Lambda Literary Awards - 2020

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Lambda Literary Awards - 2020

jul 21, 2020, 7:13pm

The Lambda Literary Awards, also known as the "Lammys", are awarded yearly by the U.S.-based Lambda Literary Foundation to published works which celebrate or explore LGBT themes. To qualify, a book must have been published in the United States in the year current to the award. The Lambda Literary Foundation states that its mission is "to celebrate LGBT literature and provide resources for writers, readers, booksellers, publishers, and librarians – the whole literary community." The awards were instituted in 1988.

In addition to the primary literary awards, the Lambda Literary Foundation also presents a number of special awards. The Pioneer Award is presented as a lifetime achievement award to a distinguished figure in the history of LGBT literature; the Bridge Builder Award is presented to a person, regardless of sexuality, who has been a prominent ally and advocate of the LGBT community; and the Trustee Award is presented to a writer who has made a considerable contribution to a wider awareness and understanding of the lives of LGBT people.

Beginning in 2011, the Lambda Literary Awards also took over the Jim Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelists' Prize, formerly presented by the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival. The award, endowed by academic and writer James Duggins, is presented annually to two LGBT writers, one male and one female, to honor their bodies of work. In 2013, the foundation instituted the Dr. Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award to honor young LGBT writers who have published at least one book; in 2016, the award was renamed to the Judith Markowitz Award, endowed by writer and philanthropist Judith Markowitz, while the Betty Berzon Award was taken over, and continues to be presented, by Publishing Triangle.

jul 21, 2020, 7:16pm

I've combed through this year's list of winners to pick out books that were awarded in lesbian categories, or in bisexual and trans categories and are either about or by queer women.
There were quite a lot of female winners this year!

Also notable, Jane Wagner - wife of Lily Tomlin was awarded the Visionary Award.

jul 21, 2020, 7:20pm

Winner: Lesbian Fiction

Patsy by Nicole Dennis-Benn

A beautifully layered portrait of motherhood, immigration, and the sacrifices we make in the name of love from award-winning novelist Nicole Dennis-Benn.

Redigerat: jul 21, 2020, 7:45pm

Winner: Bisexual Fiction

Exquisite Mariposa by Fiona Alison Duncan

Given the initials F.A.D. at birth, Fiona Alison Duncan has always had an eye for observing the trends around her. But after years of looking for answers in books and astrological charts and working as a celebrity journalist to make rent, Fiona discovers another way of existing: in the Real, a phenomenological state few humans live in.

Redigerat: jul 21, 2020, 7:45pm

Winner: Transgender Fiction

Little Blue Encyclopedia (for Vivian) by Hazel Jane Plante

The playful and poignant novel Little Blue Encyclopedia (for Vivian) sifts through a queer trans woman’s unrequited love for her straight trans friend who died. A queer love letter steeped in desire, grief, and delight, the story is interspersed with encyclopedia entries about a fictional TV show set on an isolated island. The experimental form functions at once as a manual for how pop culture can help soothe and mend us and as an exploration of oft-overlooked sources of pleasure, including karaoke, birding, and butt toys.

Redigerat: jul 21, 2020, 7:45pm

Winner: Bisexual Nonfiction

Socialist Realism by Trisha Low

When Trisha Low moves West, her journey is motivated by the need to arrive “somewhere better”—someplace utopian, like revolution; or safe, like home; or even clarifying, like identity. Instead, she faces the end of her relationships, a family whose values she has difficulty sharing, and America’s casual racism, sexism, and homophobia.

Redigerat: jul 21, 2020, 7:46pm

Winner: LGBTQ Nonfiction

In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado

In the Dream House is Carmen Maria Machado’s engrossing and wildly innovative account of a relationship gone bad, and a bold dissection of the mechanisms and cultural representations of psychological abuse. Tracing the full arc of a harrowing relationship with a charismatic but volatile woman, Machado struggles to make sense of how what happened to her shaped the person she was becoming.

jul 21, 2020, 7:25pm

Winner: Lesbian Poetry

& more black by t'ai freedom ford

t’ai freedom ford’s second collection of poems, & more black, is direct, ingenious, vibrant, alive, queer, & BLACK. By turns tough and sexy, wrapped up in the evolving language and sonics of life, these poems take their cue from Wanda Coleman’s American Sonnets as they rhapsodize and dialogue with artists such as Carrie Mae Weems, Glenn Ligon, and Wangechi Mutu, along with many other musicians, artists, and writers. The kinetic energy of ford’s words leap off the page in rebellious, stunning, and revelatory fashion—poems that mesmerize with sheer velocity and telling pauses.

jul 21, 2020, 7:26pm

Winner: Bisexual Poetry

Pet Sounds by Stephanie Young

Pet Sounds is at once a book of confessional economics, music criticism disguised as poetry, and a complicated coming out story. Working from the sticky interface of property and sex and written under the shadow of urban development, these poems take up the question of passing and everything that gets lost in narrow definitions of family and romantic love. Pet Sounds pulses with the pleasures and grief of what it means to make a home inside structures that don’t fit.

jul 21, 2020, 7:29pm

Winner: Transgender Poetry

HULL by Xandria Phillips *

In this debut collection by African American poet Xandria Phillips, HULL explores emotional impacts of colonialism and racism on the Black queer body and the present-day emotional impacts of enslavement in urban, rural, and international settings. HULL is lyrical, layered, history-ridden, experimental, textured, adorned, ecstatic, and emotionally investigative.

