Collage of all covers of the books mentioned in the post

50+ Books 2023 (July-Dec)

The first half of 2023 is already over and while there are many unvertainities always, there is one thing we can be sure about: There will be incredible books published between July and December 2023. And below you find some of the books which are on my radar.

Collage with all covers of the fiction titled listed under the headline "Fiction"


J. Vanessa Lyon: Lush Lives

Another queer book published through the still new-ish Roxane Gay imprint – count me in!

“For Glory Hopkins, inheriting her Aunt Lucille’s Harlem brownstone feels more like a curse than a blessing. As a restless artist struggling to find gallery representation, Glory doesn’t have the money, time, or patience to look after the aging house of an aunt she barely knew. But when she stumbles into Parkie de Groot, a savvy, ambitious auction house appraiser on the verge of a coveted promotion, her unexpected inheritance begins to look more promising. Glory and Parkie form an unlikely alliance and work to unearth the origins of a rare manuscript hidden in the brownstone’s attic. In doing so, they uncover not only the well-kept secrets of Lucille’s life but also the complex relationships between Harlem and its distinguished residents.”

Nicola Dinan: Bellies

This one comes highly recommended by Laura Sackton (@openbookopen) who I trust with all the queer book recommendations.

“From London to Kuala Lumpur, New York to Cologne, we follow Tom and Ming as they face tectonic shifts in their relationship and friend circle in the wake of Ming’s transition. Through a spiral of unforeseen crises—some personal, some professional, some life-altering—Tom and Ming are forced to confront the vastly different shapes their lives have taken since graduating, and each must answer the essential question: Is it worth losing a part of yourself to become who you are?”

Khashayar J. Khabushani: I Will Greet the Sun Again

“Growing up in the San Fernando Valley with his two brothers, all K wants is to be “a boy from L.A.,” all American. But K—the youngest, named after a Persian king—knows there’s something different about himself. Like the way he feels about his closest friend, Johnny, a longing that he can’t share with anyone.”

Deniz Utlu: Vaters Meer

Utlus Lesung beim diesjährigen Bachmann-Preis hätte eine kundigere Besprechung verdient. Ich bin gespannt diesen Langtext jetzt zu lesen.

“Yunus ist dreizehn Jahre alt, da erleidet sein Vater zwei Schlaganfälle und ist fortan nahezu vollständig gelähmt. Er kann nur noch über Augenbewegungen kommunizieren. Zehn Jahre wird er von Yunus’ Mutter gepflegt, erst in einem Heim, dann zu Hause, bevor er stirbt. Und Yunus, der zum Studium ausgezogen ist aus der elterlichen Wohnung, ruft sich immer wieder Bilder aus seiner Kindheit wach: Erlebnisse und Gespräche mit dem Vater, von denen er manchmal gar nicht mehr wusste, dass er sie noch in sich trägt. Sie fügen sich zu dem warmherzigen Porträt eines Mannes, der mit lauter Stimme lachte oder auf Arabisch fluchte, der häufig abwesend und leicht reizbar war und der einst aus Mardin nahe der türkisch-syrischen Grenze nach Istanbul ging, dort den Militärputsch miterlebte und schließlich mit einem Frachtschiff nach Deutschland kam.”

Gabrielle Boulianne-Tremblay (tr. Eli Tareq El Bechelany-Lynch): Dandelion Daughter

I have loved Eli Tareq El Bechelany-Lynch’s own writing in the past, so very excited to see what they choose to translate.

Dandelion Daughter is an intimate portrait of growing up having been assigned the wrong sex at birth. Set against the windswept countryside of the remote Charlevoix region some five hours north of Montreal, Boulianne-Tremblay’s autobiographical novel immortalizes her early years as an alienated boy trapped in a world of small-town values. In the midst of her parents’ dissolving marriage, Boulianne-Tremblay takes us through the complex adolescent years of self-discovery and first loves, to the harrowing episodes that fuel the growing realization that she must transition and give birth to her new self if she is to continue living at all. One of the first novels of its kind to appear in Quebec, this inspiring story has connected with a wide readership and has been adopted by many schools.”

Shushan Avagyan (transl. by Deanna Cachoian-Schanz): A Book, Untitled

This sounds utterly fascinating: deeply experimental, feminist text translated from Armenian.

