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Celebrate Pride 2021!: Home

Plain Bad Heroines

NATIONAL BESTSELLER "A delectable brew of gothic horror and Hollywood satire . . . [and] what makes all this so much fun is Danforth's deliciously ghoulish voice . . . exquisite." --Ron Charles, THE WASHINGTON POST "A multi-faceted novel, equal parts gothic, sharply funny, sapphic romance, historical, and, of course, spooky." --ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY Named a Most Anticipated Book by Entertainment Weekly * Washington Post * USA Today * Time * O, The Oprah Magazine * Buzzfeed * Harper's Bazaar * Vulture *  Parade * HuffPost * Refinery29 * Popsugar * E! News * Bustle * The Millions * GoodReads * Autostraddle * Lambda Literary * Literary Hub * and more! The award-winning author of The Miseducation of Cameron Post makes her adult debut with this highly imaginative and original horror-comedy centered around a cursed New England boarding school for girls--a wickedly whimsical celebration of the art of storytelling, sapphic love, and the rebellious female spirit Our story begins in 1902, at the Brookhants School for Girls. Flo and Clara, two impressionable students, are obsessed with each other and with a daring young writer named Mary MacLane, the author of a scandalous bestselling memoir. To show their devotion to Mary, the girls establish their own private club and call it the Plain Bad Heroine Society. They meet in secret in a nearby apple orchard, the setting of their wildest happiness and, ultimately, of their macabre deaths. This is where their bodies are later discovered with a copy of Mary's book splayed beside them, the victims of a swarm of stinging, angry yellow jackets. Less than five years later, the Brookhants School for Girls closes its doors forever--but not before three more people mysteriously die on the property, each in a most troubling way. Over a century later, the now abandoned and crumbling Brookhants is back in the news when wunderkind writer Merritt Emmons publishes a breakout book celebrating the queer, feminist history surrounding the "haunted and cursed" Gilded Age institution. Her bestselling book inspires a controversial horror film adaptation starring celebrity actor and lesbian it girl Harper Harper playing the ill-fated heroine Flo, oppo¬≠site B-list actress and former child star Audrey Wells as Clara. But as Brookhants opens its gates once again, and our three modern her¬≠oines arrive on set to begin filming, past and present become grimly entangled--or perhaps just grimly exploited--and soon it's impossible to tell where the curse leaves off and Hollywood begins.  A story within a story within a story and featuring black-and-white period-inspired illustrations, Plain Bad Heroines is a devilishly haunting, modern masterwork of metafiction that manages to combine the ghostly sensibility of Sarah Waters with the dark imagination of Marisha Pessl and the sharp humor and incisive social commentary of Curtis Sittenfeld into one laugh-out-loud funny, spellbinding, and wonderfully luxuriant read. "Full of Victorian sapphic romance, metafictional horror, biting misandrist humor, Hollywood intrigue, and multiple timeliness--all replete with evocative illustrations that are icing on a deviously delicious cake." -O, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE

Upright Women Wanted

A 2021 Hugo Award Finalist! A 2021 Locus Award Finalist! A 2020 ALA Booklist Top 10 SF/F Pick! A Booklist Editor's Choice Pick! Book Riot's Best Books of 2020 So Far! Named a Best of 2020 Pick for NPR | NYPL | Booklist | Bustle | Den of Geek In Upright Women Wanted, award-winning author Sarah Gailey reinvents the pulp Western with an explicitly antifascist, near-future story of queer identity. "That girl's got more wrong notions than a barn owl's got mean looks." Esther is a stowaway. She's hidden herself away in the Librarian's book wagon in an attempt to escape the marriage her father has arranged for her--a marriage to the man who was previously engaged to her best friend. Her best friend who she was in love with. Her best friend who was just executed for possession of resistance propaganda. The future American Southwest is full of bandits, fascists, and queer librarian spies on horseback trying to do the right thing. Praise for Upright Women Wanted "A good old-fashioned horse opera for the 22nd century. Gunslinger librarians of the apocalypse are on a mission to spread public health, decency, and the revolution."--Charles Stross "A dazzling neo-western adventure. . . . Gailey's gorgeous writing and authentic characters make this slim volume a pure delight."--Publishers Weekly, starred review

The Prettiest Star

In this "brutally fresh kind of homecoming novel," (Entertainment Weekly) Brian Jackson returns to his small Appalachian hometown and the family who rejected him. Carter Sickels's stunning literary achievement "deserves a place in the canon of AIDS literature alongside the likes of Larry Kramer and Rebecca Makkai" (Los Angeles Review of Books).

