This Pride Month, Hachette Book Publishing India Pvt Ltd has gathered some of the best books featuring LGBTQIA+ characters and experiences.
Less by Andrew Sean Greer
WHO SAYS YOU CAN’T RUN AWAY FROM YOUR PROBLEMS?
Arthur Less is a failed novelist about to turn fifty. A wedding invitation arrives in the post: it is from an ex-boyfriend of nine years who is engaged to someone else. Arthur can’t say yes – it would be too awkward; he can’t say no – it would look like defeat. So, he begins to accept the invitations on his desk to half-baked literary events around the world. From France to India, Germany to Japan, Arthur almost falls in love, almost falls to his death, and puts miles between him and the plight he refuses to face. Less is a novel about mishaps, misunderstandings and the depths of the human heart.
WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION 2018
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The classic, PULITZER PRIZE-winning novel that made Alice Walker a household name. Set in the deep American South between the wars, THE COLOR PURPLE is the classic tale of Celie, a young black girl born into poverty and segregation. Raped repeatedly by the man she calls ‘father’, she has two children taken away from her, is separated from her beloved sister Nettie and is trapped into an ugly marriage. But then she meets the glamorous Shug Avery, singer and magic-maker – a woman who has taken charge of her own destiny. Gradually Celie discovers the power and joy of her own spirit, freeing her from her past and reuniting her with those she loves.
Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
The book that inspired Park Chan-wook’s astonishing film The Handmaiden. Shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the Booker Prize London 1862. Sue Trinder, orphaned at birth, grows up among petty thieves – fingersmiths – under the rough but loving care of Mrs Sucksby and her ‘family’. But from the moment she draws breath, Sue’s fate is linked to that of another orphan growing up in a gloomy mansion not too many miles away.
Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters
Piercing the shadows of the naked stage was a single shaft of rosy limelight, and in the centre of this was a girl: the most marvellous girl – I knew it at once! – that I had ever seen. A saucy, sensuous and multi-layered historical romance, Tipping the Velvet follows the glittering career of Nan King – oyster girl turned music-hall star turned rent boy turned East End ‘tom’.
Affinity by Sarah Waters
‘Affinity is the work of an intense and atmospheric imagination . . . Sarah Waters is such an interesting writer, a kind of feminist Dickens’ – Fiona PittKethley, Daily Telegraph. Set in and around the women’s prison at Milbank in the 1870s, Affinity is an eerie and utterly compelling ghost story, a complex and intriguing literary mystery and a poignant love story with an unexpected twist in the tale.
Following the death of her father, Margaret Prior has decided to pursue some ‘good work’ with the lady criminals of one of London’s most notorious gaols. Surrounded by prisoners, murderers and common thieves, Margaret feels herself drawn to one of the prisons more unlikely inmates – the imprisoned spiritualist – Selina Dawes. Sympathetic to the plight of this innocent-seeming girl, Margaret sees herself dispensing guidance and perhaps friendship on her visits, little expecting to find herself dabbling in a twilight world of seances, shadows, unruly spirits and unseemly passions.
The Night Watch by Sarah Waters
Shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction and for the Orange Prize and the Booker Prize. Moving back through the 1940s, through air raids, blacked out streets, illicit liaisons, sexual adventure, to end with its beginning in 1941, The Night Watch is the work of a truly brilliant and compelling storyteller. This is the story of four Londoners – three women and a young man with a past, drawn with absolute truth and intimacy. Kay, who drove an ambulance during the war and lived life at full throttle, now dresses in mannish clothes and wanders the streets with a restless hunger, searching… Helen, clever, sweet, much-loved, harbours a painful secret…Viv, glamour girl, is stubbornly, even foolishly loyal, to her soldier lover… Duncan, an apparent innocent, has had his own demons to fight during the war. Their lives, and their secrets connect in sometimes startling ways. War leads to strange alliances… Tender, tragic and beautifully poignant, set against the backdrop of feats of heroism both epic and ordinary, here is a novel of relationships that offers up subtle surprises and twists.
