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Lammy Winners

2021

My autobiography of Carson McCullers / Jenn Shapland."While working as an intern in the archives at the Harry Ransom Center, Jenn Shapland encounters the love letters of Carson McCullers and a woman named Annemarie-letters that are tender, intimate, and unabashed in their feelings. Shapland recognizes herself in the letters' language-but does not see McCullers as history has portrayed her. And so, Shapland is compelled to undertake a recovery of the full narrative and language of McCullers's life: she wades through the therapy transcripts; she stays at McCullers's childhood home, where she lounges in her bathtub and eats delivery pizza; she relives McCullers's days at her beloved Yaddo. As Shapland reckons with the expanding and collapsing distance between her and McCullers, she sees the way McCullers's story has become a way to articulate something about herself. The results reveal something entirely new not only about this one remarkable, walleyed life, but about the way we tell queer love stories. In genre-defying vignettes, Jenn Shapland interweaves her own story with Carson McCullers's to create a vital new portrait of one of America's most beloved writers, and shows us how the writers we love and the stories we tell about ourselves make us who we are."Find it: B MCCULLERS, C. (on display on the second floor through July 1)EBookRequest

The thirty names of night : a novel / Zeyn Joukhadar."From the author of the acclaimed and award-winning debut The Map of Salt and Stars, a remarkably moving and lyrical novel following three generations of Syrian Americans who are linked by the truths they carry close to their hearts. Five years after a suspicious fire killed his mother, a closeted Syrian American trans boy sheds his birth name and searches for a new one. He has been unable to paint since his mother's ghost has begun to visit him each evening. The only time he feels truly free is when he slips out at night to paint murals on buildings in the once-thriving Manhattan neighborhood known as Little Syria. One night, he finds the tattered journal of a Syrian American artist named Laila Z. She famously and mysteriously disappeared more than sixty years before, but her journal contains proof that Laila Z's past is intimately tied to his mother's - and his grandmother's - in ways he never could have expected. Even more surprising, Laila Z's story reveals the histories of queer and transgender people within his community that he never knew. Following his mother's ghost, he uncovers the silences kept in the name of survival by his own community, his own family, and within himself, and discovers the family that was there all along. The Thirty Names of Night is an imaginative and intimate exploration of how we all search for and ultimately embrace who we are."Find it: Coming SoonEBook EAudioRequest

You exist too much : a novel / Zaina Arafat."On a hot day in Bethlehem, a twelve-year-old Palestinian-American girl is yelled at by a group of men outside the Church of the Nativity. She has exposed her legs in a biblical city, an act they deem forbidden, and their judgement will echo on through her adolescence. When our narrator finally admits to her mother that she is queer, her mother's response only intensifies a sense of shame: 'You exist too much,' she tells her daughter. Told in vignettes that flash between the U.S. and the Middle East--from New York to Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine--Zaina Arafat's debut novel traces her protagonist's progress from blushing teen to sought-after DJ and aspiring writer."EBookRequest from other libraries

Wow, no thank you : essays / Samantha Irby."Irby is forty, and increasingly uncomfortable in her own skin despite what Inspirational Instagram Infographics have promised her. She has left her job as a receptionist at a veterinary clinic, has published successful books and has been friendzoned by Hollywood, left Chicago, and moved into a house with a garden that requires repairs and know-how with her wife in a Blue town in the middle of a Red state where she now hosts book clubs and makes mason jar salads. This is the bourgeois life of a Hallmark Channel dream. She goes on bad dates with new friends, spends weeks in Los Angeles taking meetings with "tv executives slash amateur astrologers" while being a "cheese fry-eating slightly damp Midwest person," "with neck pain and no cartilage in [her] knees," who still hides past due bills under her pillow. The essays in this collection draw on the raw, hilarious particulars of Irby's new life. Wow, No Thank You is Irby at her most unflinching, riotous, and relatable."EBook EAudioRequest from other libraries

Written in the stars : a novel / Alexandria Bellefleur.With nods to Bridget Jones and Pride & Prejudice, this debut is a delightful #ownvoices queer rom-com about a free-spirited social media astrologer who agrees to fake a relationship with an uptight actuary until New Year's Eve--with results not even the stars could predict! After a disastrous blind date, Darcy Lowell is desperate to stop her well-meaning brother from playing matchmaker ever again. Love--and the inevitable heartbreak--is the last thing she wants. So she fibs and says her latest set up was a success. Darcy doesn't expect her lie to bite her in the ass. Elle Jones, one of the astrologers behind the popular Twitter account Oh My Stars, dreams of finding her soul mate. But she knows it is most assuredly not Darcy... a no-nonsense stick-in-the-mud, who is way too analytical, punctual, and skeptical for someone as free-spirited as Elle. When Darcy's brother--and Elle's new business partner--expresses how happy he is that they hit it off, Elle is baffled. Was Darcy on the same date? Because... awkward. Darcy begs Elle to play along and she agrees to pretend they're dating. But with a few conditions: Darcy must help Elle navigate her own overbearing family during the holidays and their arrangement expires on New Year's Eve. The last thing they expect is to develop real feelings during a faux relationship. But maybe opposites can attract when true love is written in the stars?Find it: FIC BELLEFLEUR (on display on the second floor through July 1)EBookRequest

