LGBTQIA+ fiction is taking the book community by storm! And it’s no wonder considering the vast pool of powerful narratives available, celebrating sexual diversity. Recent years have shown a growing presence of LGBTQIA+ protagonists in fiction, ranging in genre and audience from children’s books to adult fiction.
If we take the U.K. as an example, this increased representation should come as no surprise when we consider figures released by the U.K. Publishers Association in 2020.* According to their 2019 Diversity survey report, 10.9% of the publishing workforce identify as LGB+ which is notably higher than the U.K. population of about 2%. Though no way near the majority and limited to mostly lesbian, gay and bisexual, this example of diversity within the publishing workforce might be considered one of the reasons why queer fiction has grown so much in popularity in recent years.
Of course, more advancements are still yet to be made. Statistics show that young people, typically aged between 16-24 are more likely to identify as LBGTQIA+ than their older counterparts, which is probably why there is a much larger proportion of sexual diversity in young adult fiction compared with adult fiction. And you’d be hard-pressed to find a wide selection of novels that feature other orientations, such as intersex and asexual characters in prominent roles.
In my attempts to read more inclusively, I too have enjoyed reading more LGBTQIA+ fiction and so in today’s post, I would like to share with you 6 LBGTQIA+ Fiction Books Worth Reading;
The Confessions Of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins (Viking, 2019)
Set in the early eighteenth century, The Confessions Of Frannie Langton is the eponymous woeful tale about a Jamaican girl, a so-called ‘mulatta’ who spirals into misfortune… This memoir-like novel combines different writing styles, such as the macabre of gothic writing to the suspense of thriller to the romanticism of poetry and philosophy...continue reading
Mr Loverman by Bernadine Evaristo (Penguin Books, 2013)
Barrington Jedidiah Walker aka Mr Loverman is a smooth, extremely dapper seventy four-year-old gentleman who brings the Caribbean spice of Antigua to Hackney, South London…Evaristo gave me flavoursome writing and hilarious tongue-in-cheek banter that left me just as smitten as Barry and Morris are with each other...continue reading
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Atria Publishing Group, 2017)
Monique Grant is a humble journalist who is shocked to learn that the iconic Hollywood actress, Evelyn Hugo has requested her specifically to write her autobiography, where she finally intends to reveal to the world the truth about her seven marriages and more crucially, her true love…This book was written with a classy film noir elegance that captured the veneer of Hollywood fame, perfectly epitomised in the characterisation of its captivating starlet...continue reading
These next two recommendations are young adult novels;
Run by Kody Keplinger (Scholastic Press, 2016)
Agnes was born blind and is therefore used to people fussing over her needlessly and constantly questioning her capabilities. Bo on the other hand is a renowned delinquent whose broken home and drug addict for a mother earns her the disdain of their community. The two forge an unlikely friendship, quickly becoming the talk of the town. ..This novel has a fast-paced, straight-talking quality that complemented the urgent fugitive-like feeling of being on the run...continue reading
Loveless by Alice Oseman (HarperCollins Publishers, 2020)
Loveless is about an eighteen-year-old university student called Georgia Warr who loves romance, fanfiction and her two best friends, Pip and Jason. When Georgia begins her freshman year at Durham University, she has hopes that her epic love story will finally begin, except that she has always been unsure about her sexuality and why she lacks the feelings that come so naturally to everyone else…Loveless is definitely worth reading for the insight and representation it provides. Though it speaks mostly to younger readers, a lot can be learned from it by older readers as well...continue reading
That’s all for this list but there will be plenty more LGBTQIA+ recommendations to come!
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*Publishers Association Survey 2019 – https://www.publishers.org.uk/publications/diversity-survey-of-the-publishing-workforce-2019/
Featured image taken from the book The Art Of Making Memories by Meik Wiking