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Independent Spirit: LGBTQ Voices in Publishing

Book Chronicles / Opinion

In this article:
Happy Stories, Mostly

Written by Nathalie op de Beeck, originally published in Publishers Weekly

Apr 28, 2023

Mainstream publishing’s LGBTQ content today resembles the transgressive indie fare of a decade ago. Poet Ocean Vuong’s queer coming-of-age novel, the 2019 Penguin Press release On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, is a book club staple. Last year, MCD x FSG Originals resurrected Imogen Binnie’s out-of-print Nevada, a 2013 novel of transgender searchers; and Detransition, Baby (One World) by Torrey Peters, a novel about trans- and cisgender relationships and parenthood, received a PEN/Hemingway Award. Even as the big houses lend more support to books by queer and trans authors and with LGBTQ themes, indie publishers, with a track record of being out and proud, continue to lead the charge. PW spoke with editors and others in the independent publishing scene about new queer-centric imprints, international perspectives on queer identities, and the quest for previously unheard voices and unexpected stories. ... As such, Feminist Press focuses on voice-driven narrative and bringing global work to the U.S. market. These include the collection Happy Stories, Mostly by Indonesian author Norman Erikson Pasaribu (trans. by Tiffany Tsao, June); biracial, nonbinary Gen Z activist Travis Alabanza’s manifesto None of the Above (Oct.); and Wild Geese (Sept.), the debut novel by trans Irish writer Soula Emmanuel.

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