8 Exciting New Book Releases We Can’t Wait to Crack Open

From YA novels to memoirs, some of this spring and summer's most exciting new releases feature LGBTQ authors, characters, or story lines.

Though the state of LGBTQ equality in the United States seems especially precarious right now, LGBTQ writers—and unapologetically queer story lines—are finally having their heyday in mainstream publishing.

Below, find eight newly released or forthcoming books, either authored by queer writers, centering LGBTQ characters and story lines, or both, that we can’t wait to dig into.

  1. Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls: A Memoir, T Kira Madden

    Bloomsbury Publishing

    Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls is the memoir debut from T Kira Madden, a celebrated queer writer and essayist. In the book, Madden grapples with growing up queer, biracial, and fatherless in Boca Raton, Florida, where she “found lifelines in the desperately loving friendships of fatherless girls” amid a culture of assault and a household rocked by drug and alcohol addiction. (March 5)

  2. Something Like Gravity, Amber Smith

    Margaret K. McElderry Book

    In Something Like Gravity, lesbian author Amber Smith introduces readers to Maia and Chris, two teens from totally different worlds. Maia has lived her whole life in rural North Carolina and is seeking a new normal in the wake of her older sister’s sudden death. Meanwhile, Chris, who recently came out as transgender, is still reeling from the emotional trauma of a brutal attack after school in his hometown hours away. The pair meet in the most unlikely of circumstances, and though secrets and differences threaten to keep them apart, Maia and Chris are pulled together by something like gravity. (June 18)

  3. Once & Future, Cori McCarthy and Amy Rose Capetta

    Little Brown

    Co-authored by real-life partners Cori McCarthy (they/them) and Amy Rose Capetta, Once & Future is an epic, gender-bent retelling of the classic legend of the Once and Future King. Only this time, King Arthur is a teenage girl named Ari, who crash-landed on Earth from outer space—and Merlin, the famed wizard, has aged backwards and is now a teenager. Newly equipped with Excalibur, Ari is determined to defeat her cruel, oppressive government and restore harmony to humankind. (March 26)

  4. Sissy: A Coming of Gender Story, Jacob Tobia

    G.P. Putnam's Sons

    Queer and gender non-conforming writer, producer, and activist Jacob Tobia (they/them) is recounting their “coming of gender story” in Sissy, their first book. The book follows Tobia from their childhood in rural North Carolina through their adulthood as a non-binary person. Equal parts witty and heartfelt, Sissy “shatters the long-held notion that people are easily sortable into ’men’ and ’women.'” (March 5)

  5. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous: A Novel, Ocean Vuong

    Penguin Press

    For his next published work, acclaimed gay poet Ocean Vuong (Night Sky With Exit Wounds) is tackling the novel. His literary debut, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, has already been named one of the most anticipated novels of 2019 by a handful of outlets. It’s structured as a letter from a son in his late twenties to his mother, a woman who can’t read. In On Earth, Vuong “writes of people caught between disparate worlds, and asks how we heal and rescue one another without forsaking who we are.” (June 4)

  6. The Red Scrolls of Magic, Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu

    Margaret K. McElderry Books

    Billed as a gay urban fantasy-meets-Roman Holiday, The Red Scrolls of Magic is the first book in Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu’s The Eldest Curses series, which follows fan-fave gay couple Alec Lightwood and Magnus Bane from Clare’s bestselling Shadowhunter Chronicles. In Red Scrolls, Alec, a newly out-of-the-closet demon-slaying Shadowhunter, travels to Europe for the first time with Magnus, his flamboyant, centuries-old warlock boyfriend. The pair navigate the highs and lows of their new relationship, all the while dealing with a demon-worshiping cult that Magnus started years ago…as a joke. (April 9)

  7. The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays, Esmé Weijun Wang

    Graywolf Press

    The Collected Schizophrenias is the debut essay collection from award-winning queer novelist and essayist Esmé Weijun Wang (The Border of Paradise). The book, already a New York Times bestseller, details Wang’s journey through understanding and living with her diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder. Wang unpacks the conflicting ways that the medical community, institutions of higher learning, and well-meaning everyday people attempt to understand “the collected schizophrenias,” and the collection “dispels misconceptions and provides insight into a condition long misunderstood.” (Available now)

  8. Too Much Is Not Enough, Andrew Rannells

    Penguin Random House

    In Too Much Is Not Enough, out actor and singer Andrew Rannells recounts his journey from a sexually confused young boy in Nebraska, to a gay man in his twenties carving out a space and career for himself in New York City. It’s the debut memoir from Rannells, who made a name for himself as an actor in Broadway musicals like The Book of Mormon, Hairspray, and Hamilton and HBO’s Girls. (March 12)

Brooklyn-based writer and editor. Probably drinking iced coffee or getting tattooed.
@slmjournalist