The story of Brian's return to small-town Ohio is told in a chorus of voices: Brian's mother Sharon; his fourteen-year-old sister, Jess, as she grapples with her brother's mysterious return; and the video diaries Brian makes to document his final summer. Written in prose that seeks "to answer without flinching away from ugliness and without demonizing the ignorant" (Salon), The Prettiest Star offers an urgent portrait of a family in the center of a national crisis, in order to tell a unique story about the politics and fragility of the body, and to explore the bounds of family and redemption.

A History of My Brief Body

Lambda Literary Award, Finalist / "A Best Book of 2020" --Kirkus Reviews, Book Riot, CBC, Globe and Mail, Largehearted Boy. "Stunning... Happiness, this beautiful book says, is the ultimate act of resistance." --Michelle Hart, O, The Oprah Magazine The youngest ever winner of the Griffin Prize mines his personal history in a brilliant new essay collection seeking to reconcile the world he was born into with the world that could be. For readers of Ocean Vuong and Maggie Nelson and fans of Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot, A History of My Brief Body is a brave, raw, and fiercely intelligent collection of essays and vignettes on grief, colonial violence, joy, love, and queerness. Billy-Ray Belcourt's debut memoir opens with a tender letter to his kokum and memories of his early life in the hamlet of Joussard, Alberta, and on the Driftpile First Nation. Piece by piece, Billy-Ray's writings invite us to unpack and explore the big and broken world he inhabits every day, in all its complexity and contradiction: a legacy of colonial violence and the joy that flourishes in spite of it; first loves and first loves lost; sexual exploration and intimacy; the act of writing as a survival instinct and a way to grieve. What emerges is not only a profound meditation on memory, gender, anger, shame, and ecstasy, but also the outline of a way forward. With startling honesty, and in a voice distinctly and assuredly his own, Belcourt situates his life experiences within a constellation of seminal queer texts, among which this book is sure to earn its place. Eye-opening, intensely emotional, and excessively quotable, A History of My Brief Body demonstrates over and over again the power of words to both devastate and console us.

Real Life Book Cover

Real Life

A FINALIST for the Booker Prize, the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize, the VCU/Cabell First Novelist Prize, the Lambda Literary Award, the NYPL Young Lions Award, and the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award    "A blistering coming of age story" --O: The Oprah Magazine Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times, The Washington Post, New York Public Library, Vanity Fair, Elle, NPR, The Guardian, The Paris Review, Harper's Bazaar, Financial Times, Huffington Post, BBC, Shondaland, Barnes & Noble, Vulture, Thrillist, Vice, Self, Electric Literature, and Shelf Awareness A novel of startling intimacy, violence, and mercy among friends in a Midwestern university town, from an electric new voice. Almost everything about Wallace is at odds with the Midwestern university town where he is working uneasily toward a biochem degree. An introverted young man from Alabama, black and queer, he has left behind his family without escaping the long shadows of his childhood. For reasons of self-preservation, Wallace has enforced a wary distance even within his own circle of friends--some dating each other, some dating women, some feigning straightness. But over the course of a late-summer weekend, a series of confrontations with colleagues, and an unexpected encounter with an ostensibly straight, white classmate, conspire to fracture his defenses while exposing long-hidden currents of hostility and desire within their community.     Real Life is a novel of profound and lacerating power, a story that asks if it's ever really possible to overcome our private wounds, and at what cost.

Ace: What Asexuality What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex


An engaging exploration of what it means to be asexual in a world that's obsessed with sexual attraction, and what the ace perspective can teach all of us about desire and identity.
What exactly is sexual attraction and what is it like to go through life not experiencing it? What does asexuality reveal about gender roles, about romance and consent, and the pressures of society? This accessible examination of asexuality shows that the issues that aces face—confusion around sexual activity, the intersection of sexuality and identity, navigating different needs in relationships—are the same conflicts that nearly all of us will experience. Through a blend of reporting, cultural criticism, and memoir, Ace addresses the misconceptions around the "A" of LGBTQIA and invites everyone to rethink pleasure and intimacy.

