility and self-realization, pushing us all toward greater acceptance of one another and of ourselves showing as never before how to be unapologetic and real."
January 2016 Selection:
A tale of grief and lust, frustration and hilarity, death and family
Penelope O'Grady and Cara Wall are risking disaster when, like teenagers in any intolerant time and place--here, a Dublin convent school in the late 1970s--they fall in love. Yet Cara, the free spirit, and Pen, the stoic, craft a bond so strong it seems as though nothing could sever it: not the bickering, not the secrets, not even Cara's infidelities.
But thirteen years on, a car crash kills Cara and rips the lid off Pen's world. Pen is still in the closet, teaching at her old school, living under the roof of Cara's gentle father, who thinks of her as his daughter's friend. How can she survive widowhood without even daring to claim the word? Over the course of one surreal week of bereavement, she is battered by memories that range from the humiliating, to the exalted, to the erotic, to the funny. It will take Pen all her intelligence and wit to sort through her tumultuous past with Cara, and all the nerve she can muster to start remaking her life.
November 2015 Selection:Universally praised on its publication, "Fire Shut Up in My Bones"is a pioneering journalist s indelible coming-of-age tale.
Charles M. Blow s mother was a fiercely driven woman with five sons, brass knuckles in her glove box, and a job plucking poultry at a factory near their segregated Louisiana town, where slavery's legacy felt close. When her philandering husband finally pushed her over the edge, she fired a pistol at his fleeing back, missing every shot, thanks to love that blurred her vision and bent the barrel. Charles was the baby of the family, fiercely attached to his do-right mother. Until one day that divided his life into Before and After the day an older cousin took advantage of the young boy. The story of how Charles escaped that world to become one of America s most innovative and respected public figures is a stirring, redemptive journey that works its way into the deepest chambers of the heart.
October 2015 Selection:
Set in the 1980s against the backdrop of a swiftly gentrifying Manhattan, "The Lost Language of Cranes "tells the story of twenty-five-year-old Philip Benjamin, who realizes he must come out to his parents after falling in love for the first time with a man. Philip's parents are facing their own problems: pressure from developers and the loss of their longtime home. But the real threat to the family is Philip's father's own struggle with his suppressed homosexuality, realized only in Sunday afternoon visits to gay porn theaters. Philip's revelation to his parents leads his father to a point of crisis and provokes changes that forever alter the landscape of the family's lives.
July 2015 Selection: An evocative coming-of-age novel about growing up gay in Sri Lanka during the Tamil-Sinhalese conflict one of the country s most turbulent and deadly periods.
Arjie is funny.
The second son of a privileged family in Sri Lanka, he prefers staging make-believe wedding pageants with his female cousins to battling balls with the other boys. When his parents discover his innocent pastime, Arjie is forced to abandon his idyllic childhood games and adopt the rigid rules of an adult world. Bewildered by his incipient sexual awakening, mortified by the bloody Tamil-Sinhalese conflicts that threaten to tear apart his homeland, Arjie painfully grows toward manhood and an understanding of his own different identity.
Refreshing, raw, and poignant, Funny Boy is an exquisitely written, compassionate tale of a boy s coming-of-age that quietly confounds expectations of love, family, and country as it delivers the powerful message of staying true to one s self no matter the obstacles."
June 2015 Selection: 2014 LAMBDA LITERARY AWARD FINALIST
WINNER OF THE 2014 ALEX AWARD
"BOOKLIST "TOP 10 FIRST NOVEL OF 2013
"SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL "BEST BOOK OF 2013
Max Walker is a golden boy. Attractive, intelligent, and athletic, he's the perfect son, the perfect friend, and the perfect crush for the girls in his school. He's even really nice to his little brother. Karen, Max's mother, is determined to maintain the facade of effortless excellence she has constructed through the years, but now that the boys are getting older, she worries that the facade might soon begin to crumble. Adding to the tension, her husband Steve has chosen this moment to stand for election to Parliament. The spotlight of the media is about to encircle their lives.