* Phillips also won the 2020 Judith A. Markowitz Award for Emerging LGBTQ Writers which recognizes LGBTQ-identified writers whose work demonstrates their strong potential for promising careers.

Redigerat: jul 21, 2020, 7:44pm

Winner: Lesbian Mystery

Galileo by Ann McMan

Two years have passed since the unsavory events in Dust. Evan Reed is still cranky, but she’s also dealing with the nagging effects of a gunshot wound. Her teenage daughter, Stevie has a new discovery to share, and Stevie’s father, Dan, has married a woman half his age. Evan’s childhood pal, Father Tim, has started questioning his faith, and Evan’s relationship with publishing magnate, Julia Donne has all the earmarks of heading somewhere special.

Redigerat: jul 21, 2020, 7:44pm

Winner: Lesbian Memoir/Biography

We Have Always Been Here by Samra Habib

Samra Habib has spent most of her life searching for the safety to be herself. As an Ahmadi Muslim growing up in Pakistan, she faced regular threats from Islamic extremists who believed the small, dynamic sect to be blasphemous. From her parents, she internalized the lesson that revealing her identity could put her in grave danger.

When her family came to Canada as refugees, Samra encountered a whole new host of challenges: bullies, racism, the threat of poverty, and an arranged marriage. Backed into a corner, her need for a safe space–in which to grow and nurture her creative, feminist spirit–became dire. The men in her life wanted to police her, the women in her life had only shown her the example of pious obedience, and her body was a problem to be solved.

Redigerat: jul 21, 2020, 7:46pm

Winner: Lesbian Romance

Aurora's Angel by Emily Noon

A broken-winged angel trying to get home. Her escort a nocturnal huntress with a bloody past. It will be a dangerous journey—monsters are everywhere and the truly dangerous ones hide in plain sight.

Redigerat: jul 21, 2020, 7:35pm

Winner: LGBTQ Children's/Middle Grade

Hazel’s Theory of Evolution by Lisa Jenn Bigelow

Hazel knows a lot about the world. That’s because when she’s not hanging with her best friend, taking care of her dog, or helping care for the goats on her family’s farm, she loves reading through dusty encyclopedias.

But even Hazel doesn’t have answers for the questions awaiting her as she enters eighth grade. What if no one at her new school gets her, and she doesn’t make any friends? What’s going to happen to one of her moms, who’s pregnant again after having two miscarriages? Why does everything have to change when life was already perfectly fine?

Redigerat: jul 21, 2020, 7:46pm

Winner: LGBTQ Young Adult

The Grief Keeper by Alexandra Villasante

Seventeen-year-old Marisol has always dreamed of being American, learning what Americans and the US are like from television and Mrs. Rosen, an elderly expat who had employed Marisol’s mother as a maid. When she pictured an American life for herself, she dreamed of a life like Aimee and Amber’s, the title characters of her favorite American TV show. She never pictured fleeing her home in El Salvador under threat of death and stealing across the US border as “an illegal”, but after her brother is murdered and her younger sister, Gabi’s, life is also placed in equal jeopardy, she has no choice, especially because she knows everything is her fault. If she had never fallen for the charms of a beautiful girl named Liliana, Pablo might still be alive, her mother wouldn’t be in hiding and she and Gabi wouldn’t have been caught crossing the border.

Redigerat: jul 21, 2020, 7:46pm

Winner: LGBTQ Comics

Cannonball by Kelsey Wroten

Kelsey Wroten’s Cannonball fires the reader straight into the messy life of Caroline Bertram: aspiring writer, queer, art school graduate, near alcoholic, and self-proclaimed tortured genius. Wroten tells the story of an artist struggling with the arrival of adulthood and the Sisyphean task of artistic fulfillment. Stunningly drawn in a classic style, with big truths and biting wit, Wroten’s debut graphic novel is Art School Confidential for the Tumblr generation.

Redigerat: jul 21, 2020, 7:40pm

Winner: LGBTQ Erotica

{book cover is x-rated, so I omitted it.}

Whore Foods by LA Warman

Collecting and expanding pieces from her seminal newsletter detailing the inner and outer sexual life of a grocery store cashier, LA Warman’s Whore Foods is a guaranteed feast for sore thighs. Now available in raw pulp paperback form for the first time. Cleanup in Aisle 4.

jul 21, 2020, 7:41pm

Winner: LGBTQ Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror

The Deep by Rivers Solomon with Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, and Jonathan Snipes

The water-breathing descendants of African slave women tossed overboard have built their own underwater society—and must reclaim the memories of their past to shape their future in this brilliantly imaginative novella inspired by the Hugo Award–nominated song “The Deep” from Daveed Diggs’s rap group clipping.

jul 21, 2020, 7:42pm

Winner: LGBTQ Studies

All Our Trials: Prisons, Policing, and the Feminist Fight to End Violence by Emily L. Thuma

During the 1970s, grassroots women activists in and outside of prisons forged a radical politics against gender violence and incarceration. Emily L. Thuma traces the making of this anticarceral feminism at the intersections of struggles for racial and economic justice, prisoners’ and psychiatric patients’ rights, and gender and sexual liberation.

jul 23, 2020, 2:09pm

Thanks for posting! I haven't heard of most of these, so more for my future read list.

jul 23, 2020, 3:26pm

Same! Except for Patsy and We Have Always Been Here, the rest were new to me.
It's nice to have some titles to check out that haven't already been on a bunch of other "best of" lists.

jul 28, 2020, 3:39pm

It seems as if no matter how hard I try to keep up with what's available, I am always behind!