The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
Shortlisted for the Women’s Prize. This novel from the internationally bestselling author of The Little Stranger, is a brilliant ‘page-turning melodrama and a fascinating portrait of London of the verge of great change’ (Guardian). It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned, the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa, a large silent house now bereft of brothers, husband and even servants, life is about to be transformed, as impoverished widow Mrs Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.
For with the arrival of Lilian and Leonard Barber, a modern young couple of the ‘clerk class’, the routines of the house will be shaken up in unexpected ways. And as passions mount and frustration gathers, no one can foresee just how far-reaching, and how devastating, the disturbances will be.
This is vintage Sarah Waters: beautifully described with excruciating tension, real tenderness, believable characters, and surprises. It is above all a wonderful, compelling story.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
*The Grishaverse will be coming to Netflix soon with Shadow and Bone, an original series!* Nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017, this fantasy epic from the No. 1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of the Grisha trilogy is gripping, sweeping and memorable – perfect for fans of George R. R. Martin, Laini Taylor and Kristin Cashore.
A convict with a thirst for revenge. A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager. A runaway with a privileged past. A spy known as the Wraith. A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes. Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction – if they don’t kill each other first.
An epic new exploration of the Grisha universe from the writer of SHADOW AND BONE, SIEGE AND STORM and RUIN AND RISING, totally consuming for both old fans and new.
Heartstopper Vol 1 by Alice Oseman
Boy meets boy. Boys become friends. Boys fall in love. An LGBTQ+graphic novel about life, love, and everything that happens in between – for fans of The Art of Being Normal, Holly Bourne and Love, Simon. ‘Absolutely delightful. Sweet, romantic, kind. Beautifully paced. I loved this book.’ RAINBOW ROWELL, author of Carry On Charlie and Nick are at the same school, but they’ve never met … until one day when they’re made to sit together. They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn’t think he has a chance. But love works in surprising ways, and Nick is more interested in Charlie than either of them realised. Heartstopper is about love, friendship, loyalty and mental illness. It encompasses all the small stories of Nick and Charlie’s lives that together make up something larger, which speaks to all of us.
Tin Man by Sarah Winman
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2017 COSTA NOVEL AWARD from the internationally bestselling author of WHEN GOD WAS A RABBIT comes a heartbreaking celebration of love in all its forms, and the moments that illuminate the life of one man. This is almost a love story. But it’s not as simple as that. It begins with a painting won in a raffle: fifteen sunflowers, hung on the wall by a woman who believes that men and boys are capable of beautiful things. And then there are two boys, Ellis and Michael, who are inseparable. And the boys become men, and then Annie walks into their lives, and it changes nothing and everything.
When God Was A Rabbit by Sarah Winman
Sarah Winman’s bestselling, critically-acclaimed debut novel WHEN GOD WAS A RABBIT continues to captivate and enchant readers. The Sunday Times bestseller – this is a book about a brother and sister. It’s a book about childhood and growing up, friendships and families, triumph and tragedy and everything in between. More than anything, it’s a book about love in all its forms.
The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta
This is not about being ready, it’s not even about being fierce, or fearless, IT’S ABOUT BEING FREE. Michael waits in the stage wings, wearing a pink wig, pink fluffy coat and black heels. One more step will see him illuminated by a spotlight. He has been on a journey of bravery to get here, and he is almost ready to show himself to the world in bold colours …Can he emerge as The Black Flamingo?
Magical Women edited by Sukanya Venkatraghavan
A weaver is initiated into the ancient art of bringing a universe into existence. A demon hunter encounters an unlikely opponent. Four goddesses engage in a cosmic brawl. A graphic designer duels with a dark secret involving a mysterious tattoo. A defiant chudail makes a shocking announcement at a kitty party. A puppet seeking adventure discovers who she really is. A young woman’s resolute choice leads her to haunt Death across millennia. . .
A compelling collection of stories that speak of love, rage, rebellion, choices and chances, Magical Women brings together some of the strongest female voices in contemporary Indian writing. Combining astounding imagination with superlative craft, these tales will intrigue and delight readers in equal measure.