The Walkers are hiding something, you see. Max is special. Max is different. Max is intersex. When an enigmatic childhood friend named Hunter steps out of his past and abuses his trust in the worst possible way, Max is forced to consider the nature of his well-kept secret. Why won't his parents talk about it? What else are they hiding from Max about his condition and from each other? The deeper Max goes, the more questions emerge about where it all leaves him and what his future holds, especially now that he's starting to fall head over heels for someone for the first time in his life. Will his friends accept him if he is no longer the Golden Boy? Will anyone ever want him--desire him--once they know? And the biggest one of all, the question he has to look inside himself to answer: Who is Max Walker, really?
"Golden Boy" is a novel you'll read in one sitting but will never forget; at once a riveting tale of a family in crisis, a fascinating exploration of identity, and a coming-of-age story like no other.
Author April Sinclair is joining The Intimates Book Club for their discussion on May 31st at 6:00 PM!
May 2015 Selection: Chicago deejay Daphne "Dee Dee" Dupree is sassy and successful--but a series of catastrophic relationships has left her gun-shy. Now with her own life and the lives of those closest to her seemingly coming apart at the seams, she's going to have to leave the safe cocoon of her broadcasting booth to face her world, her secrets, and a new promise of mature love fearlessly and head-on.
March 2015 Selection: Max Wolf Valerio crafts a raw, gripping, and poetic account of life before, during, and after injecting testosterone. Valerio's detailed observations about a lesbian transitioning from female to a heterosexual male highlights the physical and emotional differences between women and men, and alternately challenges and confirms readers' assumptions about gender.
Valerio presents his story in three parts: the height of his transition, in which he witnesses his own increased energy and sex drive while struggling with gaining confidence in his male self and bearing witness to his own demise as a woman; life before testosterone, when as Anita, a self-identified lesbian out for fourteen years, he confronts startling moments of awareness of a deeper, earlier dream of who he really is; and life after testosterone, when the experience of living in the world as a man is at once a homecoming and a confirmation that male behavior is at least partly rooted in biology.
"The Testosterone Files" addresses the most fundamental issues of transitioning, from buying men's underwear to choosing a male name, as well as the profound subjects of male privilege, physical power, and existing as a male who was once distrustful and critical of men's intentions. Valerio's honest and forthcoming opinions on gender, identity, and self-perception comprise the core of this intensely personal and absorbing narrative which grapples with the tough and complex issues that emerge in a world whose assumptions about gender binaries are being increasingly challenged as more people openly self-define across the gender spectrum.
February 2015 Selection: The #1 "New York Times" Bestseller An "Entertainment Weekly" Top Ten Book of the Year Now a Major Motion Picture"""" """""Running with Scissors" is the true story of a boy whose mother (a poet with delusions of Anne Sexton) gave him away to be raised by her unorthodox psychiatrist who bore a striking resemblance to Santa Claus. So at the age of twelve, Burroughs found himself amidst Victorian squalor living with the doctor's bizarre family, and befriending a pedophile who resided in the backyard shed. The story of an outlaw childhood where rules were unheard of, and the Christmas tree stayed up all year round, where Valium was consumed like candy, and if things got dull an electroshock- therapy machine could provide entertainment. The funny, harrowing and bestselling account of an ordinary boy's survival under the most extraordinary circumstances. Running with Scissors Acknowledgments
Gratitude doesn't begin to describe it: Jennifer Enderlin, Christopher Schelling, John Murphy, Gregg Sullivan, Kim Cardascia, Michael Storrings, and everyone at St. Martin's Press. Thank you: Lawrence David, Suzanne Finnamore, Robert Rodi, Bret Easton Ellis, Jon Pepoon, Lee Lodes, Jeff Soares, Kevin Weidenbacher, Lynda Pearson, Lona Walburn, Lori Greenburg, John DePretis, and Sheila Cobb. I would also like to express my appreciation to my mother and father for, no matter how inadvertently, giving me such a memorable childhood. Additionally, I would like to thank the real-life members of the family portrayed in this book for taking me into their home and accepting me as one of their own. I recognize that their memories of the events described in this book are different than my own. They are each fine, decent, and hard-working people. The book was not intended to hurt the family. Both my publisher and I regret any unintentional harm resulting from the publishing and marketing of Running with Scissors. Most of all, I would like to thank my brother for demonstrating, by example, the importance of being wholly unique.
