Resources, including Discussion Questions, for Selected LGBTQ+ and General Literature

This Book Resources page includes background material, including discussion questions, for selected LGBTQ+ and general works of literature, both contemporary and classic. These materials are for two book groups that I’m happy to participate in; with thanks to Tash and Beverly for their contributions! Hope this information will be of interest for your own discussion group (tips for starting one). Each of these diverse titles led to lively and interesting conversations. This page will expand frequently to include additional novels, non-fiction, plays, and poetry. Also, I have recommendations and resources for LGBTQ+ Literature, LGBTQ+ Cinema, and general Film.

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* André Aciman, Call Me By Your Name (LGBTQ+ Novel)

The love affair of two American men in 1950s Italy.

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* John Boyne, The Heart’s Invisible Furies (LGBTQ+ Novel)

70 years of modern Irish history as lived by a gay man.

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* Bill Bryson, A Walk in the Woods (General Non-Fiction)

Memoir about the complicated friendship of two middle-aged men hiking the Appalachian Trail.

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* Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl (General Fiction)

Brilliantly twisty thriller about marriage, and murder.

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* Yaa Gyasi, Homegoing (General Fiction)

Novel about eight generations of a Black family, from slavery until today; contains a poignant male-male relationship in the early chapter “Quey.”

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* Matthew Lopez, The Inheritance (LGBTQ+ Play)

The experiences of contemporary NYC gay men in an epic two-part play that reimagines Howards End.

MATTHEW LOPEZ

THE INHERITANCE

The Inheritance – London (2018)

The Inheritance – Broadway (2019)

HOWARDS END: E.M. Forster’s 1910 Novel and James Ivory’s 1992 Film – the Forster masterpiece inspired Matthew Lopez to reimagine it in contemporary terms

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* Audre Lorde, Zami: A New Spelling of My Name (LGBTQ+ Autobiographical Fiction)

Powerful “biomythography” (memoir) of growing up in 1950s Harlem and becoming, in her own words, a “Black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet.”

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* Emily St. John Mandel, The Glass Hotel (General Fiction)

Experimental thriller about two siblings trapped in a pyramid scheme.

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* Cherríe Moraga, Native Country of the Heart, a Memoir (LGBTQ+ Non-Fiction)

The relationship of a lesbian Latina author/activist and her mother who has Alzheimer’s.

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* Chinelo Okparanta, Under the Udala Trees (LGBTQ+ Novel)

A young lesbian comes of age in war-torn 1960s Nigeria.

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* Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time (aka Remembrance of Things Past) (LGBTQ+ Novel)

Intimate epic of the narrator’s experiences in late 19th / early 20th century French society; a defining classic of Modernism.

  • Proust resources (from a discussion group I organized in NYC) – background, book and film links, plus a recipe for madeleines, the tasty treats that set Proust’s intimate epic in motion (they were a hit at the NYC group!)

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* Andy Weir, The Martian (General Fiction)

Realistic science fiction novel about an astronaut marooned on Mars.

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* Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass (1855 “short” first version) (LGBTQ+ Poetry)

The foundation of modern poetry, its visionary inclusiveness remains inspiring.

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NOTE: Additional books and resources will be added frequently.

Begun March 20, 2021 / Revised April 14, 2021

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