The Lambda Literary Awards will be here in early June! The Lambda Literary Foundation began in 1989 as a way to honor the best in gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender literature. Past recipients of the Lambda Literary Award have included bestselling horror writer Clive Barker, novelist Lee Lynch, and sci-fi/fantasy author Nicola Griffith. Nominees include a wide range of famous authors, including Anne Rice. Here are a few of our top 2012 picks for the 24th Annual Lambda Awards, which take place in New York on June 4th. For a complete list of the 2012 nominees, please go here.
Our Pick for the Best in Gay Memoir/Biography: Celluloid Activist: The Life and Times of Vito Russo
Michael Schiavi’s biography about the life and career of Vito Russo, the legendary and multi-talented LGBT historian and activist, is rich and textured. Russo was best known for the gay classic The Celluloid Closet, about the history of gays and lesbians in film. Not only is this an interesting and detailed book about a noted historian and activist, but it’s also a clear look at gay political and urban life in the 70s and 80s.
Our Pick for the Best in Debut Lesbian Fiction: The Girls Club
This year, Sally Bellerose’s debut novel The Girls Club is up for the 24th annual Lambda Literary Award in debut lesbian fiction. The Girls Club (which recently won the Bywater Prize for Fiction) follows three Catholic working class girls – Marie, Renee, and Cora Rose – through their struggles, friendships, and jealousies. Bellerose takes the theme of sisterhood and runs with it– the three girls are sisters, each dealing with their own personal rite of passage. They are swept up in the sisterhood movement of the early 70s, left to discover themselves, even, in the case of Cora Rose, as they bring to light what they’re repressing.
Our Pick for the Best in Transgender Literature: I am J
J is a female-bodied high school student, but knows that inside he is a teenage boy. J’s struggles with gender are touching and brave as he navigates shifting relationships with family and friends. The scenes where J poses as a biological man to be with the girl he is dating are gripping. Also excellent are the scenes in I am J about the LGBT school in which J takes refuge. There aren’t many young adult books that deal with the unique challenges and triumphs of transgender teens, and Beam breaks the mold with this daring book about self-acceptance and self-worth. I am J is nominated for both Transgender Literature and Young Adult categories.