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LGBTQ

Why I Write About LGBTQ Kids-Jean P. Moore

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When my first novel, Water on the Moon (She Writes Press), came out, I was invariably asked about the subplot of teen lesbianism. In my new novel, Tilda’s Promise, I have included 14-year-old Tilly who is questioning her gender. And I will no doubt be asked why I chose to include that particular uncertainty. Want more BookTrib? Sign up NOW for news and giveaways!   When it comes to the acronym, LGBTQ, I lean heavily on the Q (often used to signify “questioning”). And when it comes to transgender youth, I do it for reasons that have nothing to do with whether I’m “for it” or “against it.” I’m certain no parent with a child or adolescent questioning his or her gender ever…

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Primer for Personal Safety and Healthy Relationships

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Whether telling a street harasser to back off, explaining to a date you’re not interested in physical contact, or telling a boss you can’t work late, boundary setting in today’s world is crucial to healthy relationships and personal safety. So says Cristien Storm, longtime mental health therapist and author of Empowered Boundaries: Speaking Truth, Setting Boundaries, and Inspiring Social Change (North Atlantic Books). According to Storm, many of us do not have the tools to create and articulate effective boundaries. Further, she says, many are unsure of how to enforce the boundaries they set. Empowered Boundaries comes at a time when the #MeToo movement is leaving many wanting more in the way of language, tools and tactics for setting and…

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“Ohio” by Stephen Markley Introduces New Voice(s) in American Fiction

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Ohio by Stephen Markley (Simon & Schuster) deserves to be only the first of a series because its characters are worth more than one book, and the story of their America is worth more than one look. This sprawling, spiraling novel begins one summer night in 2013, as four former high school classmates are about to meet again in New Canaan, their Rust Belt Ohio town. Each is traveling from far corners, each bearing memories that must be obeyed and secrets that will be revealed. The book is narrated from each of their viewpoints in a gripping saga that slowly builds into a symphony that hits all the right notes. New Canaan is a snapshot of so many places in…

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Sarah Winman’s “Tin Man” is Heartbreaking and Tender

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A tender and beautiful story, Sarah Winman’s novel Tin Man is heartbreaking and wonderfully moving, focusing on the relationship between two people, first as young boys and then as adults, with an exquisitely written and introspective look into the experiences and intimacies that are shared in a relationship so close. At twelve years old, Ellis and Michael become friends, with shared similarities in their difficult family lives and less than stellar relationships with their fathers. The two spend a lot of time together, having fun and exploring their hometown, learning to swim, and more. Then, their close friendship becomes something much more. Ten years later, Ellis is married to Annie, and Michael is gone from the picture. Burdened with shame stemming from…

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Amy Spalding on a Fat Character Who’s Not the “Before”

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BookTrib is partnering with Bookish to bring you more great content. Readers looking for a fun and summery YA rom-com won’t want to miss The Summer of Jordi Perez (and the Best Burger in Los Angeles). The novel follows Abby Ives, a gay girl and plus-sized fashion blogger on a mission to find the best burger in LA and to score a paid position at the boutique where she interns. Along the way, she falls in love with another girl interning at the shop, photographer Jordi Perez. Here author Amy Spalding writes about her connection to Abby and the importance of fat narratives that don’t treat characters like before and after photos. Like most writers, I have a constant list of book ideas taking up space in my…

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Exclusive Interview and Excerpt: Jen Wang’s ‘The Prince and the Dressmaker’

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BookTrib is partnering with Bookish to bring you more great content. Jen Wang’s latest graphic novel, The Prince and the Dressmaker, is an inspiring story about the blossoming connection between a young seamstress with dreams of becoming a fashion designer and a prince who wears dresses by night and longs for parental acceptance by day. This interview with author and illustrator Jen Wang includes and exclusive excerpt from the book that is quickly becoming a fan favorite.   The Prince and the Dressmaker (excerpt) Interview with Jen Wang Bookish: This is a story about self acceptance and identity exploration. What drew you to those themes? Jen Wang: I wrote this book for my teenage self, so it’s all about themes that were important to my young self: questioning…

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*NEW COLUMN* Chasing Phantoms: Copenhaver’s Debut, ‘Dodging and Burning’ is an ‘Hommage to Pulp Fiction’

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One of the things that makes BookTrib special is our commitment to connecting readers to writers, editors and experts in the business of books! That is why we have partnered with the International Thriller Writers (ITW) to help discover debut thriller writers. Our new column features reviews by veteran editor, Neil Nyren. Nyren retired at the end of 2017 as the EVP, Associate Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of G.P. Putnam’s Sons (a division of Penguin Random House). He is the winner of the 2017 Ellery Queen Award and over the course of his career,  has edited 294 New York Times bestsellers, including books by Larry King, Andy Rooney, Tom Clancy, Senator Harry Reid and Wayne Gretzky. We are thrilled to have Neil bring…

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No Singular Brand of Feminism in Naomi Alderman’s ‘The Power’

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In this enthralling, dare we say feminist, prize of speculative fiction The Power, Naomi Alderman conceives a near future where the deadly power to electrify spirals from women’s collarbones, through their hands, effusing across the globe, forcing a new world order. Though published in 2016, interest in the book picks up non-stop speed around the world, particularly in the U.S., as it interprets the zeitgeist of heady power brandished, and condemned, under the many-colored banners of feminism. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s historic eight-hour speech while wearing four-inch heels dominates headlines, a seemingly inspiring moment for women in politics. Yet, it competes with accusations of abuse against former White House staff secretary Rob Porter—the President siding with Porter tweeting, “Peoples…