The Death of Vivek Oji

One afternoon, in a town in southeastern Nigeria, a mother opens her front door to discover her son's body, wrapped in colorful fabric, at her feet. What follows is the tumultuous, heart-wrenching story of one family's struggle to understand a child whose spirit is both gentle and mysterious. Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection between self and surroundings. As adolescence gives way to adulthood, Vivek finds solace in friendships with the warm, boisterous daughters of the Nigerwives, foreign-born women married to Nigerian men. But Vivek's closest bond is with Osita, the worldly, high-spirited cousin whose teasing confidence masks a guarded private life. As their relationship deepens--and Osita struggles to understand Vivek's escalating crisis--the mystery gives way to a heart-stopping act of violence in a moment of exhilarating freedom.  Propulsively readable, teeming with unforgettable characters, The Death of Vivek Oji is a novel of family and friendship that challenges expectations--a dramatic story of loss and transcendence that will move every reader.

Invisible Kingdom Volume 1

Hugo and World Fantasy Award-winning author G. Willow Wilson (Ms. Marvel, Wonder Woman) and Eisner winning artist Christian Ward (Black Bolt) team up for this epic new sci-fi saga! In a small solar system in a far-flung galaxy, two women--one a young religious acolyte and the other, a hard-bitten freighter pilot--uncover a conspiracy between the leaders of the most dominant religion and an all-consuming mega-corporation. On the run from reprisals on both sides, this unlikely pair must decide where their loyalties lie--and risk plunging the world into anarchy if they reveal the truth. 

What's Your Pronoun?

Like trigger warnings and gender-neutral bathrooms, pronouns are sparking a national debate, prompting new policies in schools, workplaces, even prisons, about what pronouns to use. Colleges ask students to declare their pronouns along with their majors; corporate conferences print name tags with space to add pronouns; email signatures sport pronouns along with names and titles. Far more than a by-product of the culture wars, gender-neutral pronouns are, however, nothing new. Pioneering linguist Dennis Baron puts them in historical context, noting that Shakespeare used singular-they; women invoked the generic use of he to assert the right to vote (while those opposed to women's rights invoked the same word to assert that he did not include she); and people have been coining new gender pronouns, not just hir and zie, for centuries. Based on Baron's own empirical research, What's Your Pronoun? chronicles the story of the role pronouns have played--and continue to play--in establishing both our rights and our identities. It is an essential work in understanding how twenty-first-century culture has evolved.

The Seep

A 2021 Lambda Literary Award Finalist  "A unique alien invasion story that focuses on the human and the myriad ways we see and don't see our own world. Mesmerizing."  --Jeff VanderMeer A blend of searing social commentary and speculative fiction, Chana Porter's fresh, pointed debut explores a strange new world in the wake of a benign alien invasion.   Trina FastHorse Goldberg-Oneka is a fifty-year-old trans woman whose life is irreversibly altered in the wake of a gentle--but nonetheless world-changing--invasion by an alien entity called The Seep. Through The Seep, everything is connected. Capitalism falls, hierarchies and barriers are broken down; if something can be imagined, it is possible. Trina and her wife, Deeba, live blissfully under The Seep's utopian influence--until Deeba begins to imagine what it might be like to be reborn as a baby, which will give her the chance at an even better life. Using Seeptech to make this dream a reality, Deeba moves on to a new existence, leaving Trina devastated. Heartbroken and deep into an alcoholic binge, Trina follows a lost boy she encounters, embarking on an unexpected quest. In her attempt to save him from The Seep, she will confront not only one of its most avid devotees, but the terrifying void that Deeba has left behind. A strange new elegy of love and loss, The Seep explores grief, alienation, and the ache of moving on.

This Town Sleeps

Part mystery, part ghost story, a long unsolved murder becomes the singular fixation of an Indigenous American man living in far northern Minnesota as he grapples with his identity and that of his lover, a heavily closeted white man. On an Ojibwe reservation called Languille Lake, within the small town of Geshig at the hub of the rez, two men enter into a secret romance. Marion Lafournier, a midtwenties gay Ojibwe man, begins a relationship with his former classmate Shannon, a white man who isn't ready to acknowledge his identity. While Marion is far more open about his sexuality, neither is immune to the realities of the lives of gay men in small towns and closed societies. Then one night, while roaming the dark streets of Geshig, Marion unknowingly brings to life the spirit of a dog from beneath the elementary school playground. The mysterious revenant leads him to the grave of Kayden Kelliher, an Ojibwe basketball star who was murdered at the age of seventeen and whose presence still lingers in the memories of the townsfolk. While investigating the fallen hero's death, Marion discovers family connections and an old Ojibwe legend that may be the secret to unraveling the mystery he has found himself in. Set on a reservation in far northern Minnesota, This Town Sleeps explores the many ways history, culture, landscape, and lineage shape our lives, our understanding of the world we inhabit, and the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of it all.