Lammy Winners

2019

How we fight for our lives : a memoir / Saeed Jones."Written from the crossroads of sex, race, and power in America, How We Fight for Our Lives is a stunning coming-of-age memoir and a haunting reflection of the nation as a whole."Find it: B Jones, S (on display on the second floor through July 1)EBookRequest

In the dream house : a memoir / Carmen Maria Machado."In the Dream Houseis Carmen Maria Machado's engrossing and wildly innovative account of a relationship gone bad, and a bold dissection of the mechanisms and cultural representations of psychological abuse. Tracing the full arc of a harrowing relationship with a charismatic but volatile woman, Machado struggles to make sense of how what happened to her shaped the person she was becoming. And it's that struggle that gives the book its original structure: each chapter is driven by its own narrative trope--the haunted house, erotica, the bildungsroman--through which Machado holds the events up to the light and examines them from different angles. She looks back at her religious adolescence, unpacks the stereotype of lesbian relationships as safe and utopian, and widens the view with essayistic explorations of the history and reality of abuse in queer relationships. Machado's dire narrative is leavened with her characteristic wit, playfulness, and openness to inquiry. She casts a critical eye over legal proceedings, fairy tales,Star Trek, and Disney villains, as well as iconic works of film and fiction. The result is a wrenching, riveting book that explodes our ideas about what a memoir can do and be."Find it: B Machado, CMEAudio EBookRequest

Lot : stories / Bryan Washington."Coming of age in his family's Houston restaurant, a mixed-heritage teen navigates bullying, his newly discovered sexual orientation, and the ripple effects of a disadvantaged community."Find it: FIC WASHINGTONRequest

Patsy : a novel / Nicole Dennis-Benn."Receiving her long-coveted visa to America, Patsy leaves behind her family in Jamaica, only to discover that life as an undocumented immigrant is not what her best friend had described."Find it: FIC DENNIS-BENN (on display on the second floor through July 1)Large PrintEBookRequest

We have always been here : a queer Muslim memoir / Samra Habib."A queer Muslim searches for the language to express her truest self, making peace with her sexuality, her family, and Islam. Growing up in Pakistan, Samra Habib lacks a blueprint for the life she wants. She has a mother who gave up everything to be a pious, dutiful wife and an overprotective father who seems to conspire against a life of any adventure. Plus, she has to hide the fact that she's Ahmadi to avoid persecution from religious extremists. As the threats against her family increase, they seek refuge in Canada, where new financial and cultural obstacles await them. When Samra discovers that her mother has arranged her marriage, she must again hide a part of herself--the fun-loving, feminist teenager that has begun to bloom--until she simply can't any longer. So begins a journey of self-discovery that takes her to Tokyo, where she comes to terms with her sexuality, and to a queer-friendly mosque in Toronto, where she returns to her faith in the same neighbourhood where she attended her first drag show. Along the way, she learns that the facets of her identity aren't as incompatible as she was led to believe, and that her people had always been there--the world just wasn't ready for them yet."EBookRequest from other libraries

Lammy Winners

2018

Jonny Appleseed : a novel / Joshua Whitehead."Off the rez and trying to find ways to live and love in the big city, Jonny Appleseed, a young Two-Spirit/Indigiqueer, becomes a cybersex worker who fetishizes himself in order to make a living. Jonny's world is a series of breakages, appendages, and linkages - and as he goes through the motions of preparing to return home for his step-father's funeral, he learns how to put together the pieces of his life. Jonny Appleseed is a unique, shattering vision of Indigenous life, full of grit, glitter, and dreams."EBook EAudioRequest from other libraries

The lie and how we told it / Tommi Parrish."Parrish's emotionally loaded, painted graphic novel is a visual tour de force, always in the service of the author's themes: navigating queer desire, masculinity, fear, and the ever-in-flux state of friendships."Find it: FIC PARRISH (GRAPHIC NOVEL) (on display on the second floor through July 1)Request

Little fish / Casey Plett."Wendy Reimer is a thirty-year-old trans woman in Winnipeg who comes across evidence that her late grandfather, a devout Mennonite farmer, might have been transgender as well. At first she dismisses the revelation, but as she and her friends struggle to cope with the challenges of their increasingly volatile lives Wendy is drawn to the lost pieces of her grandfather's past."EAudioRequest from other libraries

Looking for Lorraine : the radiant and radical life of Lorraine Hansberry / Imani Perry."A revealing portrait of one of the most gifted and charismatic, yet least understood, Black artists and intellectuals of the twentieth century."Find it: B Hansberry, LRequest

