Corona! Or: how I can finally complete my reading list
By Lori Lo Bianco
Like everyone else, I always make new year’s resolution and then later never accomplish it. The big one for 2020 was to read at least a book a month carefully chosen between queer/lgbtiq+/womxn writers, so basically the only rule was: “Don’t buy another straight/cis/man’s book”.
Not very surprisingly, I found out so much interesting literature out there and figured out that my knowledge of queer classics is quite basic. If only I wasn’t wasting my time reading another Haruki Murakami book (I know, I am deeply a softboi).
So now that the days are getting longer and the pubs are closed maybe for the first time I will be able to complete the auto-inflicted challenge. Here are some favourites from my 2020 reading list.
In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado
I received not one but two copies of this book for my birthday, meaning I really desired it and definitely I let people know about it. So now that I devoured I can’t stop talking about it.
The book is technically a memoir of an abusive lesbian relationship, but there’s so much representation of a real woman-on-woman life that I consider Dream House as a lesbian biblical text.
Whatever Naomi Alderman writes
I am a serial consistent writer, after pining over the love story between Ronit and Esti in Disobedience (notorious for the ‘spit scene’ in the movie), I read the more dystopian but not less gripping The Power.
The first one is a proper intense lesbian drama, full of regrets, longing and controversial subjects.
The latter is a full-on revenge-utopia-fanfiction that slowly becomes just another story of how terrible human beings with power can be. Nevertheless, as an AFAB person, I enjoyed this fantasy of an inverted dynamic between sexes.
An Apartment on Uranus: Chronicles of the Crossing by Paul B. Preciado
I don’t want to tell you what to do or what to think but Paul B. Preciado should be your new idol if they are not already.
This is a collection of the column articles they wrote for the French newspaper Libèration from 2013 to 2018. Every piece is a queer political manifesto in which Preciado fights, documents and reflects on transitioning from a butch woman to a non-binary man, from European capitalism to global necropolitics.
Preciado’s work is made for Marxist queers but also for any queer in need of cultural parenting (read the column “Who defends the queer child?”).
Gifts from my girlfriend's mum: The bricks that built the houses by Kate Tempest and Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
Apparently without even knowing it, my mother-in-law is quite good at picking queer literature.
She probably didn’t know that Kate Tempest is an amazing multi-faceted poly-creative lesbian talent. I discovered her as a singer but definitely, her novel is already a new classic that puts Kate Tempest in my writer Olympus.
Meanwhile, with intersectional and intergenerational themes like womanhood, race, lesbian identity and gender, Evaristo’s book is officially in the queer canon.
A suggestion from Italy: Separate Rooms by Vittorio Tondelli
Nowadays, I mostly read in English so I struggle to keep my Italian list up to date. But recently my Italian lover, maybe out of boredom caused by the quarantine or maybe because we are deeply melancholic lesbians, is reading me this forgotten gem.
Separate Rooms is a story of ideal love and languid desire between Leo, an Italian writer, and Thomas, his dead German lover.
If you are, like me, an orphan of Call Me By Your Name, this is your cure.
These should cover your queer needs for a bit, next up I’ll share with you my lesbian erotica reading list...!