Here for It

From the creator of Elle's "Eric Reads the News," a heartfelt and hilarious memoir-in-essays about growing up seeing the world differently, finding unexpected hope, and experiencing every awkward, extraordinary stumble along the way. "Pop culture-obsessed, Sedaris-level laugh-out-loud funny . . . [R. Eric Thomas] is one of my favorite writers."--Lin-Manuel Miranda, Entertainment Weekly FINALIST FOR THE LAMBDA LITERARY AWARD * NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY TEEN VOGUE AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY O: The Oprah Magazine * NPR * Marie Claire * Men's Health R. Eric Thomas didn't know he was different until the world told him so. Everywhere he went--whether it was his rich, mostly white, suburban high school, his conservative black church, or his Ivy League college in a big city--he found himself on the outside looking in. In essays by turns hysterical and heartfelt, Thomas reexamines what it means to be an "other" through the lens of his own life experience. He explores the two worlds of his childhood: the barren urban landscape where his parents' house was an anomalous bright spot, and the Eden-like school they sent him to in white suburbia. He writes about struggling to reconcile his Christian identity with his sexuality, the exhaustion of code-switching in college, accidentally getting famous on the internet (for the wrong reason), and the surreal experience of covering the 2016 election for Elle online, and the seismic changes that came thereafter. Ultimately, Thomas seeks the answer to these ever more relevant questions: Is the future worth it? Why do we bother when everything seems to be getting worse? As the world continues to shift in unpredictable ways, Thomas finds the answers to these questions by reenvisioning what "normal" means and in the powerful alchemy that occurs when you at last place yourself at the center of your own story. Here for It will resonate deeply and joyfully with everyone who has ever felt pushed to the margins, struggled with self-acceptance, or wished to shine more brightly in a dark world. Stay here for it--the future may surprise you.

You Exist Too Much

A "provocative and seductive debut" of desire and doubleness that follows the life of a young Palestinian American woman caught between cultural, religious, and sexual identities as she endeavors to lead an authentic life (O, The Oprah Magazine) On a hot day in Bethlehem, a 12-year-old Palestinian-American girl is yelled at by a group of men outside the Church of the Nativity. She has exposed her legs in a biblical city, an act they deem forbidden, and their judgement will echo on through her adolescence. When our narrator finally admits to her mother that she is queer, her mother's response only intensifies a sense of shame: "You exist too much," she tells her daughter. Told in vignettes that flash between the U.S. and the Middle East--from New York to Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine--Zaina Arafat's debut novel traces her protagonist's progress from blushing teen to sought-after DJ and aspiring writer. In Brooklyn, she moves into an apartment with her first serious girlfriend and tries to content herself with their comfortable relationship. But soon her longings, so closely hidden during her teenage years, explode out into reckless romantic encounters and obsessions with other people. Her desire to thwart her own destructive impulses will eventually lead her to The Ledge, an unconventional treatment center that identifies her affliction as "love addiction." In this strange, enclosed society she will start to consider the unnerving similarities between her own internal traumas and divisions and those of the places that have formed her. Opening up the fantasies and desires of one young woman caught between cultural, religious, and sexual identities, You Exist Too Much is a captivating story charting two of our most intense longings--for love, and a place to call home.

Homesick

Dark, irreverent, and truly innovative, the speculative stories in Homesick meditate on the theme of home and our estrangement from it, and what happens when the familiar suddenly shifts into the uncanny. In stories that foreground queer relationships and transgender or nonbinary characters, Cipri delivers the origin story for a superhero team comprised of murdered girls; a housecleaner discovering an impossible ocean in her least-favorite clients' house; a man haunted by keys that appear suddenly in his throat; and a team of scientists and activists discoveringthe remains of a long-extinct species of intelligent weasels. In the spirit of Laura van den Berg, Emily Geminder, Chaya Bhuvaneswar, and other winners of the Dzanc Short Story Collection Prize, Nino Cipri's debut collection announces the arrival of a brilliant and wonderfully unpredictable writer with a gift for turning the short story on its ear.


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