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Read the Rainbow: Anticipated Reads this Pride Month

By Meg Jones, Alfie Kimmins, Georgia Wells and Sarah Ernestine

100 Queer Poems by Andrew McMillan and Mary Jean Chan

2 June 2022, Vintage Publishing

Andrew McMillan and Mary Jean Chan have curated a candescent anthology celebrating queer writers and queer representation to mark the beginning of Pride 2022. Included are the words of classic writers such as Wilfred Owen and Langston Hughes, as well as contemporary work by names such as Carol Ann Duffy and Ocean Vuong.

This anthology explores themes ranging from exploring queer identity during adolescence to understanding the urban and natural worlds. Carefully and creatively documenting the queer experience, this anthology is one not to be missed this Pride month.

Nuclear Family by Joseph Han

7 June, Counterpoint LLC

Debut author Joseph Han was born in Korea and raised in Hawai’i and has brought inspiration from both places to his first novel, Nuclear Family. The story begins in the months leading up to the false missile alert of 2018 in Hawai’i. Mr and Mrs Cho have always dreamed of franchising their Korean lunch restaurants across Hawai’i. When a video of their eldest son, Jacob, trying to cross the Korean demilitarised zone goes viral, the family and the restaurant are caught under suspicion. 

The Cho’s youngest child, Grace, tries to cope with her unravelling family; Jacob is possessed by the ghost of his late grandfather; Mr and Mrs Cho try to keep their business and their family afloat. Just how nuclear will their family get?

Body Grammar by Jules Ohman

14 June, Vintage Publishing

What better way to kick off a bookish pride month than with a coming-of-age queer romance

story? Well, look no further, because Jules Ohman’s debut novel Body Grammar is heating up this Summer. Eighteen-year-old Lou has modelling agents queuing at the door, scouted for her androgynous looks. But Lou does not want to be in photographs; she wants to take them. 

When a tragic accident strikes, Lou flees to New York City and stumbles into the world of high fashion and couture. She is scrutinised for her looks, her walk, and her body. When she begins to think she is losing herself, she thinks of what – and who – she left behind. Body Grammar is a multifaceted tale of loss and beauty, value and self-acceptance. It reminds us that when you chase the things you love, you will find where you belong. 

Epically Earnest by Molly Horan

21 June, Clarion Books

Inspired by Oscar Wilde’s comedy The Importance of Being Earnest, Epically Earnest isn’t one to wait for; whilst the hardcover doesn’t release until August 4, the eBook can be found in June for those of us desperate to read it. Jane Worthing was found abandoned in a Gucci bag by her adopted father, the brief viral sensation #bagbaby. Now seventeen, Jane is struggling with her identity: where did she come from, and why can’t she stop crushing on Gwen Fairfax? After Algie’s well-meant but troubling advice, Jane decides to search for her birth parents while navigating her feelings for a girl out of her league. As her life becomes increasingly complicated, Jane realises she’s been keeping in more than she thought. She needs to be honest with her parents, her friends and her crush. She needs to be earnest.

First Time for Everything by Henry Fry

Orion, 23 June

Danny Scudd has a job in London, his wonderful best friend Jacob from childhood, a boyfriend who he’s just celebrated his first anniversary with, and all his plants are alive. Danny thinks his life is absolutely fine... until suddenly it isn’t.

After a trip to the sexual health clinic, he discovers his boyfriend is cheating on him and shortly after, he and his plants are evicted from his flat. So he has no choice but to move in with Jacob and their eccentric group of friends. With the help of his new housemates (and his therapist), Danny starts to realise that he doesn’t really know himself, and that maybe his life wasn’t as fine as he thought it was. With gay and non-binary representation, this is a must-read for anyone looking for a witty and reflective comedy drama this pride month.

Harlem Sunsets by Nekesa Afia 

Berkley, 30 June

Louise Lloyd, brave heroine and clever detective of Afia’s Dead Dead Girls, is back this Summer when another murder case comes to town. It’s 1927, and Louise has settled into a routine in Harlem. She has a great new job and the girl she loves. But when a figure from her past steps into the present and winds up dead, Louise finds herself in the middle of a case once again. But this time, her girlfriend Rosa Maria is the suspect. Someone is framing Rosa, and Louise is determined to prove it before it is too late.


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