While Netflix may prove the most tempting festive-season respite for many, consider your local bookstore for salvation instead. HISKIND’s favourite LGBTQ+ reads of 2017 span the shelves from YA fiction to memoir – take your pick.
John Boyne: The Heart’s Invisible Furies
Shame and paranoia, two feelings heightened by the dizzying discovery of sexuality, are also examined as byproducts of Catholic structures, in The Heart’s Invisible Furies. Boyne deftly juggles how the ghosts of our past must be reconciled with our hopes for the future.
Patrick Ness: Release
While YA literature still conjures images of dystopian landscapes and heroic teens for many, it’s also quietly emerged as fertile territory for tales of young, queer love. A far cry from the orthodox morality of YA past, we’re instead offered narratives such as Release. Ness’ newest hit is a dauntingly honest and headily romantic tale of Adam Thorn, whose coming-of-age is tinged with romance and magical realism.
Édouard Louis: The End of Eddy
Assault, alcohol, abuse; The End of Eddy, 2017’s major piece of queer literature, takes an unflinching look at these repercussions of homophobia in rural small town France, circa 1992. Translated into 20 languages since its publication in 2014, now available in English, its universal praise is a testament to its deadpan, singular style.
Alan Hollinghurst: The Sparsholt Affair
Few authors have inked as many entries into queer canon, chiefly his Booker-prize winning Line of Beauty – a seminal testament to gay love and loss in Thatcher’s England, when the queer community began to feel its first shudders of mortality. The Sparsholt Affair, his sixth, similarly arches across a half-century of interlinking friendships, shaped and thwarted by the 20th-century mores, with the same expansive insight and heart.
Words: Jonathan Mahon-Heap