Akwaeke Emezi, Renee Gladman, and other vital voices both established and emerging offer realistic, fantastical, and experimental looks at LGBTQ life.

All Friends Are Necessary

Tomas Moniz. Algonquin, June

Moniz’s debut novel, Big Familia, was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award and the Lambda Literary Award for Bisexual Fiction. That book explored the bonds of family through the lens of a Latinx queer single father; his new novel focuses on platonic love and found family. Efren “Chino” Flores, who has returned to the Bay Area amid loss and upheaval, finds solace in the company of friends old and new, allowing him to open up to the possibilities of queer love.


Cinema Love

Jiaming Tang. Dutton, May

Set in 1980s Fuzhou, China, and contemporary Chinatown in New York City, Tang’s debut delves into the secret lives of gay men and their wives. In Fuzhou, Old Second finds love at the Worker’s Cinema, a theater where gay men are known to cruise. He falls for a man, but marries Bao Min, a woman who works at the cinema’s box office and guards her clientele’s secrets. Long after the couple immigrates to New York, Old Second yearns for same-sex intimacy, in what PW’s starred review called a “resonant and textured” novel.



Emma Copley Eisenberg. Hogarth, May

Journalist Eisenberg takes inspiration from the real-life artistic and romantic relationship between 20th-century photographer Berenice Abbott and art critic Elizabeth McCausland in her fiction debut. The story begins in West Philadelphia in 2018, when photographer Bernie and media studies PhD candidate Leah set out on a road trip to Mifflin County, Pa., where Bernie will collect a complicated inheritance. As Bernie and Leah observe and document Pennsylvania, their love for their art and each other grows. Per PW’s review, “Readers will count themselves lucky to go along for the ride.”


Indian Winter

Kazim Ali. Coach House, May

Ali, a poet and essayist, draws on personal experience for this novel, which stars a queer writer and translator traveling through India. As the narrator traverses the country, he explores his past and attempts to write about a former lover who has recently died. He must also confront his failing relationship and his family’s refusal to accept his sexuality as he looks for new love and community.

Little Rot

Akwaeke Emezi. Riverhead, June

The latest from Nigerian novelist and National Book Award finalist Emezi takes place over the course of a weekend in the wealthy and dangerous underbelly of an imagined Nigerian city called New Lagos. Kalu, a young man reeling from the end of a long relationship, attends a chaotic sex party hosted by his old friend Ahmed, and runs afoul of one of Ahmed’s powerful customers. They intersect with two sex workers visiting from Kuala Lumpur, and together must determine how far to go to get out of the mess they’ve made. “Readers in search of a decadent good time will find it here,” per PW’s review.


Model Home

Rivers Solomon. MCD, Oct.

PW gave starred reviews to Solomon’s first three novels, which include the Lambda Award winner The Deep. Their latest offers a twist on the haunted house story: the Maxwells were the only Black family living in a white enclave outside of Dallas, in a house where unexplainable things occurred. After their parents’ unnatural deaths, the adult Maxwell siblings—Ezri, who is nonbinary, and their sisters Eve and Emmanuelle—return home to grieve and confront the suburban South’s legacies of racism and segregation.

My Lesbian Novel

Renee Gladman. Dorothy, Sept.

The Windham Campbell Prize–winning writer and visual artist explores queerness and art-making through autofiction in her latest. The narrator, who is named Renee Gladman and shares the author’s name, experiences, and oeuvre, is interviewed about her current project—a lesbian romance. “Though aspects of the formula drive me crazy,” the narrator says, “people who write these stories understand how beautiful women are.” The dialogue unspools over the course of years, and alongside it, a romance novel takes shape.


The Palace of Eros

Caro De Robertis. Atria, Aug.

Two-time Stonewall Book Award winner De Robertis puts a queer, feminist spin on the Greek myth of Psyche and Eros. The author’s Eros is a nonbinary deity of desire tasked with destroying the irresistible Psyche, but instead spirits her away to a palace where they can hide from Aphrodite and Zeus. They fall in love during Eros’s nighttime visits, even as Psyche chafes at her lack of freedom.

Road to Ruin

Hana Lee. Saga, May

Per PW’s starred review, Lee’s apocalyptic fantasy debut is “sure to draw comparisons to Mad Max but sets itself apart through an inventive magic system and a thorny bisexual love triangle.” In a climate-ravaged wasteland, Jin is a courier who rides a magic motorcycle to deliver love letters between a prince and a princess—both of whom she has feelings for.


Vera Bushwack

Sig Burwash. Drawn & Quarterly, June

Burwash’s debut graphic novel takes place in the woods of Nova Scotia, where Drew is trying to clear land to build a cabin. When they use a chainsaw, they transform into their alter ego, Vera Bushwack, who wears assless chaps and rides a steed. Vera’s brazenness helps Drew find confidence in the world of men’s work while they confront past traumas and seek joy. Rendered in pencil and vibrant watercolors—Vera’s horse is bright orange—the novel shifts between reality and fantasy as Drew explores different versions of themself.


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