“Written as a literary experiment, Girq-anvernagir was published as samizdat in Yerevan. As the reader navigates 26.5 chapters of seemingly unrelated vignettes, they discover that Avagyan, while writing the novel as a translator’s diary, is also mapping out a larger archival or archeological site: an imagined encounter between two early twentieth-century feminist writers, Shushanik Kurghinian and Zabel Yesayan. Having been obscured and forgotten through both Stalin’s regime and the patriarchal rendering of the Armenian literary and historical canons, this book recovers the legacies of these two feminist authors.”

Waubgeshig Rice: Moon of the Turning Leaves

Sequel to Moon of the Crusted Snow.

“It’s been over a decade since a mysterious cataclysm caused a permanent blackout that toppled infrastructure and thrust the world into anarchy. Evan Whitesky led his community in remote northern Ontario off the rez and into the bush, where they’ve been living off the land, rekindling their Anishinaabe traditions in total isolation from the outside world. As new generations are born, and others come of age in the world after everything, Evan’s people are in some ways stronger than ever. But resources in and around their new settlement are beginning to dry up, and the elders warn that they cannot afford to stay indefinitely.
    Evan and his fifteen-year-old daughter, Nangohns, are elected to lead a small scouting party on a months-long trip to their traditional home on the north shore of Lake Huron—to seek new beginnings, and discover what kind of life—and what dangers—still exist in the lands to the south.”

Jesmyn Ward: Let Us Descend

I have loved everything I have read yet by Ward and would buy any new novel of hers no matter the synopsis.

“Annis, sold south by the white enslaver who fathered her, is the reader’s guide through this hellscape. As she struggles through the miles-long march, Annis turns inward, seeking comfort from memories of her mother and stories of her African warrior grandmother. Throughout, she opens herself to a world beyond this world, one teeming with spirits: of earth and water, of myth and history; spirits who nurture and give, and those who manipulate and take. While Ward leads readers through the descent, this, her fourth novel, is ultimately a story of rebirth and reclamation.”

Jordan Peele (ed.): Out There Screaming: An Anthology of New Black Horror

The author list of this anthology is just amazing. I am especially excited for stories by the following authors: Lesley Nneka Arimah (!), P. Djèlí Clark, N. K. Jemisin, Nnedi Okorafor, Tochi Onyebuchi, and Cadwell Turnbull.

“Featuring an introduction by Jordan Peele and an all-star roster of beloved writers and new voices, Out There Screaming is a master class in horror, and – like his spine-chilling films – its stories prey on everything we think we know about our world, and redefine what it means to be afraid. Very afraid . . .”

Oksana Vasyakina (tr. Elina Alter): Wound 

“From one of Russia’s most exciting new voices, Wound follows a young lesbian poet on a journey from Moscow to her hometown in Siberia, where she has promised to bury her mother’s ashes. Woven throughout this fascinating travel narrative are harrowing and at times sublime memories of her childhood and her sexual and artistic awakening. As she carefully documents her grief and interrogates her past, the narrator of Oksana Vasyakina’s autobiographical novel meditates on queerness, death, and love and finds new words for understanding her relationship with her mother, her country, her sexuality, and her identity as an artist.                                  

Sin Blaché and Helen Macdonald: Prophet

Described as “tantalizing adventure fusing noir, sci-fi and a slow burn queer romance” which sounds like an intriguing mixture.

“Adam Rubenstein and Sunil Rao have been reluctant partners since their Uzbekistan days. Adam is a seemingly unflappable American Intelligence officer and Rao is an ex-MI6 agent, an addict and rudderless pleasure hound, with the uncanny ability to discern the truth of things—about everyone and everything other than Adam. When an American diner turns up in a foggy field in the UK after a mysterious death, Adam and Rao are called in to investigate, setting into motion the most dangerous and otherworldly mission of their lives.”

Zadie Smith: The Fraud

I belong to the minority (?) of readers who really prefers Smith’s fiction to her essay – so obviously I am excited that a new novel is coming out.

“Kilburn, 1873. The ‘Tichborne Trial’ has captivated the widowed Scottish housekeeper Mrs Eliza Touchet and all of England. Readers are at odds over whether the defendant is who he claims to be – or an imposter.

Mrs Touchet is a woman of many interests: literature, justice, abolitionism, class, her novelist cousin and his wives, this life and the next. But she is also sceptical. She suspects England of being a land of façades, in which nothing is quite what it seems.