January 2015 Selection: Rubyfruit Jungle is the first milestone novel in the extraordinary career of one of this country's most distinctive writers. Bawdy and moving, the ultimate word-of-mouth bestseller, Rubyfruit Jungle is about growing up a lesbian in America - and living happily ever after.
Born a bastard, Molly Bolt is adopted by a dirt-poor Southern couple who want something better for their daughter. Molly plays doctor with the boys, beats up Leroy the tub and loses her virginity to her girlfriend in sixth grade.
As she grows to realize she's different, Molly decides not to apologize for that. In no time she mesmerizes the head cheerleader of Ft. Lauderdale High and captivates a gorgeous bourbon-guzzling heiress.
But the world is not tolerant. Booted out of college for moral turpitude, an unrepentant, penniless Molly takes New York by storm, sending not a few female hearts aflutter with her startling beauty, crackling wit and fierce determination to become the greatest filmmaker that ever lived.
Critically acclaimed when first published, Rubyfruit Jungle has only grown in reputation as it has reached new generations of readers who respond to its feisty and inspiring heroine.
November 2014 Selection: The true story of a nice Jewish boy who joins the Church of Scientology and leaves twelve years later to become the lovely lady she is today.
October 2014 Selection: Tell me a story. A panicked call from his ex-wife summons Ken Nicholson back to New Orleans, where his son has been attacked and left for dead. While his child's life hangs in the balance, Ken endures visions connected to a terrifying time from his past. As a teenager, he witnessed the brutal deaths of several young men, an act orchestrated by his benefactor, Travis Brugier. Following the shocking spectacle, Brugier kills himself before Ken's eyes. Now, decades later, someone wants Ken to remember, wants Ken to return to those violent days. With the lives of his estranged family and his lover, David, threatened, Ken has no choice but to follow his nightmares back to their origin. There he will battle a corrupt and powerful being that believes every life is a story to be captured and rewritten, a being that doesn't believe in happy endings. Welcome back to Wonderland.
September 2014 Selection: A breakneck tale of kick-ass, wise-ass, sexy-ass lesbians and zombies, Eat Your Heart Out opens on what promises to be another tediously annoying day at Ashbee's Furniture Outlet. Then the strip-mall calm of Nowhere, Ohio, is shattered by the sudden, simultaneous appearance of Renni Ramirez-hyper-competent star of the beloved Rising Evil B-movie franchise-and actual zombies, leaving Ashbee's hapless staff and Renni trapped behind an automatic door they can't lock. Can failed creative-writing student/apprentice store manager/eagle-eyed markswoman Devin escape the besieged furniture store to rescue her girlfriend? Will Renni's experience slaughtering motion-captured CGI monsters save the day before the army bombs the town? Once bitten, how many zombies can a person expect to take out before succumbing to infection? Who is the mysterious Deus Ex Machina, and what is he doing with that bone saw? All of these questions and more whisper behind the scream of the single most important thing Devin needs to know in order to survive: is Renni a top or a bottom?
August 2014 Selection: On a moonlit night on the outskirts of London, Lord Geoffroy Loveall findsthe answer to his prayers: an abandoned baby, somehow still alive amid thejunk of a rubbish heap. Rescuing the infant from certain death, Lord Geoffroy adopts her as his only child, heir to the fabulous Love Hall fortune. He names her Rose in memory of his long-dead sister and gives hera childhood of unparalleled gaiety and unstinting pleasure. But every house has a secret, and as Rose approaches adolescence, the secret of Love Hall becomes impossible to hide. As much as Lord Geoffroy wanted a daughter, the baby he brought home is, in fact, a boy.
July 2014 Selection: The modern literary classic that has been compared to "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Catcher in the Rye."
"As close to flawless as any reader could ask for."
"-The New York Times Book Review"
The publication of Dorothy Allison's "Bastard Out of Carolina" was a landmark event. The novel's profound portrait of family dynamics in the rural South won the author a National Book Award nomination and launched her into the literary spotlight. Critics have likened Allison to William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, and Harper Lee, naming her the first writer of her generation to dramatize the lives and language of poor whites in the South. Since its appearance, the novel has inspired an award-winning film and has been banned from libraries and classrooms, championed by fans, and defended by critics.