Not that bad : dispatches from rape culture / edited by Roxane Gay."In this valuable and revealing anthology, cultural critic and bestselling author Roxane Gay collects original and previously published pieces that address what it means to live in a world where women have to measure the harassment, violence, and aggression they face, and where they are "routinely second-guessed, blown off, discredited, denigrated, besmirched, belittled, patronized, mocked, shamed, gaslit, insulted, bullied" for speaking out. Highlighting the stories of well-known actors, writers, and experts, as well as new voices being published for the first time, Not That Bad covers a wide range of topics and experiences, from an exploration of the rape epidemic embedded in the refugee crisis to first-person accounts of child molestation and street harassment. Often deeply personal and always unflinchingly honest, this provocative collection both reflects the world we live in and offers a call to arms insisting that "not that bad" must no longer be good enough."EBook EAudioRequest from other libraries

Lammy Winners

2017 and older

Call me by your name / André Aciman."The sudden and powerful attraction between a teenage boy and a summer guest at his parents' house on the Italian Riviera has a profound and lasting influence that will mark them both for a lifetime."Find it: FIC ACIMANEBook EAudioRequest

The fact of a body : a murder and a memoir / Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich."Before Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich begins a summer job at a law firm in Louisiana, working to help defend men accused of murder, she thinks her position is clear. The child of two lawyers, she is staunchly anti-death penalty. But the moment convicted murderer Ricky Langley's face flashes on the screen as she reviews old tapes -- the moment she hears him speak of his crimes -- she is overcome with the feeling of wanting him to die. Shocked by her reaction, she digs deeper and deeper into the case. Despite their vastly different circumstances, something in his story is unsettlingly, uncannily familiar. Crime, even the darkest and most unsayable acts, can happen to any one of us. As Alexandria pores over the facts of the murder, she finds herself thrust into the complicated narrative of Ricky's childhood, and by examining his case, is forced to face her own story, unearth long-buried family secrets, and reckon with a past that colors her view of Ricky's crime."Find it: 364.1523 MAREBook EAudioRequest

Fun home : a family tragicomic / Alison Bechdel."A fresh and brilliantly told memoir from a cult favorite comic artist, marked by gothic twists, a family funeral home, sexual angst, and great books.This breakout book by Alison Bechdel is a darkly funny family tale, pitch-perfectly illustrated with Bechdel's sweetly gothic drawings. Like Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis, it's a story exhilaratingly suited to graphic memoir form.Meet Alison's father, a historic preservation expert and obsessive restorer of the family's Victorian home, a third-generation funeral home director, a high school English teacher, an icily distant parent, and a closeted homosexual who, as it turns out, is involved with his male students and a family babysitter. Through narrative that is alternately heartbreaking and fiercely funny, we are drawn into a daughter's complex yearning for her father. And yet, apart from assigned stints dusting caskets at the family-owned "fun home," as Alison and her brothers call it, the relationship achieves its most intimate expression through the shared code of books. When Alison comes out as homosexual herself in late adolescense, the denouement is swift, graphic -- and redemptive."Find it: FIC BECHDEL (GRAPHIC NOVEL) (on display on the second floor through July 1)EBookRequest

Here comes the sun / Nicole Dennis-Benn."Capturing the distinct rhythms of Jamaican life and dialect, Nicole Dennis-Benn pens a tender hymn to a world hidden among pristine beaches and the wide expanse of turquoise seas. At an opulent resort in Montego Bay, Margot hustles to send her younger sister, Thandi, to school. Taught as a girl to trade her sexuality for survival, Margot is ruthlessly determined to shield Thandi from the same fate. When plans for a new hotel threaten their village, Margot sees not only an opportunity for her own financial independence but also perhaps a chance to admit a shocking secret: her forbidden love for another woman. As they face the impending destruction of their community, each woman fighting to balance the burdens she shoulders with the freedom she craves must confront long-hidden scars."Find it: LP DENNIS-BENNEBookRequest (Large Print)

The life and death of Sophie Stark / Anna North."An unapologetic filmmaker uses the stories of those around her to create movies that bring her both critical acclaim and ire from the people whose secrets she has exposed."Find it: FIC NORTHRequest

My education / Susan Choi."Warned about the womanizing activities of Professor Nicholas Brodeur before her arrival at his prestigious university, graduate student Regina Gottlieb is nevertheless captured by his charisma and good looks before falling prey to his volatile wife."Find it: FIC CHOIRequest

Under the udala trees / Chinelo Okparanta."A young Nigerian girl, displaced during their civil war, begins a powerful love affair with another refugee girl from a different ethnic community until the pair are discovered and must learn the cost of living a lie amidst taboos and prejudices."Find it: FIC OKPARANTAEBook EAudioRequest

Wuvable oaf / Ed Luce."Set against the background of San Francisco's diverse communities and music scene, a romantic comedy at its core, Wuvable oaf will charm even the most hardened cynic."Find it: FIC LUCE (GRAPHIC NOVEL)Request