Andrew Bogle meanwhile finds himself the star witness, his future depending on telling the right story. Growing up enslaved on the Hope Plantation, Jamaica, he knows every lump of sugar comes at a human cost. That the rich deceive the poor. And that people are more easily manipulated than they realise.”

E. J. Koh: The Liberators

I have read E.J. Koh’s The Magical Language of Others and loved her writing.

“At the height of the military dictatorship in South Korea, Insuk and Sungho are arranged to be married. The couple soon moves to San Jose, California, with an infant and Sungho’s overbearing mother-in-law. Adrift in a new country, Insuk grieves the loss of her past and her divided homeland, finding herself drawn into an illicit relationship that sets into motion a dramatic saga and echoes for generations to come.”

Maya Binyam: Hangman

“A man returns home to sub-Saharan Africa after twenty-six years in America. When he arrives, he finds that he doesn’t recognize the country or anyone in it. Thankfully, someone recognizes him, a man who calls him brother—setting him on a quest to find his real brother, who is dying.”                                   

Kobby Ben Ben: No One Dies Yet

I have been following Kobby on Instagram quite some time and I am pretty sure this novel will be an unforgettable ride.

“2019, The Year of Return. It has been exactly 400 years since the first slave ships left Ghana for America. Ghana has now opened its doors to Black diasporans, encouraging them to return and get to know the land of their ancestors.

Elton, Vincent, and Scott arrive from America to visit preserved sites from the transatlantic slave route, and to explore the country’s underground queer scene. Their activities are narrated by their two combative guides: Kobby, their way into Accra’s privileged circles; and Nana, the voice of tradition and religious principle. The pair’s tense relationship sets the tone for what becomes a shocking and unsettling tale of murder that is at times funny, at times erotic, yet always outspoken and iconoclastic.”

Justin Torres: Blackouts

“Out in the desert in a place called the Palace, a young man tends to a dying soul, someone he once knew briefly, but who has haunted the edges of his life. Juan Gay—playful raconteur, child lost and found and lost, guardian of the institutionalized—has a project to pass along to this new narrator. It is inspired by a true artifact of a book, Sex Variants: A Study in Homosexual Patterns, which contains stories collected in the early twentieth century from queer subjects by a queer researcher, Jan Gay, whose groundbreaking work was then co-opted by a committee, her name buried. As Juan waits for his end, he and the narrator trade stories—moments of joy and oblivion—and resurrect lost loves, lives, mothers, fathers, minor heroes. The past is with us, beside us, ahead of us; what are we to create from its gaps and erasures?”

Djuna (transl. by Anton Hur): Counterweight

Again, I am drawn in by my trust in the translator.

“On the fictional island of Patusan—and much to the ire of the Patusan natives—the Korean conglomerate LK is constructing an elevator into Earth’s orbit, gradually turning this one-time tropical resort town into a teeming travel hub: a gateway to and from our planet. Up in space, holding the elevator’s “spider cable” taut, is a mass of space junk known as the counterweight. And stashed within that junk is a trove of crucial data: a memory fragment left by LK’s former CEO, the control of which will determine the company’s—and humanity’s—future.”

Malavika Kannan: All the Yellow Suns

Always interested in characters which engage in activism – especially if the characters are also queer, as it is the case here.

“Sixteen-year-old Maya Krishnan is fiercely protective of her friends, immigrant community, and single mother, but she knows better than to rock the boat in her conservative Florida suburb. Her classmate Juneau Zale is the polar opposite: she’s a wealthy white heartbreaker who won’t think twice before capsizing that boat.
When Juneau invites Maya to join the Pugilists—a secret society of artists, vandals, and mischief-makers who fight for justice at their school—Maya descends into the world of change-making and resistance. Soon, she and Juneau forge a friendship that inspires Maya to confront the challenges in her own life.”

Molly Llewellyn, Kristel Buckley (eds.): Peach Pit: Sixteen Stories of Unsavory Women

Another anthology with a fascinating author list. I am especially interested in Deesha Philyaw’s and K-Ming Chang’s contributions.

“In these sixteen stories, we see women at their most monstrous—as con artists and murderers, cutthroats and scalpers, ruled by ambition and grief and spite. Characters for those tired of being told to play nice. Dressed to the nines in morally gray, the stories in this anthology comprise an envelope full of teeth: each one distinct, unsettling, and sharp enough to rip out a throat.”

