Well there are just so many great books being released or that have already come out this fall that I just had to write another one of these. I could have kept them to myself, but that just would have been selfish, wouldn’t it? Also, I am quite excited about all of these books and excitement is just something that I want to share.
Long Red Hair by Meags Fitzgerald is a graphic memoir by a Montrealer about her bisexuality, witches, make believe, and teenage girlhood and it just came out last month! Fitzgerald also wrote a non-fiction graphic book called Photobooth: A Biography about the history of photobooths, which came out last year. Except for the fact that I don’t have red hair, I think she and I may be twins separated at birth. ALL OF THOSE THINGS EXCITE ME SO MUCH TOO. Broadly did a great interview with Fitzgerald that you should read and Autostraddle also has a glowing review of the book. You should probably just go read it now. Also, here is an excerpt:
How did I not know Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney and Portlandia fame had a memoir coming out (tomorrow, in fact)? It’s called Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl and it sounds fabulous. Riot grrrl? Feminism? Punk rock? Bisexuality? It’s all here. The official synopsis makes it sound like Brownstein is only focusing on her experiences in the music industry, but if you check out this pretty lengthy excerpt in The New Yorker, it’s clear this is also a personal memoir that covers Brownstein’s childhood. SO EXCITED! I’m just so pumped about all these books I can’t stop using all caps. If you don’t know the song the title of the memoir is referring to, you MUST listen to it. I love it so much it gives me goosebumps. I’m betting that this memoir is gonna make me feel the same way.
How amazing does an anthology of comics and graphic stories that are all queer AND all sci-fi and fantasy sound? Beyond: The Queer Sci-fi and Fantasy Comic Anthology, edited by Sfé Monster, is just such a book. According to Mey’s review on Autostraddle, there’s a ton of diversity in this book, of genre (ghosts! dragons! aliens! robots!), gender, sexuality, body type, age, and ethnicity. For example, one story follows a trans teenage girl who is also a robot clone. Another is about a woman astronaut on a mission to rescue her astronaut girlfriend. There are also queer space pirates, princesses who fall in love with monsters, and robot aliens with two “genders.” Apparently there are already plans for a second anthology, which is pretty damn exciting. Here’s a bit from “Optimal” by Blue Delliquanti, the story about the teenage trans girl:
Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash is another queer graphic memoir, set in the 90s at a summer camp and featuring all those things you love to read about in a young adult coming of age / coming out story: all-girl camp, first kisses, first heartbreak, and all the awkwardness in between. It’s supposed to be cute, funny, touching, and sweet. And to add to the drama, the girl Maggie falls in love with is … older! Four years older! And is actually her counselor. So of course the plot involves Maggie trying to figure out if the beloved older woman is a) queer and b) interested in a lowly fifteen-year old.
The last book I have to recommend is Uncovered: How I Left Hasidic Life and Finally Came Home by Leah Lax. It’s also a memoir, and details Lax’s life as a Hasidic Jew, a path she choose as a teenager despite having been brought up in a secular home, and her eventual break from this life and coming out as a lesbian. What I thought sounded really interesting about this book was its portrayal of religion and religious fundamentalism in a complex rather than simplistic way as they so often are, especially in relation to LGBTQ issues. Her coming out is also complex, not only a joyous revelation but also necessarily a loss of her family and the meaning, structure, and ritual that her religion and community gave her. You can check out a full review on the Lambda site.