The Publishing Post
Books with Great Lesbian Representation
By Lauren Dooley, Emma Holbrook and Alyssa Miles
The LGBTQ+ community is home to many different sexualities and gender identities. Growing up, it can be difficult to locate books that contain relatable characters to your identity. This can feel isolating, making LGBTQ+ people feel like an ‘other’ in a heteronormative society. Therefore, we want to shine a light on each beautiful person within the community. Prepare for amazing articles highlighting representations of every sexuality and identity. Each identity and sexuality will be explored in their own individual article over the next few weeks. The first representation we will dive into is the L in LGBTQ+. So, let’s explore a few brilliantly queer books available with positive lesbian representation.
Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett
What happens when a thief steals a valued artefact that those in power would do anything to reclaim? Sancia Grado is unlucky enough to discover the answer. This talented thief is contracted to steal an unknown artefact with unimaginable powers; a key that can influence all magical items in its path. When the Merchant Houses, who control all magical aspects of this world, discover this key has been stolen, the hunt for Sancia begins. Sancia desperately attempts to evade these powerhouses to ensure they do not retrieve an item that could alter the world as they know it.
This exciting first instalment in a fantasy trilogy creates a unique magic system within a brilliant world. This first book builds an authentic and positive lesbian relationship between two important characters. The first two books are available right now and the finale will be released later this year.
Love Letters: Vita and Virginia by Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf
With a beautiful introduction from Alison Bechdel, this collection of letters between the renowned feminist author Virginia Woolf and aristocratic poet Vita Sackville-West is a sapphic dream. After meeting at a dinner party in 1922, these two inspiring women embarked on a dazzling almost twenty-year flirt. This emotional, autobiographical text details certain letters and diary entries that allow a glimpse into the tender, complex relationship that influenced the queer phenomenon that is Woolf’s Orlando.
Each entry within this book is beautifully written and is a literary love letter to all lesbians, such as this letter written by Vita in 1926: “I composed a beautiful letter to you in the sleepless nightmare hours of the night, and it has all gone: I just miss you, in a quite simple desperate human way.”
The Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smith
“Seventeen-year-old Saoirse has finished her exams and is facing a long hot summer before uni. She plans to party, get drunk, watch horror movies and forget all her troubles by kissing girls. Ever since the breakupocalypse with her ex-girlfriend Hannah, she’s been alone and angry, dealing with the hole left in her family by her sick mother’s absence. Enter the scene: Ruby, who might just be the prettiest girl Saoirse’s ever seen. A romcom fan and a believer in true love, Ruby challenges cynical Saoirse to try a summer romance with the serious parts left out, just like in the movies. But what happens when the falling in love montage ends?”
This witty, well-paced and excellently characterised summer romance is sure to take you on an emotional rollercoaster. What looks like your typical overcoming teenage heartbreak story is actually about a young woman coming into her own and embracing who she is. A must read for those searching for a beautifully interpreted perspective of a young homosexual love without the degrading stereotypical cliches associated with queer literature.
Skye Falling by Mia McKenzie
Skye is a queer, Black woman in her late-30s who has always been a free spirit. She has spent most of her life living out of a suitcase and never developing deeper relationships with others. That is probably why she didn’t think twice at twenty-six when she sold her eggs to make a little extra cash. But, when a twelve-year-old girl tracks Skye down and informs her she’s “her egg,” Skye starts thinking it’s time to build a deeper connection with another human. To complicate things further, the woman Skye tried to pick up the other day is the girl’s aunt and guardian.
This endearing and engaging novel focuses on things that matter to us the most – family and love. In many ways, it reads as a coming-of-age story as Skye begins to re-evaluate her past and how she has handled familial, platonic and romantic relationships. McKenzie also explores what it means to be a woman in a light-hearted and honest way. About the novel, Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, said “Razor-sharp and outrageously funny, Skye Falling is an absolute winner.”
Gideon the Ninth by Tasymin Muir (Science-Fiction)
Carol by Patricia Highsmith (Classic Romance)
Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo (Historical Romance)
Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters (Historical)
One Last Stop by Casey McQuinston (Contemporary)
Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron (Young Adult)