Teju Cole: Tremor

It’s been a while since we got some fiction from Cole, so this is kind of an event!

“A weekend spent antiquing is shadowed by the colonial atrocities that occurred on that land. A walk at dusk is interrupted by casual racism. A loving marriage is riven by mysterious tensions. And a remarkable cascade of voices speaks out from a pulsing metropolis.

We’re invited to experience these events and others through the eyes and ears of Tunde, a West African man working as a teacher of photography on a renowned New England campus. He is a reader, a listener, a traveler, drawn to many different kinds of stories: stories from history and epic; stories of friends, family, and strangers; stories found in books and films. Together these stories make up his days. In aggregate these days comprise a life.”

Zalika Reid-Benta: River Mumma

“Alicia has been out of grad school for months. She has no career prospects and lives with her mom, who won’t stop texting her macabre news stories and reminders to pick up items from the grocery store.

Then, one evening, the Jamaican water deity, River Mumma, appears to Alicia, telling her that she has twenty-four hours to scour the city for her missing comb.”

CJ Connor: Board to Death

“The first in an ulta-charming new “quozy” mystery series starring Ben Rosencrantz, a queer 30-something English professor (and closet scifi fan) who’s returned to his hometown of Salt Lake City to run his family’s board game shop in the trendy Sugar House neighborhood – a community hotspot for players of all ages…and for killer collectors!”        

Ashley Herring Blake: Iris Kelly Doesn’t Date

The third book in this queer romance series and I am seeing forward to returning to this friend group.

“Everyone around Iris Kelly is in love. Her best friends are all coupled up, her siblings have partners that are perfect for them, and her parents are still blissfully married. And she’s happy for all of them, truly. Iris doesn’t want any of that—dating, love, romance. She’ll stick to her commitment-free hookups, thanks very much, except no one in her life will just let her be. Everyone wants to see her settled down, but she holds firmly to her no dating rule. There’s only one problem—Iris is a romance author facing an imminent deadline for her second book, and she’s completely out of ideas.”                         

Maru Ayase (transl. by Haydn Trowell): The Forest Brims Over

“Nowatari Rui has long been the subject of her husband’s novels, depicted as a pure woman who takes great pleasure in sex. With her privacy and identity continually stripped away, she has come to be seen by society first and foremost as the inspiration for her husband’s art. When a decade’s worth of frustrations reaches its boiling point, Rui consumes a bowl of seeds, and buds and roots begin to sprout all over her body. Instead of taking her to a hospital, her husband keeps her in an aquaterrarium, set to compose a new novel based on this unsettling experience. But Rui breaks away from her husband by growing into a forest—and in time, she takes over the entire city.”

Selma Kay Matter: Grelle Tage

“Es schmilzt, es wankt, etwas ist in unserer Welt längst ins Ungleichgewicht geraten. Das Eis schwindet und hinterlässt Schlamm und Krater. Mammuts werden freigelegt und schnell werden Jäger:innen davon angelockt – endlich können sie Elfenbein verkaufen, ohne zu töten. In Grelle Tage, in dem die Geschehnisse stets parallel verlaufen und die Figuren Zeit und Raum mühelos überwinden, taucht auch ein 13.000 Jahre alter zerfledderter Wolfshund in einem ausgetrockneten Brandenburger See auf. Dort sitzt Teenager:in Jo, schwitzend und nie mehr schlafend, damit sich die Welt vor den eigenen Augen nicht noch weiter auflöst. Aber das Tauklima hat nicht nur die Böden, sondern auch die Berge in Bewegung versetzt, dem Matterhorn fehlt nun das Horn. Wolfshund und Jo begeben sich gemeinsam auf einen wilden Roadtrip, kaufen im Baumarkt Kies und klauen ein Auto, um das Loch im Berg zu füllen. Aber der zerfledderte Hund verliert beständig an Substanz, obwohl er die Mission unbedingt zu Ende bringen will. Die Zersetzung hat längst begonnen.”                    

Sarah Coolidge (ed.): Elektrik: Caribbean Writing

“In Elektrik, eight women writers from Haiti, Martinique, and Guadeloupe come together to explore, in poetry and prose, the complex nature of Caribbean existence. A single mother has an intimate encounter with a migrant worker; a teenager discovers her sexuality in the shadow of her twin sister; a poet summons a chorus of sirens, only to warn them: “Keep your voices’ beauty from waylaying sailors.” Through glittering translations from French, Elektrik sings the experience of Franco-Caribbean identity today. These writers communicate through the silence of the past to the unknowability of the future–forever in the rare language of literature.”

