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June is Pride Month, which honors the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Riots, which served as a catalyst of the modern gay rights movement. At the Topsfield Town Library, to acknowledge the contributions of the LGBTQIA community, we have created this reading guide highlighting excellent LGBTQIA Fiction (from award winners, drama, to mystery, to historical fiction, to comedy, and to romance), and we are highlighting LGBTQIA fiction with our Pride display during the month of June.

Did you know?

Did you know that we have a new filter where you can search for LGBTQ+ topics exclusively? When visiting our catalog searching for materials, look for the drop down menu on the left side (it defaults as “Everything”) and find “LGBTQ+” in the drop down menu. Your search will only search for items with LGBTQ+ topics as an included subject. Check it out!

What is LGBTQIA fiction?

LGBTQIA fiction includes stories written by and/or for the LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual) community.
They involve LGBTQIA characters and themes.

Other Places to Look

Find nonfiction books on the second floor, including LGBTQIA memoirs, history, and politics.
The Children’s Room has stories about LGBTQIA youth, as well as “teaching books” about inclusion, families, and gender. Read our LGBTQIA+ Reads list for Kids for a selection of reading choices!
The Young Adult section has a large and growing selection of books about LGBTQIA teens. Read our LGBTQIA+ Books for Teens reading list for a selection of reading choices!

Spotlight: Stephen McCauley

On April 29, 2023, the Topsfield Town Library hosted author Stephen McCauley in the library Activity Room (the talk was sponsored by the Friends of the Topsfield Town Library). Stephen McCauley is the author of seven novels, most famously The Object of my Affection. Other novels by Stephen McCauley: My Ex-Life, Insignificant Others, Alternatives to Sex, True Enough, The Man of the House, and The Easy Way Out. His novels feature gay characters and contain trademark witty humor.

Check These Titles Out!

Rom-Coms and Romance

Mrs. Nash’s Ashes by Sarah Adler
A heart-warming romantic comedy. After her elderly landlady/best friend Rose Nash dies, Millie sets out to deliver her ashes to her long-lost love, Elsie Brown, who is in hospice care. The book flashes back to the blossoming of Rose and Elsie’s romance, and teaches Millie about love on the way.


A Dash of Salt and Pepper by Kosoko Jackson
Xavier is a driven, career-oriented MBA grad who returns to his small-town. He crosses paths with Logan, and finds he must choose between love and his career dreams.

The Fiancée Farce by Alexandria Bellefleur
“Tansy has been lying to her family about having a girlfriend just so they’ll get off her back. Her fake girlfriend, Gemma, happens to be a real life cover model for romance novels who shows up at a wedding Tansy is attending! Gemma surprises Tansy by going along with the ruse since she needs a fiancée in order to inherit her grandfather’s company …” (LibraryReads)

All the Right Notes by Dominic Lim
In this hilarious and joyous rom com, sparks fly when a piano genius and a Hollywood heartthrob are thrown together for a charity performance of solos, heartfelt duets, and a big, showstopping finale.

Mistakes Were Made by Meryl Wilsner
Cassie, a college senior, realizes that the woman she hooked up with last night is the mother of her best friend, Parker.

You’re a Mean One, Matthew Prince by Timothy Janovsky
Young, rich Matthew is shipped off to small town New England for Christmas. When forced to work with Hector for a charity gala, Matthew may find the home he’s been missing all along.


Sterling Karat Gold by Isabel Waidner
Sterling Beckenbauer is plunged into a terrifying and nonsensical world one morning when they are attacked, then unfairly arrested, in their neighborhood in London. With the help of their friends, Sterling hosts a trial of their own in order to exonerate themselves and to hold the powers that be to account.

Concerning My Daughter by Kim Hye-jin ; translated from the Korean by Jamie Chang.
Refusing to accept her gay daughter’s definition of “family,” a widowed, aging mother begins to reconsider the unfair consequences of choosing one’s own path when she is told to lower her standard of care of an elderly dementia patient.

Roses, in the Mouth of a Lion by Bushra Rehman
Razia Mirza launches a classic preteen rebellion—cutting school, listening to off-limits music—with a new girl in her Pakistani American community. Then she gets into elite Stuyvesant High School, is attracted to Angela, and recognizes the difference between what her parents want for her and what she wants for herself. A story of friendship and queer love in the Muslim American community (Library Journal)

In Memoriam by Alice Winn
Henry Gaunt, a student at an idyllic boarding school in the English countryside is relieved to escape his feelings for Sidney Ellwood when he enlists to fight in World War I, but is horrified when all his classmates join him.

And Then He Sang a Lullaby by Ani Kayode Somtochukwu
Ani Kayode Somtochukwu’s debut novel, the first book from Roxane Gay’s imprint, follows the lives of two young gay men in contemporary Nigeria.

Big Swiss by Jen Beagin
A woman in upstate New York who works transcribing therapy sessions for a sex coach becomes infatuated with one of his clients, a repressed married woman from Switzerland who has a refreshing attitude towards trauma.

Sirens and Muses by Antonia Angress
In 2011, at the elite Wrynn College of Art, 19-year-old Louisa Arceneaux has an affair with her roommate, Karina, the mercurial daughter of wealthy art collectors, that forces them to confront their deepest desires and fears as they are unexpectedly thrust into the cutthroat New York art world.