The Secret Diaries Of Miss Anne Lister edited by Helena Whitbread
ANNE LISTER IS THE INSPIRATION FOR GENTLEMAN JACK, A NEW BBC/HBO SERIES BY SALLY WAINWRIGHT, STARRING SURANNE JONES. When this volume of Anne Lister’s diaries was first published in 1988, it was hailed as a vital piece of lost lesbian history. The editor, Helena Whitbread, had spent years painstakingly researching and transcribing Lister’s extensive journals, much of which were written in an elaborate code – what Lister called her ‘crypthand’, which allowed her to record her life in intimate, and at times, explicit, detail. Until then, Anne Lister’s lesbianism had been suppressed or hinted at; this was the first time her story had been told. Anne Lister defied the role of nineteenth-century womanhood: she was bold, fiercely independent, a landowner, industrialist, traveller and lesbian – a woman who lived her life on her own terms.
‘Engaging, revealing, at times simply astonishing: Anne Lister’s diaries are an indispensable read for anyone interested in the history of gender, sexuality, and the intimate lives of women’ SARAH WATERS ‘The Lister diaries are the Dead Sea Scrolls of lesbian history; they changed everything. By resurrecting them and editing them with such loving attention and intelligence, Helena Whitbread has earned the gratitude of a whole generation’ EMMA DONOGHUE.
The Charioteer by Mary Renault
‘An explosive and courageous book’ – SIMON RUSSELL BEALE First published in 1953, The Charioteer is a tender, intelligent coming-of-age novel and a bold, unapologetic portrayal of homosexuality that stands with Gore Vidal’s The City and the Pillar and James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room as a landmark work in gay literature. Injured at Dunkirk, Laurie Odell, a young corporal, is recovering at a rural veterans’ hospital. There he meets Andrew, a conscientious objector serving as an orderly, and the men find solace in their covert friendship. Then Ralph Lanyon appears, a mentor from Laurie’s schooldays. Through him, Laurie is drawn into a tight-knit circle of gay men for whom liaisons are fleeting and he is forced to choose between the ideals of a perfect friendship and the pleasures of experience.
This Brutal House by Niven Govinden
On the steps of New York’s City Hall, five ageing Mothers sit in silent protest. They are the guardians of the vogue ball community – queer men who opened their hearts and homes to countless lost Children, providing safe spaces for them to explore their true selves.
Through epochs of city nightlife, from draconian to liberal, the Children have been going missing; their absences ignored by the authorities and uninvestigated by the police. In a final act of dissent the Mothers have come to pray: to expose their personal struggle beneath our age of protest, and commemorate their loss until justice is served.
Watching from City Hall’s windows is city clerk, Teddy. Raised by the Mothers, he is now charged with brokering an uneasy truce.
Queer Eye by Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Jonathan Van Ness, Bobby Berk and Karamo Brown
From the Fab Five – the beloved hosts of Netflix’s viral hit Queer Eye – comes a book, and an official guide, that is at once a behind-the-scenes exclusive, a practical guide to living and celebrating your best life, and a symbol of hope. Feeling your best is about far more than deciding what colour to paint your accent wall or how to apply nightly moisturiser. It’s also about creating a life that’s wellrounded, filled with humour and understanding and most importantly, that suits you. At a cultural moment when we are all craving people to admire, Queer Eye offers hope and acceptance. After you get to know the Fab Five, together they will guide you through five practical chapters that go beyond their designated areas of expertise (food & wine, fashion, grooming, home decor, and culture), touching on topics like wellness, entertaining, and defining your personal brand, and complete with bite-sized Hip Tips for your everyday quandaries. Above all else, Queer Eye aims to help you create a happy and healthy life, rooted in self-love and authenticity.
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
Anyone who has heard David Sedaris speaking live or on the radio will tell you that a collection from him is cause for jubilation. A move to Paris from New York inspired these hilarious pieces, including ‘Me Talk Pretty One Day’, about his attempts to learn French from a sadistic teacher who declares that ‘every day spent with you is like having a caesarean section’.
His family is another inspiration. ‘You Can’t Kill the Rooster’ is a portrait of his brother, who talks incessant hip-hop slang to his bewildered father. And no one hones a finer fury in response to such modern annoyances as restaurant meals presented in ludicrous towers of food and cashiers with six inch fingernails.