Greenville County, South Carolina, is a wild, lush place that is home to the Boatwright family-a tight-knit clan of rough-hewn, hard- drinking men who shoot up each other's trucks, and indomitable women who get married young and age too quickly. At the heart of this story is Ruth Anne Boatwright, known simply as Bone, a bastard child who observes the world around her with a mercilessly keen perspective. When her stepfather Daddy Glen, "cold as death, mean as a snake," becomes increasingly more vicious toward her, Bone finds herself caught in a family triangle that tests the loyalty of her mother, Anney-and leads to a final, harrowing encounter from which there can be no turning back.
Now available in a twentieth anniversary keepsake edition with a new afterword by the author.
June 2014 Selection: The enthralling debut from bestselling novelistMichael Chabon is a penetrating narrative of complexfriendships, father-son conflicts, and the awakening of a young man's sexualidentity. Chabon masterfully renders the funny, tender, and captivating first-person narrative of Art Bechstein, whose confusion and heartache echo the tones of literary forebears like The Catcher in the Rye's HoldenCaulfield and The Great Gatsby's NickCarraway. TheMysteries of Pittsburgh incontrovertibly established Chabonas a powerful force in contemporary fiction, even before his PulitzerPrize-winning novel The AmazingAdventures of Kavalier & Clay set theliterary world spinning. An unforgettable story of coming of age in America, itis also an essential milestone in the movement of American fiction, from anovelist who has become one of the most important and enduring voices of thisgeneration.
May 2014 Selection: Virginia Woolf described "Orlando" as "an escapade, half-laughing, half-serious; with great splashes of exaggeration, " but many think Woolf's escapade is one of the most wickedly imaginative and sharply observed considerations of androgyny that this century will see. Orlando is, in fact, a character liberated from the restraints of time and sex. Born in the Elizabethan Age to wealth and position, he is a young male aristocrat at the beginning of the story - and a modern woman four centuries later. The hero-heroine sees monarchs come and go, hobnobs with great literary figures, and slips in and out of each new fashion. Woolf presents a brilliant pageant of history, society, and literature as well as subtle appreciation of the interplay between endings and beginnings, past and present, male and female.
Author Lucy Jane Bledsoe joins The Intimates for their April meeting!
April 2014 Selection:Antarctica is a vortex that draws you back, season after season. The place is so raw and pure, all seal hide and crystalline iceberg. The fishbowl communities at McMurdo Station, South Pole Station, and in the remote field camps intensify relationships, jack all emotion up to a 10. The trick is to get what you need and then get out fast.
At least that's how thirty-year-old Rosie Moore views it as she flies in for her third season on the Ice. She plans to avoid all entanglements, romantic and otherwise, and do her work as a galley cook. But when her flight crash-lands, so do all her plans.
Mikala Wilbo, a brilliant young composer whose heart--and music--have been frozen since the death of her partner, is also on that flight. She has come to the Ice as an artist-in-residence, to write music, but also to secretly check out the astrophysicist father she has never met.
Arriving a few weeks later, Alice Neilson, a graduate student in geology who thinks in charts and equations, is thrilled to leave her dependent mother and begin her career at last. But from the start she is aware that her post-doc advisor, with whom she will work in Antarctica, expects much more from their relationship.
As the three women become increasingly involved in each other's lives, they find themselves deeply transformed by their time on the Ice. Each falls in love. Each faces challenges she never thought she would meet. And ultimately, each finds redemption in a depth and quality of friendship that only the harsh beauty of Antarctica can engender. Finalist, Lambda Literary Awards Finalist, Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Fiction, awarded by the Publishing Triangle Finalist, Northern California Independent Booksellers Association Honorable Mention, "Foreword Magazine"'s Gay/Lesbian Fiction Book of the Year Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the Public Library Association
March 2014 Selection: Asher Machnik is a teenage boy cursed with a beautiful androgynous face. Guys punch him, girls slag him and by high school he's developed an intense fear of being touched. Art remains his only escape from an otherwise emotionally empty life. Eulalie Mason is the lonely, tough-talking dyke from school who befriends Ash. The only one to see and accept all of his sides as a loner, a fellow artist and a best friend, she's starting to wonder if ash is ever going to see all of her.... a + e 4EVER is a graphic novel set in that ambiguous crossroads where love and friendship, boy and girl, straight and gay meet. It goes where few books have ventured, into genderqueer life, where affections aren't black and white.