Once again, I’m here to talk about BOOKS! #sorrynotsorry
The winners of the 2015 Lambda Literary Awards were announced the other day, and I’m going to give a few of my thoughts about the books that did (or didn’t) win here. These awards are given annually to LGBTQ+ books that “have been published in the United States in the year current to the award,” so obviously it’s necessary to wait for the year to be over so all the LGBTQ+ lit that has been published can be read first. Hence why they’re honoring books from 2015 and not 2016.
There are twenty-five different categories of Lambda Literary Awards, but I’m only going to discuss a few of them because… to be honest, I don’t read much from some of the genres so I don’t feel qualified to talk about them! If you’d like to see the full list of nominees and winners, though, you can find them here.
I haven’t read Chinelo Okparanta’s Under the Udala Trees yet, but I really really want to and I was so happy to see that it won! It’s about two women from Nigeria who fall in love and AHH I CAN’T WAIT TO READ IT I NEED TO GET MY HANDS ON IT. I love finding LGBTQ+ stories that take place somewhere other than the US or UK!
(So, I guess the way the awards work is that they’re not exclusively for American authors and/or books that are set here? I think the books just have to have been published here to qualify.)
All of the books here sound amazing – I love nonfiction! BUY ME ALL OF THE LGBTQ+ NONFICTION PLEASE. Anyway, No One Helped: Kitty Genovese, New York City, and the Myth of Urban Apathy by Marcia M. Gallo was one of the books that stood out to me when I was browsing through the list of nominees a few months ago because it’s such a fascinating case.
Genovese is frequently taught as an example of the bystander effect, but her sexual orientation is virtually always left out of the story: Not a lot of people know that she was a lesbian and that people didn’t come to her aid when she was being murdered because they either thought she got what she deserved, or they themselves were gay and didn’t want to call the police because they though they would be arrested too.
I know just the bare-bones facts of the case right now, so I want to read more about it because it frustrates me SO much when people don’t mention sexual orientation, or gender, or race, or whatever because leaving those details out casts the situation in a completely different and not entirely factual light.
GEORGE BY ALEX GINO WON AND OH MY GOD, YOU GUYS, I AM SO HAPPY AND EXCITED AND PROUD OF THEM. There are so few LGBTQ+ children’s books, and even fewer about trans characters, and for those books to be HAPPY is just… whoa. Alex Gino is a much-needed ray of sunshine.
LGBT Graphic Novels
I was kind of disappointed that Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash didn’t win, but hey – at least it was nominated! And let’s be honest, the most important thing to remember about this category is that I LOVE IT and will be adding all the nominated books to my already-enormous TBR because I have absolutely no self-control when it comes to graphic novels. (Or books in general.)
Have you read any of the winning and/or nominated books from the 2015 Lambda Literary Awards?