Chlorine by Jade Song
A debut novel that blurs the line between a literary coming-of-age narrative and a dark unsettling horror tale and is told from an adult perspective on the trials and tribulations of growing up in a society that puts pressure on young women and their bodies.

The New Life by Tom Crewe
Henry and John set out to research and write a groundbreaking book about homosexuality, but just before it’s due to be published, the Oscar Wilde scandal erupts and makes publication a far riskier proposition. When a radical bookseller is arrested for selling a copy of the book, the main characters are set on a potential collision course with English law and social opinion. (Booklist)

Scorched Grace by Margot Douaihy
A chain-smoking, heavily tattooed, queer nun, Sister Holiday, when Saint Sebastian’s School becomes the target of a shocking arson spree, launches her own investigation, which turns her against colleagues, students and fellow Sisters as she pieces together the clues to solve this explosive mystery.

Mother Ocean Father Nation by Nishant Batsha
On a fictional island in the Pacific blending aspects of Fiji, Uganda, and Trinidad, two siblings take different paths when violence against the Indian community explodes in 1985. University student Bhumi flees for California when her friendship with a politician’s daughter endangers her, while Jaipal works for their grocer father and must seek a way to express his queer identity (Library Journal)

The Fifth Wound by Aurora Mattia
An unconventional, thought-provoking story. The narrator, Aurora, a trans woman and a writer, deals with longing for a lover from college, Ezekiel while lashing out at rejections from publishers.

Short Stories

Happy Stories, Mostly by Norman Erikson Pasaribu
In their stunning fiction debut, queer Indonesian writer Norman Erikson Pasaribu blends together speculative fiction and dark absurdism, drawing from Batak and Christian cultural elements.

Fruiting Bodies by Kathryn Harlan
This collection of stories constructs eight eerie worlds full of desire, wisdom, and magic blooming amidst decay. In stories that beckon and haunt, this title ranges confidently from the fantastical to the gothic to the uncanny, as it follows characters – mostly queer, mostly women – on the precipice of change.

Award Winners

Stonewall Awards: The Barbara Gittings Literature Award

The Barbara Gittings Literature Award is awarded by the American Library Association for “exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender experience.” 

2022 Winner

To be announced in June 2023

2022 Winner

Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon
Fleeing from the strict religious compound where she was raised, Vern, in the safety of the forest, gives birth to twins, and to keep her small family safe, unleashes incredible brutality far beyond what a person should be capable of.

2021 Winner

The Thirty Names of Night by Zeyn Joukhadar
Follows three generations of Syrian Americans who are linked by a mysterious species of bird and the truths they carry close to their hearts.

2020 Winner

Cantoras by Carolina De Robertis
About five wildly different women who, in the midst of the Uruguayan dictatorship, find each other as lovers, friends, and ultimately, family.

2019 Winner

The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai
A novel set in 1980s Chicago and contemporary Paris follows the director of a Chicago art gallery and a woman looking for her estranged daughter in Paris who both struggle to come to terms with the ways AIDS has affected their lives.

The Lambda Awards

The Lambda Literary Awards (or “Lammys”) have maintained a proud tradition of celebrating vibrant, dynamic LGBTQ storytelling. By clicking on the link, it will take you to the item record, where you can read summaries of each book. Almost all items are available at the Topsfield Town Library.

Best Transgender Fiction

2022: Summer Fun by Jeanne Thornton
2021: The Thirty Names of Night by Zeyn Joukhadar
2020: Little Blue Encyclopedia (for Vivian) by Hazel Jane Plante
2019: Little Fish by Casey Plett

2023 Finalists

All the Hometowns You Can’t Stay Away From by Izzy Wasserstein
Didn’t Nobody Give a Shit What Happened to Carlotta by James Hannaham
Manywhere by Morgan Thomas
The Call-Out by Cat Fitzpatrick
Wrath Goddess Sing by Maya Deane

Best Lesbian Fiction

2022: Skye Falling by Mia McKenzie
2021: Fiebre Tropical by Juliana Delgado Lopera
2020: Patsy by Nicole Dennis-Benn
2019: The Tiger Flu by Larissa Lai

2023 Finalists

Big Girl by Mecca Jamilah Sullivan
Gods of Want by K-Ming Chang
Jawbone by Mónica Ojeda
Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley
Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield

Best Gay Fiction

2022: 2022: 100 Boyfriends by Brontez Purnell
2021: Neotenica by Joon Oluchi Lee
2020: Lot by Bryan Washington
2019: Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead

2023 Finalists

Call Me Cassandra by Marcial Gala
The Foghorn Echoes by Danny Ramadan
God’s Children Are Little Broken Things by Arinze Ifeakandu
Hugs and Cuddles by João Gilberto Noll
My Government Means to Kill Me by Rasheed Newson

Best Bisexual Fiction

2022: We Want What We Want by Alix Ohlin
2021: You Exist Too Much by Zaina Arafat
2020: Exquisite Mariposa by Fiona Alison Duncan
2019: Disoriental by Négar Djavadi

2023 Finalists

Meet Us by the Roaring Sea by Akil Kumarasamy
Mother Ocean Father Nation by Nishant Batsha
Reluctant Immortals by Gwendolyn Kiste
Roses, In the Mouth of a Lion by Bushra Rehman
Stories No One Hopes Are About Them by A.J. Bermudez

Updated: May-June 2023

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