Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Night 74° Clear
A&E >  Books

Water Cooler: Pride month reading from trans and nonbinary authors

UPDATED: Tue., June 15, 2021

Charlie Jane Anders, the author of “The City in the Middle of the Night.”  (Courtesy of Sarah Deragon)
Charlie Jane Anders, the author of “The City in the Middle of the Night.” (Courtesy of Sarah Deragon)

There is a wealth of literature created by LGBTQ+ storytellers, but the collection of published works by transgender, non-binary and gender queer authors has specifically grown in recent years. Not only in quantity, but also in variety.

This Pride month, dive into stories from the creative minds within trans and nonbinary communities. You will find some books that focus on the experience of gender nonconformity, some that are pure escapist storytelling, some that discuss pressing social issues, and just about everything else in between. Here are a few titles you can explore.

“The City in the Middle of the Night,” by Charlie Jane Anders Set on the dying and inhospitable planet of January, a woman is exiled from a human colony after participating in a failed revolution. A ragtag group of other exiles become her unlikely allies.

“Asegi Stories,” by Qwo-Li Driskill In the Cherokee language, the term “Asegi udanto” describes people who either mix or fall outside of the traditional roles of men and women. This scholarship explores Indigenous Queer and Two-Spirit topics specifically through the lens of Cherokee culture.

“Freshwater,’’ by Akwaeke Emezi This debut novel tells the story of a young Nigerian woman who develops a fractured sense of self, exploring topics of mental health and the mystery of being.

“Being Jazz,” by Jazz Jennings Jazz is a YouTuber, activist and television personality who capture the world’s attention for being one of the youngest publicly documented people to identify as transgender. In this memoir, Jennings reflects on the public nature of her experience, the influence it had as well as the challenges it created.

“Confessions of the Fox,” by Jordy Rosenberg In this alternate history work, a professor discovers a manuscript that details the personal confessions of Jack Sheppard, a notorious 18th-century English thief. The manuscript reveals that Sheppard was a trans man, and the professor must decide whether it is an authentic biography or an elaborate hoax.

“An Unkindness of Ghosts,” by Rivers Solomon A grim science-fiction tale that follows Aster, an inhabitant of the low deck slums of the HSS Matilda which carries the last of humanity through the dark depths of space on the promise of a mythical Promised Land.

“Transgender History: The Roots of Today’s Revolution,” by Susan Stryker A chronological history of American transgender experiences and movements, beginning with the transsexual communities of the late 1940s, moving to the social change that would come with the late 1960s, and into contemporary politics.

“Surpassing Certainty: What My Twenties Taught Me,” by Janet Mock In this follow-up to her popular debut work, “Redefining Realness,” Mock now focuses on her journey beginning months before her 20th birthday as a student at the University of Hawaii.

“Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story,” by Jacob Tobia A memoir recounting Tobia’s childhood struggles with wanting to embrace both the masculine and feminine, and his journey to finally finding pride in who he is.

“Amateur: A True Story About What Makes a Man,” by Thomas Page McBee A memoir of McBee’s journey as a trans man training to fight a charity match at Madison Square Garden and the lessons it taught him about violence, stereotypes, and the limits of conventional masculinity.

“Tomorrow Will Be Different,” by Sarah McBride McBride’s memoir focuses on the story of how she became the first openly transgender state senator in U.S. history, and the surprising influence her coming out had on her community and work.

“Everyone on the Moon is Essential Personnel,” by Julian K. Jarboe A debut collection of mid-apocalyptic horror stories that explore bodily autonomy, the value of negative emotions, the impact of unhealthy relationships, and the persistent question of how to build a more loving society in an imperfect world.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Spokane7 email newsletter

Get the day’s top entertainment headlines delivered to your inbox every morning.