Colourful Books with LGBTQIA+ Representation
By Megan Coote, Laura Wallace, Tessa Thejas Thomas and Abbie Wright
To celebrate Pride Month, the Cover Evaluation team have selected some of our favourite colourful books which include LGBTQIA+ representation. While June is labelled as Pride Month, it is also important to read LGBTQIA+ stories all year round, so if you are looking to diversify your reading this year then all of the following would make perfect additions to your bookshelf.
The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka
Maali Almeida, photographer, gambler and closet gay, wakes up dead in his hometown in Sri Lanka during the time of the civil war, and has a timeline of seven moons to reveal photographs to his country, whilst reckoning with the ghosts of the afterlife.
The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka has a cover that highlights the surrealism of this dark and witty Booker Prize-winning novel.
The image illustrated on the cover is of a Raska mask. Raska masks are used in Sri Lankan festivals to ward off evil spirits, therefore fitting with the theme of the afterlife. The abstract image of the mask gives the reader an insight into the magical realism contained within the novel. The cover is bright and vibrant, with lots of different colours catching the reader’s eye. The designer has used a sans serif typeface in white, distinguishing the font from the colourful imagery of the cover.
The cover is interesting and creative, and gives the reader an insight into the mood and voice of the author. We love it.
You Exist Too Much by Zaina Arafat
You Exist Too Much tells the story of a bisexual Palestinian-American woman who is shamed by her mother after coming out as queer. Told in vignettes, Zaina Arafat’s debut traces her protagonist's progress from teen to adult, as she navigates her relationship with her mother, love and her sexual identity. The novel won a Lambda Literary Award in Bisexual Fiction in 2021, and the cover was designed by Nicole Caputo, the Creative Director of Catapult, Counterpoint Press and Soft Skull Press and co-founder of She Designs Books.
The bold cover for the book falls inside the popular design trend of abstract, colourful book covers featuring bold, rounded text. This type of design can be seen on many other best-selling novels, such as The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, another book that provides LGBTQIA+ representation. The style is popular for a reason, as the design is eye-catching but doesn’t give too much away, remaining open to interpretation. The designer, Nicole Caputo, in her Instagram cover reveal, expressed that the design is inspired by fiery desire, not quite having a place and destruction with vintage touches, which explains the clashing colours and abstract shapes. Whilst the cover is vibrant and almost deceivingly light-hearted, the story is emotional and raw, exploring sexuality and culture.
That Summer Feeling by Bridget Morrissey
That Summer Feeling by Bridget Morrissey is a recent publication in the contemporary fiction genre. Garland, following her recent divorce, attends a summer camp for adults where she runs into Mason, a man from her past. But, it is his sister that keeps catching her eye. Mason’s sister, Stevie, is beautiful, adventurous and charming; she has Garland questioning everything she knows about love.
The cover of That Summer Feeling reflects the title itself: the reflection of leaves in water along with the vibrant colour scheme makes the reader feel the same summer feeling that is evident within the book. The font is bold and fun, setting the tone of the story as light-hearted.
A popular cover design decision within the contemporary romance genre is to have the main character and their love interest illustrated. Garland and Stevie are depicted here on the cover, with their eye contact and body language hinting at the chemistry and connection between them. The reader can also deduce the camp setting that will set the mood for the story and romance.
That Summer Feeling is a sapphic romance that is sure to give you the heart-fluttering feeling you need this Pride Month, as well as all year round!
Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters
Torrey Peters’ award-winning novel centres around three transgender and cisgender women whose lives become connected after an unexpected pregnancy. The novel explores the ideas of sisterhood, motherhood, sex and gender as these women’s stories unfold for the reader.
The novel’s cover features three women’s faces, offering a very literal interpretation of our characters in the novel. Additionally, the abstract style of the cover highlights how complex the stories and challenges of the characters have become. The colour scheme of warm oranges, greens, blues and pinks create a beautiful colour palette, immediately catching the reader's eye. As well as this, the title’s bold font stands out and informs the reader of the main themes of the story.
Ultimately, the beautiful cover design and the story within solidifies this novel as a perfect LGBTQIA+ read for Pride Month.