2021 was a notable year for LGBTQ literature. Between the highly anticipated release of Melissa Broder’s “Milk Fed” and Torrey Peters’s “Detransition, Baby,” and the relit wildfire of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” and Hanya Yanagihara’s “A Little Life,” it was entirely possible to complete a reading challenge consisting solely of good LGBT stories.
And yet, LGBTQ literature is still not as widespread as its heterosexual, cisgender counterpart. LGBTQ readers still find themselves combing through the shelves at bookstores and looking up anticipated reading lists that are specifically about LGBTQ literature; if not, those stories risk being lost in the sea of works that don’t represent us.
As someone who almost exclusively reads LGBTQ literature, I’m here to hopefully make your search for representation less arduous. Here are the LGBTQ stories I’m most looking forward to reading in 2022:
“The Boy With a Bird in His Chest” by Emme Lund - Feb. 15
Emme Lund’s debut novel is a coming of age story told through the lens of magical realism, with a boy with a bird named Gail in his chest in the middle of it all.
“Right Where I Left You” by Julian Winters - March 15
If you’re a fan of the best friends to lovers trope and the young adult genre, then you’ll be looking forward to this novel with an adorable premise.
“Time Is a Mother” by Ocean Vuong - Apr. 5
Ocean Vuong has made waves in recent years with his poetry, essays and novels examining the intersection of his queerness and Vietnamese culture. His second poetry collection copes with the grief of his mother’s death.
“Bad Girls” by Camila Sosa Villada - May 3
Combining fairytale magic with the hard truth of life for transgender sex workers, this novel promises to linger in your mind long after you read it.
“The Final Strife” by Saara El-Arifi - June 21
For those who enjoy fantasy and sci-fi novels, this is the first in an African- and Arabian-inspired epic trilogy.
“In Transit: Being Non-Binary in a World of Dichotomies” by D.E. Anderson - July 12
Those looking to become more educated on LGBTQ issues and history, take note of this work that will explore what it means to be non-binary in a world that is heavily constructed on gender binaries.
“The Book Eaters” by Sunyi Dean - Aug. 9
The premise of Sunyi Dean’s fantasy debut, as conveyed by the title, is already fascinating. Add in themes of queer motherhood, and it’s no wonder that this is a highly anticipated book of 2022.
“Your Emergency Contact Has Experienced an Emergency” by Chen Chen - September
Chen Chen’s poetry collection is perfectly relevant, viewing the current political climate and COVID-19 pandemic through the eyes of a queer Asian American person.
“The First To Die At The End” by Adam Silvera - Oct. 4
You may have heard of “They Both Die At The End,” Silver’s hugely successful novel. This prequel returns to that literary universe, promising as much heartbreak and tenderness as its predecessor.
Ivy Marie Clarke ‘22 is an English literature and creative writing double major, double minoring in art and women’s and gender studies. She has served as editor of the Arts & Culture section of The Cluster for the last two years. She also interns with Macon Magazine and Mercer University Press and edits for The Dulcimer. She also enjoys drinking coffee and writing poetry.