Emma Donoghue: Learned by Heart

Donoghue is an author I really enjoy. My favourite books of her are Hood, The Pull of The Stars and Kissing the Witch. (Yes, I have never read Room). And yes, it’s a novel about Anne Lister, so I am doubly sold.

“Drawing on years of investigation and Anne Lister’s five-million-word secret journal, Learned by Heart is the long-buried love story of Eliza Raine, an orphan heiress banished from India to England at age six, and Anne Lister, a brilliant, troublesome tomboy, who meet at the Manor School for young ladies in York in 1805 when they are both fourteen.
Emotionally intense, psychologically compelling, and deeply researched, Learned by Heart is an extraordinary work of fiction by one of the world’s greatest storytellers. Full of passion and heartbreak, the tangled lives of Anne Lister and Eliza Raine form a love story for the ages.”

Megan Kamalei Kakimoto: Every Drop Is a Man’s Nightmare

“Centering native Hawaiian identity, and how it unfolds in the lives, mind and bodies of kanaka women, the stories in Kakimoto’s debut collection are speculative and uncanny, exploring themes of queerness, colonization and desire. Both a fierce love letter to mixed native Hawaiian and Japanese women and a searing dispatch from an occupied territory simmering with tension, Every Drop is a Man’s Nightmare takes seriously the superstitions born of the islands. Kakimoto’s characters seek pleasure and purpose even in absurd circumstances, often with a surprising sense of humor, and her stories treat Hawai’i as so much more than a postcard from paradise.”

Nilufar Karkhiran Khozani: Terafik

“Es ist Nilufars erste Reise nach Iran und in eine ihr unbekannte Familie – die Familie ihres Vaters, der sie verlassen hat, als sie noch ein junges Mädchen war, und zurück in seine Heimat gegangen ist. Dort trifft sie auf neue Gesichter, die alle ihre Wunden und Sehnsüchte haben, und eine Gesellschaft voller Gegensätze. Nilufar lernt ein Leben kennen, das hätte ihres sein können, und einen Vater, der ihr immer dann ausweicht, wenn sie ihm nahekommt. Umgeben vom Chaos der ständig fließenden Hauptstadt Teheran und der wohlmeinenden Gastfreundschaft ihrer Verwandten entblättert Nilufar Schicht um Schicht die Zerrissenheit eines Landes, ihrer Familie und ihrer eigenen Identität.”

Wild Geese by Soula Emmanuel

The second half of 2023 seems to be the time of fascinating novels by trans women and I am here for it.

“Phoebe Forde has a new home, a new name, and is newly thirty. An Irish transplant and PhD candidate, she’s overeducated and underpaid, but finally settling into her new life in Copenhagen. Almost three years into her gender transition, Phoebe has learned to move through the world carefully, savoring small moments of joy. After all, a woman without a past can be anyone she wants. But an unexpected visit from her ex-girlfriend Grace brings back memories of Dublin and the life she thought she’d left behind. Over the course of a weekend, their romance rekindles into something sweet and radically unfamiliar as Grace helps Phoebe navigate the jagged edges of nostalgia and hope.”

Collage with all covers of the non fiction titled listed under the headline "Non Fiction"

Non Fiction

Kai Cheng Thom: Falling Back In Love With Being Human: Letters to Lost Souls

I have loved Kai Cheng Thom’s essays and writing in general in the past and this sounds like a very needed addition.

“Kai Cheng Thom grew up a Chinese Canadian transgender girl in a hostile world. As an activist, psychotherapist, conflict mediator, and spiritual healer, she’s always pursued the same deeply personal mission: to embrace the revolutionary belief that every human being, no matter how hateful or horrible, is intrinsically sacred.

But then Kai Cheng found herself in a crisis of faith, overwhelmed by the viciousness with which people treated one another, and barely clinging to the values and ideals she’d built her life around: justice, hope, love, and healing. Rather than succumb to despair and cynicism, she gathered all her rage and grief and took one last leap of faith: she wrote. Whether prayers or spells or poems—and whether there’s a difference—she wrote to affirm the outcasts and runaways she calls her kin. She wrote to flawed but nonetheless lovable men, to people with good intentions who harm their own, to racists and transphobes seemingly beyond saving. What emerged was a blueprint for falling back in love with being human.”

