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Reading the Rainbow: A Celebration of Pride

By Megan Cradock, Konstantopoulou, Ana Cecilia Matute, Zalak Shah and Caroline Dowse 


Literature is an important medium of exchanging ideas and celebrating all voices. Pride Month is a time for celebration and love. Compiled below is a list of reading recommendations, each book cover selected not only to match one of the colours on the rainbow flag, but also to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community and the characters at its heart.


Red:

Kari by Amruta Patil


We meet Kari at a significant phase of her life. After her lover Ruth leaves the city, breaking her heart, Kari is forced to navigate her life in the city alone. Surrounded by friends, their boyfriends, colleagues and neighbours, the loneliness she experiences as a queer woman in a highly heterosexual society makes this a compelling story.

 

Kari is a graphic novel which deals with themes such as searching for identity, realities of heteronormativity, friendships, perils of extreme urbanisation and alienation. The evocative visuals add to the depth of the story and make Kari a celebration of non-conformity, fluidity and rejecting the conventional norms of society.



Orange:

The Seven Year Slip by Ashley Poston


Ever wondered what a novel with a time machineageing might look like?


Clementine West is on the brink of aging as a workaholic with little social life, having lost her favourite aunt six months prior. The irony of moving to her aunt’s apartment as her successor isn’t lost on the reader.


One day, she finds herself trapped in the seven-year older version of her apartment and while she believes she’ll never find charming Iwan in the present, life’s timing reveals odd surprises.


Despite the vivid presence of romance, her two best friends, Drew and Fiona, prove that relatives aren’t the only family we possess, while also representing the queer community as a pair of women that complete one another. Almost like an imperfectly perfect yin-yang, they are coloured and full.



Yellow:

Date Me, Bryson Keller by Kevin van Whye


Dare to fall in love?


Kai Sheridan dreams of being the main character in his own story: he wants to fall in love with another boy. But he doesn't want to risk everything falling apart.


Bryson Keller doesn't believe that High School relationships last and he doesn't want to get attached. But then the dare begins: date a different person each week for 3 months – and it has to be the first person to ask Bryson out every Monday morning.


In a spur-of-the-moment decision, Kai asks Bryson out – and Bryson agrees. But as each day passes, their relationship feels less and less like the dare it was supposed to be. Kai realises he's falling for Bryson and Bryson might just be falling for him too…


Green:

Heartstopper Volume 1 by Alice Oseman


When Charlie Spring's teacher seats him next to Nick Nelson, Charlie is prepared for a year of awkward “hellos” and insincere “how are yous?” Instead, they quickly become friends.


Charlie can't help developing feelings for Nick – but after the recent bullying and his own shattered self-confidence, the last thing he needs is to fall in love with a straight boy. Except, Nick's starting to wonder whether he might like boys too. He can't deny how he feels about Charlie, but he's not sure he's ready to face what that means.


Charlie and Nick are compelling characters and with a brilliant supporting cast, many of whom also belong to the LGBTQIA+ community. It's no surprise that Heartstopper has captivated audiences far and wide.



Blue: 

Poet in New York by Federico García Lorca (translated by Pablo Medina and Mark Statman)


Words can be striking, especially in the poetry of Federico García Lorca, a famous Spanish poet who was assassinated at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. Poet in New York evokes the injustice and discrimination that Lorca witnessed during his life. The astonishing poems in this work explore how reality is framed in life and the upheaval it can bring. Additionally, it has a sublime call to transform our humanity, giving more importance to compassion, justice and love.




Purple: 

The Color Purple by Alice Walker


The Color Purple is one of the most celebrated LGBTQIA+ novels of all time. 


Celie, a young African-American girl, lives with her family in 1900s Georgia and writes letters to God about the abuse she suffers from her father, Alfonso. Alfonso forces Celie to marry their neighbour, Mister, who also mistreats her, but things change when Mister’s mistress, jazz singer Shug Avery, moves in with the couple. The two women become lovers. When Shug learns of Mister’s abuse, she urges Celie to leave with her, but Mister catches them. Shug escapes, leaving Celie alone. As the years pass, Shug is never far from Celie’s thoughts as she tries to reconcile her feelings for her lover and decide if she is content without her.


The Color Purple features a lot of dark themes, including incest, domestic abuse and racism, but at the heart of the story is a woman trying to figure out who she is. 


2 comments

2 Comments


line Made
line Made
Jun 28

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Serena DEe
Serena DEe
Jun 19

It's upsetting that you're recommending a book from well-known antisemite, Alice Walker.

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