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‘Representation Matters:’ LGBTQIA Literature Goes Mainstream

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From coming of age narratives to personal memoirs, literature has been exploring themes of sexuality for as long as people have been publishing stories. We often call this queer lit (though it’s important to note that some take offense at that term) or gay lit, umbrella terms to identify any type of narrative that features LGBTQIA characters. But in a culture that has long been dominated by heteronormativity, stories exploring alternative sexualities have struggled to find a place in mainstream publishing. Instead, books about LGBTQIA characters have often been relegated to smaller presses or niche audiences. If mainstream books even featured LGBTQIA characters, they were usually treated as the funny or tragic sidekicks supporting the (straight) main character’s journey. There…

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Black, White and (well) Read: Diverse Bookfinder Makes Diversity in Children’s Literature a Priority

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According to the U. S. Census Bureau, by 2020, “more than half of the nation’s children are expected to be part of a minority race or ethnic group.” Therefore, it will be important for literature, specifically books, to accurately represent the diversity of the population. Growing up as a biracial child, it wasn’t easy for me to relate or identify with anyone. From people I saw on television shows, to the characters in the books, no one looked like me— or, more accurately— I didn’t really look like anyone else. This was something that I struggled with far past childhood, and into college. Even my older sister and I don’t look that similar. She has a darker complexion, despite having…

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‘Andi Mack’: Meet Disney Channel’s First LGBTQ Character

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In a year of bold pop-culture moves, the latest comes to us from the Disney Channel! The hit sitcom, Andi Mack, will introduce the network’s first LGBTQ character. In season one, 13-year old Andi Mack, learns her older sister Bex is actually her mother, and that her mother Celia is her grandmother. Helping her deal with this identity crisis and her crush on classmate Jonah, are her friends, Cyrus and Buffy. In a surprise twist in the finale of Season 1, it was revealed that Andi’s BFF Cyrus has a crush on Jonah, too. In Season 2, which premieres this Friday, Cyrus will grow as he becomes comfortable with his sexuality, and figures out to how to tell his girlfriend that he’s gay.…

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SJ Sindu’s ‘Marriage of a Thousand Lies’ Explores the Multicultural Struggles of LGBTQ Life

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A lovely debut, Marriage of a Thousand Lies (Soho Press, June 13, 2017) brings to light the layers of struggles that shape our decisions on how we choose to live our lives. Lucky and her husband Kris are both gay, in a marriage of convenience to keep Kris in the country and for Lucky to mend the relationship with her disapproving family and save face in the eyes of the Sri Lanken community. Lucky returns home to care for her ill grandmother and is reunited with Nisha, her old friend whom she had a romantic relationship with when they were younger. Nisha is preparing for her arranged marriage to a man, but in the weeks leading up to her wedding…

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The Top 10 October Books to Give You Fall Feelings

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October is finally here! Which means fall is officially here, with orange and yellow trees lining the streets, pumpkins gracing every doorstep, and apples turning red on their branches. It also means Halloween, which is – objectively – the best holiday ever. Because October is so great, there are tons of awesome books getting published this month. From creepy reads to preemptive Christmas-themed romances, October is shaping up to be a reader’s dream. There’s also no better time of year to snuggle up on the couch with a good book, pumpkin spice latte in hand. For a little autumn reading inspiration, here are 10 of our favorite new releases hitting shelves in October: Crimson Death (Anita Black: Vampire Hunter Series, Book…

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LGBTQ Reads: Jazz Jennings and Kody Keplinger Among Authors Embracing Pride Month

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June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Pride Month, and in light of the upcoming election and the tragedy that occurred in Orlando, reading books about LGTBQ characters is more important than ever. Ten years ago it was almost impossible to find queer main characters in popular literature, with readers often needing to seek out indie titles or search through self-published e-books to find non-heteronormative stories. But lately there has been a boom in LGBTQ publishing, particularly in genres like Young Adult literature. And while we definitely still have a long way to go, it’s clear that readers are clamoring for more and more books that celebrate the LGBTQ community. So as we close out Pride Month, we thought it only fitting…

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Romance Writers of America Takes a Stand for Diversity

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The folks who love to write about love are taking a stand for inclusivity. The Romance Writers of America released a statement on April 4, 2016 making it absolutely clear where they stand on the subject of inclusivity for members from the LGBTQ community. This is welcome news during a time when civil rights for people who identify as gay or transgender are being eroded in several states. Important Message Regarding 2005 “Definition of Romance” Survey At the November 2015 Board of Directors meeting, one of the issues discussed was an RWA survey conducted in 2005. Though this occurred eleven years ago, the ill effects of that survey still linger for many members. The survey was included in the Romance Writers…

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4 Memoirs that separate mothering and smothering

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With Mother’s Day coming up on Sunday, there’s no better time to read about the often ambivalent relationships between mothers and daughters. There’s a growing shelf of autobiographies dwelling on the complexities of the mother-child bond. Below we’ve chosen four terrific memoirs that illuminate that fine line between mothering and smothering. The Year My Mother Came Back, by Alice Eve Cohen (2015) There’s gentle magic realism in this mother-daughter memoir. The year of the title has two meanings: first was the last year of Louise Cohen’s life, when she and Alice reached a détente in their tense relationship. But then, nearly three decades later, Louise kept “coming back” during the difficult year that forms the kernel of the memoir—a year…

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