Alina Buschmann, Luisa L’Audace (eds.): Angry Cripples – Stimmen behinderter Menschen gegen Ableismus

Der Leykam: Verlag ist mir erstmals aufgefallen durch die (sehr gute) Streitschrift Radikale Inklusion von Hannah Wahl. Von Luisa L’Audace habe ich erst dieses Jahr das Buch Behindert und Stolz gelesen, welches ich sehr mochte. Diese Anthologie könnte als famos werden.

“»Angry Cripples« werden behinderte Menschen abfällig genannt, denen vorgeworfen wird, aufgrund ihrer Behinderung verbittert zu sein. Dieses Buch fordert den Begriff zurück und besetzt ihn neu. Es kommen ausschließlich behinderte Menschen zu Wort – und viele von ihnen sind wütend darüber, wie die Gesellschaft mit ihnen umgeht. Zu Recht. Hier verschaffen sie sich Gehör, um eine inklusive Gesellschaft mitzuprägen. Sie schreiben unter anderem über Pränataldiagnostik, selbstbestimmte Sexualität, Sichtbarkeit und Social Media. Die Beiträge bilden die große Vielfalt behinderter Lebensrealität in unserer Gesellschaft ab: es gibt fiktive Texte, wissenschaftliche Beiträge, Zeichnungen, Interviews und Brandreden.”

Helen Knott: Becoming A Matriarch

“When matriarchs begin to disappear, there is a choice to either step into the places they left behind, or to craft a new space.

Helen Knott’s debut memoir, In My Own Moccasins, wowed reviewers, award juries, and readers alike with its profoundly honest and moving account of addiction, intergenerational trauma, resilience, and survival. Now, in her highly anticipated second book, Knott returns with a chronicle of grief, love, and legacy.”

Myriam Gurba: Creep: Accusations and Confessions

I absolutely loved Gurba’s short stories and Mean was very memorable. This promises to be fantastic.

“A ruthless and razor-sharp essay collection that tackles the pervasive, creeping oppression and toxicity that has wormed its way into society—in our books, schools, and homes, as well as the systems that perpetuate them—from the acclaimed author of Mean, and one of our fiercest, foremost explorers of intersectional Latinx identity.”

Sonya Huber: Love and Industry: A Midwestern Workbook

Sonya Huber’s Pain Woman Takes Your Keys is one of my favourite books on chronic pain and I have enjoyed her writing ever since.

“Sometimes experimental and always inventive, Love and Industry: A Midwestern Workbook takes seriously Chicagoland’s farthest reaches—gritty, sweeping, a region full of its own distinct feelings of “almostness”—and transforms them into a map of the heart, a ramshackle territory marked by memory, family, regret, determination, and wonderment.”

Jenn Shapland: Thin Skin: Essays

Loved Shapland’s book about Carson McCullers and this sounds like a very different book but equally interesting.

“Weaving together historical research, interviews, and her everyday life in New Mexico, Shapland probes the lines between self and work, human and animal, need and desire. She traces the legacies of nuclear weapons development on Native land, unable to let go of her search for contamination until it bleeds out into her own family’s medical history. She questions the toxic myth of white womanhood and the fear of traveling alone that she’s been made to feel since girlhood. And she explores her desire to build a creative life as a queer woman, asking whether such a thing as a meaningful life is possible under capitalism.”

Alicia Kennedy: No Meat Required: The Cultural History and Culinary Future of Plant-Based Eating

“In No Meat Required, author Alicia Kennedy chronicles the fascinating history of plant-based eating in the United States, from the early experiments in tempeh production undertaken by the Farm commune in the 70s to the vegan punk cafes and anarchist zines of the 90s to the chefs and food writers seeking to decolonize vegetarian food today.”

Cherríe Moraga: Loving in the War Years

“In celebration of the 40th anniversary of its original publication, this updated edition of Loving in the War Years combines Moraga’s classic memoir with The Last Generation: Poetry and Prose, resulting in a challenging, inspiring, and insightful touchstone for artists and activists—and for anyone striving to foster care and community.”

Klancy Miller: For the Culture: Phenomenal Black Women and Femmes in Food: Interviews, Inspiration, and Recipes

“Chef and writer Klancy Miller found her own way by trial and error—as a pastry chef, recipe developer, author, and founder of For the Culture magazine—but what if she had known then what she knows now? What if she had known the extraordinary women profiled within these pages—entrepreneurs, chefs, food stylists, mixologists, historians, influencers, hoteliers, and more—and learned from their stories?”

