The Heat Of Our Brilliance
My childhood summers often found me on my stomach, propped up on my elbows and reading endlessly under the fan’s breath of grace. I remember summer reading contests at the library. I remember wide-open acres of reading time after chores and paper routes. That solitude sweetened and peopled by beloved characters. Tucking a book-like-contraband in the waistband of my shorts when my mother sent me out to play with other kids. Ha! I just went outside to read solo in my hideaway, den of a word-thief. If any part of my adulthood can testify to “It Gets Better,” I owe it largely to books.
And the ever-widening raft of LGBTQ books can make things even better. This year’s list of Lambda Literary Award finalists is a good place to find some hot reads. As in previous years, this roster is a deep bench.
I can personally recommend Thomas Glave’s Among the Bloodpeople: Politics and Flesh, a collection of creative nonfiction soaked in myth, Jamaican dreams, longing, fury, uncompromising vision, and men loving men under the sea.
But I have yet to dive into Bushra Rehman’s Corona, Jeanette Winterson’s The Daylight Gate, S. Bear Bergman’s Blood, Marriage, Wine & Glitter, Barrie Jean Borich’s Body Geographic (My Lesbian Husband was one of those book-buoys for me), Djola Branner’s sash & trim and other plays, and Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, from T.C. Tolbert and Tim Trace Peterson.
But I will.
I want to immerse myself in the weather of R. Erica Doyle’s proxy, which intones:
If thunder were a vowel,
this is the lip it would occupy.
And I will.
So whether you’re headed the treehouse, the poolside, the beach, or the mountains, I hope you’ll join me in adding some of our literature to the season’s refreshments. Vacation or stay-cation or no-cation, allow a book to whisk you away from the quotidian. Let the heat of LGBTQ brilliance make your brain and heart sweat.
I’ll be over by the fan, reading.