2014 Book Preview

Make your pre-orders and keep your eyes peeled for this year’s big gay books.
January 09, 2014

The Tooth Fairy, Pillar of Salt and I Loved You More

January

The Days of Anna Madrigal by Armistead Maupin (Harper) 
The ninth installment in Maupin’s beloved Tales of the City series finds trans heroine Anna Madrigal, at the age of 92, ready to make peace with her painful Nevada childhood. While the younger members of her found family head to Burning Man, Madrigal seizes the opportunity to join in on the road trip and revisit the home she escaped decades before.

Death and Disaster Series by Lonely Christopher (Monk Books)
A three-part interrogation of death, desire and an economy in recession, the full-length poetry debut by Brooklyn-based writer and filmmaker Lonely Christopher finds the poet grieving the loss of his mother, struggling to make his food stamps last—and never quitting the pursuit of cute queer boys.

Call Me Burroughs: A Life by Barry Miles (Twelve)
Controversial Beat writer William S. Burroughs got the Ben Foster treatment in last year’s Kill Your Darlings, and now comes back to life in historian Barry Miles’ new biography. Fans of Beat lore will love this deeply researched and well-wrought account.

Body Counts: A Memoir of Politics, Sex, AIDS and Survival by Sean Strub (Scribner) 
This memoir by longtime AIDS activist (and founder of POZ magazine) Sean Strub offers an eyewitness account from the inside of the epidemic at its worst. From the virus’s mysterious emergence to the introduction of the antiretroviral drugs that saved Strub’s own life, this book is a valuable addition to the American AIDS archive.

February

Bitter Eden by Tatamkhulu Afrika (Picador)
Celebrated South African writer Tatamkhulu Afrika died shortly after the original 2002 publication of this autobiographical final novel. Based on Afrika’s experience as a prisoner of war during WWII, Bitter Eden is a beautifully rendered examination of male intimacy and the dissolution of homosocial norms among men living in the face of an uncertain future.

The Tooth Fairy by Clifford Chase (Overlook)
Consummate storyteller Clifford Chase delivers a funny, strange and ultimately heartwarming recollection of a contemporary gay life. With a detached wit reminiscent of David Sedaris, these short linked fragments should make for the perfect book on the go.

Gay Propaganda ed. Masha Gessen and Joseph Huff-Hannon (OR Books)
Compiled in response to Russia’s new anti-gay legislation—and set for release just before the Sochi Olympics—this bilingual collection of queer Russian love stories is a timely and vital testament to both the hardship of oppression and the beauty of love.

April

I Loved You More by Tom Spanbauer (Hawthorne Books)
Spanbauer’s latest novel follows 25 years in the life of a charming but emotionally damaged gay writer whose affections always seem to be misdirected—whether toward his straight best friend from Columbia, or, years later, for an adoring female student. Sweeping and graceful, the story of this love triangle is truly one of friendship.

They Don’t Kill You Because They’re Hungry, They Kill You Because They’re Full by Mark Bibbins (Copper Canyon)
New York-based Bibbins brings a refreshing linguistic verve to contemporary gay poetry, with associative, music-driven verse brimming with unexpected pop culture invocations. In his third collection, Bibbins’ sense of play remains a joy, but don’t be fooled: these poems have teeth.

Pillar of Salt: An Autobiography, with 19 Erotic Sonnets by Salvador Novo trans. Marguerite Feitlowitz (University of Texas Press)
Novo, who lived from 1904 to 1974, was a prolific writer and notable cultural presence in Mexico City, where he was a regular player in the city’s underground gay world. Pillar of Salt recounts his coming-of-age amidst the violent Mexican Revolution and offers a history of his passions—both literary and otherwise.