Moshtari Hilal: Hässlichkeit

Einfach alles an dem Buch klingt faszinierend.

“Dichte Körperbehaarung, braune Zähne, große Nasen: Moshtari Hilal befragt Ideen von Hässlichkeit. In ihrem einzigartigen Buch schreibt sie von Beauty Salons in Kabul als Teil der US-Invasion, von Darwins Evolutionstheorie, von Kim Kardashian und von einem utopischen Ort im Schatten der Nase. Ihre Erkundungen, Analysen und Erinnerungen, ihre Bildzitate und eigenen Zeichnungen führen in jenen innersten Bereich, in dem jedes Selbstverständnis auf dem Prüfstand steht. Warum fürchten wir uns vor dem Hässlichen? Poetisch und berührend, intim und hochpolitisch erzählt Moshtari Hilal von uns allen, wenn sie von den Normen erzählt, mit denen wir uns traktieren.”               

Alicia Roth Weigel: Inverse Cowgirl

Really interested to read this book by an activist for intersex rights.

” In this book, Alicia boldly speaks out about working as a change agent in a state that actively attempts to pass legislation that would erase her existence, explores how we can reclaim bodily autonomy, and encourages us to amplify our voices to be heard. Disarming, funny, charming, and powerful, this is a vital account of personal accomplishment that will open eyes and change minds.”

Melina Borčak: Mekka hier, Mekka da 

“Wahlplakat, Brandanschlag, Massengrab.
Antimuslimischer Rassismus ist ein riesiges Problem. Doch zu viele Pestknödel denken, alle Muslim:innen würden bauchtanzend von einem Terroranschlag zum nächsten rumdschihadieren. Vieles daran beginnt mit der Sprache.

Melina Borčak analysiert sprachliches Framing und Denkmuster, die uns trotz bester Absichten unbewusst in Rassismus abdriften lassen. Und
erklärt, wie wir es alle besser machen können. Ohne abgehobene Elite-Sprache, sondern von ’ner Immigrantin, die Deutsch da gelernt hat, wo es am schönsten ist – bei RTL2 »Frauentausch«.”                          

Mara Mills und Rebecca Sanchez (eds.): Crip Authorship Disability as Method

I watched a book presentation on this book and learned already so much. Now I am even more excited to read all the texts.

“Crip Authorship: Disability as Method is a comprehensive volume presenting the multidisciplinary methods brought into being by disability studies and activism. Mara Mills and Rebecca Sanchez have convened leading scholars, artists, and activists to explore how disability shapes authorship, transforming cultural production, aesthetics, and media.
Starting from the premise that disability is plural and authorship is an ongoing project, this collection of thirty-five compact essays asks how knowledge about disability is produced and shared in disability studies. Crip authorship takes place within and beyond the commodity version of authorship, in books, on social media, and in creative works that will never be published. Crip authorship celebrates people, experiences, and methods that have been obscured; it also involves protest and dismantling. It can mean innovating around accessibility or attending to the false starts, dead ends, and failures resulting from mis-fit and oppression.”

Safiya Sinclair: How to Say Babylon: A Memoir

How to Say Babylon is Sinclair’s reckoning with the culture that initially nourished but ultimately sought to silence her; it is her reckoning with patriarchy and tradition, and the legacy of colonialism in Jamaica. Rich in lyricism and language only a poet could evoke, How to Say Babylon is both a universal story of a woman finding her own power and a unique glimpse into a rarefied world we may know how to name, Rastafari, but one we know little about.”

Jude Dibia, Olumide F Makanjuola (eds.): Love Offers No Safety

Love Offers No Safety: Nigeria’s Queer Men Speak tells the stories of a marginalized community in their own words. These collected narratives include stories of love, heartbreak, tenderness, and struggle, and show that there is no one universal queer experience. Love Offers No Safety also serves as an exploration of what it is to be a man–how societal pressures foster toxic masculinity, and the barriers this creates for learning to understand one another, also challenges society at large to re-think its idea of what being a man entails and what this means for society itself and how such concepts limits men and women’s freedom to be, to live and to understand each other.”

