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Debut LGBTQ+ Authors to Look Out For in 2022

By Emma Holbrook, Lauren Dooley, Becca Binnie and Alyssa Miles


With the arrival of the new year, there comes the anticipation to go to a bookstore and browse all the new books the year already has to offer! With the excitement for new books comes a desire to try fresh and unique debut authors who are just beginning to showcase their talent through their beautiful writing. With this in mind, we’ve listed some debut authors whose books we think you should add to your 2022 To Be Read (TBR) list!


Fantasy


Wild and Wicked Things by Francesca May


“In the aftermath of World War I, a naive woman is swept into a glittering world filled with dark magic, romance and murder in this lush and decadent debut.” This is the strapline used by Goodreads, and it sure does catch the eye! Our main protagonist Annie Mason arrives on Crow Island, where magic is rumoured to exist, to settle her deceased father’s estate and rekindle an old friendship. However, Annie’s interest is piqued by a mysterious new neighbour by the name of Emmeline Delacroix, who is enveloped by witchcraft.


Wild and Wicked Things is the debut novel of Francesca May. It is a mesmerising, historical sapphic fantasy tale that has already received stellar reviews. New York Times bestselling author of For the Wolf (2021), Hannah Whitten remarks that this story is “brimming with romance,” “gilded with danger,” and “is a heady, lyrical gem of a book.” This story will feature some great lesbian characters and relationships. It is now available for pre-order and will be released on 29 March.


Short Stories


Manywhere: Stories by Morgan Thomas


Morgan Thomas brings together honest and wonderfully queer short stories that tell of characters crossing gender binaries and geographical boundaries. Nylon, Autostraddle, Electric Literature, and Lit Hub have named this debut novel by Thomas “a most anticipated book of 2022.”


These tales depict queer, genderqueer and trans characters from the American South who partake in journeys of self-discovery and validation. Thomas tells Autostraddle how these stories, which are inspired by the past, aim to impact the future:


"I think that potentially by understanding lineage, by understanding that these identities are not new, that they’re not a fad, that we’ve existed for centuries, just understanding the abundance and expansiveness of gender in history, to me suggests that there is a space for even more abundance and expansiveness in the future."

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Thomas’s stories of a trans woman, a young trans son, an intersex person and a writer avoiding an ancestor’s legacy, embrace reminiscence, reinvention, transformation and transcendence in nine timeless original narratives.


This debut collection of short stories was published on 25 January, so you can already get your hands on a copy of this powerful novel.


Young Adult


Love & Other Disasters by Anita Kelly


This delicious, romantic comedy debut from Anita Kelly has been dubbed “both fantastically fun and crack-your-heart-wide-open vulnerable” by Rosie Danan. The plot revolves around an openly non-binary contestant on America’s favourite cooking show falling hopelessly in love with their competitor. The blurb reads:


"Recently divorced and on the verge of bankruptcy, Dahlia Woodson is ready to reinvent herself on the popular reality competition show Chef’s Special. Too bad the first memorable move she makes is falling flat on her face, sending fish tacos – flying not quite the fresh start she was hoping for. Still, she’s focused on winning, until she meets someone she might want a future with more than she needs the prize money. After announcing their pronouns on national television, London Parker has enough on their mind without worrying about the klutzy competitor stationed in front of them. They’re there to prove the trolls – including a fellow contestant and their dad – wrong, and falling in love was never part of the plan."


This romantic debut was released in January, so you can go right ahead and buy yourself a copy at your local bookshop or at any online retailers!


Romance


Ben and Beatriz: A Novel by Katalina Gamarra


Katalina Gamarra is a former bookseller turned author with her debut novel Ben and Beatriz: A Novel. This highly anticipated Latinx retelling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing is set in the United States during the early days after the 2016 election. This novel follows Beatriz, a queer biracial young woman, who finds herself joining her cousin to spend a week in the Cape Cod mansion of Ben Montgomery, a white and wealthy playboy. The same Ben who Beatriz might have regrettably hooked up with once. Regrettably because being with Ben means having to compromise her identity, and Beatriz has no intention of doing that. But, her assumptions about Ben begin to unravel as Beatriz learns he is wrestling with politics and a conservative family he can’t relate to, they both begin to wonder if their hookup can turn into something more.


This captivating novel addresses the complex realities of familial expectations, privilege and racism. Add this one to your to be read pile and save the date for the release on 2 August.


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