Collage with all covers of the poetry titled listed under the headline "Poetry"


Sally Wen Mao: The Kingdom of Surfaces: Poems

“In The Kingdom of Surfaces, award-winning poet Sally Wen Mao examines art and history—especially the provenance of objects such as porcelain, silk, and pearls—to frame an important conversation on beauty, empire, commodification, and violence. In lyric poems and wide-ranging sequences, Mao interrogates gendered expressions such as the contemporary “leftover women,” which denotes unmarried women, and the historical “castle-toppler,” a term used to describe a concubine whose beauty ruins an emperor and his empire. These poems also explore the permeability of object and subject through the history of Chinese women in America, labor practices around the silk loom, and the ongoing violence against Asian people during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Cyril Wong: Beachlight

Beachlight is a sustained poem divided into smaller parts that take on the anonymous voices of those lost and forgotten. A walk along a Singaporean beach transforms into a meditation that bridges an ecological consciousness to the sexual and the homoerotic. The poems in Beachlight expose revelations about the nature of desire, inviting readers to walk beside—and inside—them, reminding us of what we gain when we abandon ourselves to nature and exhorting us to reclaim our primordial connections to the world and to one another.”

Emily Zobel Marshall: Bath of Herbs

“Emily Zobel Marshall spent her childhood in a remote village in the mountains of Snowdonia in North Wales with her Black Caribbean mother and white English father. 

Bath of Herbs is her beautifully crafted, honest and thoughtful first collection which explores the complexity of mixed-race, hybrid identities and relationships to the English and Welsh mountains, fells, rivers and shorelines from an ‘othered’, unmappable, positionality. ”                                                        

H. Warren: Binded

““I sew myself together / again and again” in urgent vulnerability, H Warren’s debut collection, Binded, discloses their reality of living nonbinary in the rural context of Alaska. With breasts bound by compression, these poems explore the space that binds the body into itself, stuck in unrelenting forces of binary politics and violence. Each poem is a stitching and restitching of the self—an examination of trans-survival. This is a courageous collection—an anthem of Queer resilience and a reminder of the healing powers of community care.”

Fariha Róisín: Survival Takes a Wild Imagination

“This collection of poetry asks a kaleidoscope of questions: Who is my family? My father? How do I love a mother no longer here? Can I see myself? What does it mean to be Bangladeshi? What is a border? Innately hopeful and resolutely strong, Fariha’s voice turns to the optimism and beauty inherent in rebuilding the self, and in turn, the world that the self moves through. Ubiquitous to the human experience, Survival Takes a Wild Imagination is an illuminating breath of fresh air from a powerful poetic voice.”

More Books To Be Excited About

Elizabeth Acevedo: Family Lore; Alix E. Harrow: Starling House; Debanuj DasGupta, Joseph Donica, and Margot Weiss (eds.): Queer Then And Now: From CLAGS: The Center for LGBTQ Studies; Marlen Pelny: Warum wir noch hier sind; Jürgen Pettinger: Dorothea: Queere Heldin unterm Hakenkreuz; Alena Schröder: Bei euch ist es immer so unheimlich still; Lev AC Rosen: The Bell in the Fog; Gabriela Romero Lacruz: The Sun and The Void; Nnedi Okorafor: Shadow Speaker; Lydia Kiesling: Mobility; A Victoria Lee: Shot in the Dark; Jhumpa Lahiri: Roman Stories; Red Washburn and JV Fuqua (eds.): WSQ: NONBINARY; Pidgeon Pagonis: Nobody Needs to Know; Elina Penner: Migrantenmutti; Hami Nguyen: Das Ende der Unsichtbarkeit. Warum wir über anti-asiatischen Rassismus sprechen müssen.; S.L. Huang: The Water Outlaws; McKenzie Wark: Love and Money, Sex and Death; Viet Thanh Nguyen: A Man of Two Faces: A Memoir, A History, A Memorial; Rachel Runya Katz: Thank You For Sharing; Colson Whitehead: Crook Manifesto; Shastri Akella: The Sea Elephants; C Pam Zhang: Land of Milk and Honey; Raquel Willis: The Risk it Takes to Bloom; From CLAGS: The Center for LGBTQ Studies: Queer Ideas; Yan Ge: Elsewhere: Stories; Kemi Ashing-Giwa: The Splinter in the Sky; Farai Mudzingwa: Avenues by Train; Nicole Sealey: The Ferguson Report: An Erasure

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