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BOOK LIST:

LGBTQIA: Lesbian Literature - Non-Fiction

Updated: March 18, 2021

Non-fiction books by or about lesbian writers, themes, issues.


Against memoir : complaints confessions + criticism
Tea, Michelle,
Call Number: 813 T253T-2

This is Michelle Tea's recollection of her own life and others, told through essays. Not the usual memoir, and Tea speaks her mind and heart about whatever grabs her.


Aimée & Jaguar : a love story, Berlin 1943
Fischer, Erica, 1943-
Call Number: 940.5343 F529

Photos, letters and love poems chronicle the unlikely love story of Felice and Lily, a German Jew and Nazi housewife respectively, surviving together in war-torn Berlin. A timeless true story about living and loving like there is no tomorrow.


Before the rain : a memoir of love and revolution
Torregrosa, Luisita Lopez.
Call Number: 071.092 T6892

While covering the 1986 Philippine Revolution, Puerto Rican journalist Luisita Lopez Torregrosa falls in love with another writer, Elizabeth.  The love affair is overwhelming and changes Torregrosa's life forever.


Black dove : mama, mi'jo, and me
Castillo, Ana,
Call Number: 814 C352

Ana Castillo, novelist, poet, journalist, and social critic, recounts the challenges, joys in this collection of personal essays.


Buffering : unshared tales of a life fully loaded
Hart, Hannah, 1986-
Call Number: 809.2953092 H325

Hannah Hart, Internet personality and digital maven, shares personal stories and insights into her dizzying life.


The celluloid closet : homosexuality in the movies
Russo, Vito.
Call Number: 791.9 R969 1987a

A scholarly study of depictions of LGBTQ people in 20th century cinema.


The children of Harvey Milk : how LGBTQ politicians changed the world
Reynolds, Andrew, 1967-
Call Number: 306.766 R462

Harvey Milk was the first openly gay public official elected in California to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977, and was assassinated, along with Mayor George Moscone in San Francisco City Hall. Andrew Reynolds documents the worldwide history of LGBTQ political leaders who have made great strides in getting elected to public offices since 1977.


Darlinghissima : letters to a friend
Flanner, Janet, 1892-1978.
Call Number: 071.092 F585

Janet Flanner's correspondence with her longtime lover, Natalia Danesi Murray.


Elizabeth Bishop : a miracle for breakfast
Marshall, Megan,
Call Number: 811 B6214Ma

Biography of noted American poet Elizabeth Bishop, based on newly discovered letters.


Every true pleasure : LGBTQ tales of North Carolina
Call Number: 810.8 E932-1

.A collection of fiction and non-fiction from North Carolina's best writers who identify as gay, trans, bisexual and straight.


Gay L.A.: A History of Sexual Outlaws, Power Politics, and Lipstick Lesbians
Faderman, Lillian.
Call Number: 301.415709794 F144

A history of the LGBTQ community in Los Angeles. Stories include the 1967 protests against police brutality in Silverlake, which predated the Stonewall Rebellion by two and a half years; and the nation's first gay pride parade in 1970.


Gentleman Jack : the real Anne Lister
Choma, Anne,
Call Number: 306.7663092 L773Ch

In 1834, Anne Lister was the first woman to marry another woman and have it recorded. She was a force to be reckoned with as a landowner who took charge of her family's estate Shildben in West Yorkshire, England. She wrote constantly in diaries, some of which are in her coded langauge.  Lister's life is the basis for the HBO television series.


High school : Tegan and Sara
Quin, Tegan, 1980-
Call Number: 789.164 Q7

The Grammy Award-winning Canadian pop duo and twin sisters, Tegan and Sara Quin, share their coming-of-age story: drug use, sexual experimentation, first loves, fights with their parents and each other, and most notably their emerging identities as lesbians and discovery of music.


Indomitable : the life of Barbara Grier
Passet, Joanne Ellen, 1954-
Call Number: 085.473 G848Pa

"Barbara Grier--feminist, activist, publisher and archivist--was many things to different people." As one of the founders in 1973 of Naiad Press she wanted to make sure that lesbians had access to literature that reflected their lives. This volume contains new and never published letters, and interviews from Grier's archive, and reveal the struggles of the lesbian community in that era.


Janet, my mother, and me : a memoir of growing up with Janet Flanner and Natalia Danesi Murray
Murray, William, 1926-2005.
Call Number: 071.092 F585Mu

A loving, funny and revealing remembrance by writer William Murray of his mother, Natalia Danesi Murray and her lover Janet Flanner. Flanner was the celebrated journalist who wrote a regular column, "Letter from Paris" for the New Yorker, and Murray was a publishing executive, actress and broadcaster. In many ways the young William Murray led a privileged life divided between New York, Paris and Rome, but it was also a hidden world, at a time when lesbian relationships were unacceptable.


LGBTQ comedic monologues that are actually funny
Call Number: 808.82 L6875

". . .  this cutting-edge and incredibly hysterical monologue book is specifically for actors auditioning for LGBTQ roles; . . . works by LGBT writers and comics (and their allies) who have written and/or performed for Comedy Central, Backstage magazine, NBC, the Huffington Post, the Onion, Second City, E!, and many more. This collection is the go-to source for the comedic monologue needs of actors seeking LGBT material, as well as a paean to LGBT characters and artists"


Native country of the heart : a memoir
Moraga, Cherrie,
Call Number: 810.92 M827

Writer, editor, playwright, poet, essayist, feminist and lesbian activist, Chicana Cherrie Moraga presents a deeply felt autobiography. It is, in great part, a loving homage to her mother with whom she had a complicated and inspiring relationship. 


Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth-Century America
Faderman, Lillian
Call Number: 301.415709 F144-1

Faderman’s groundbreaking work uses a myriad of sources including interviews, photographs, and medical literature to chronicle the history of American lesbian culture in the 20th century.


Ordinary girls : a memoir
Díaz, Jaquira
Call Number: 818 D542
Jaquira Díaz writes about growing up queer, closeted and biracial in Puerto Rico and Miami. With a childhood marked by poverty, racism, mental illness, addiction, and violence, Díaz describes her journey to self-determination and stability.

Outer voices, inner lives : a collection of LGBTQ writers over 50
Call Number: 810.8 O945

Sixteen stories by LGBT men and women, which provide a historical perspective and testimony for people of all ages.


Save yourself
Esposito, Cameron
Call Number: 812.092 E77

Los Angeles based comic, actor and writer, Carmen Esposito recalls her Catholic upbringing, coming-out experience, career as a lesbian standup comic. With humor and honesty, she tackles issues of gender, sexuality and self-acceptance.


Sculptor's daughter
Jansson, Tove,
Call Number: 839.73 J35J

Finnish writer Tove Jansson is best known for her series of imaginative children's books about the Moomins, but she was also a novelist, painter, illustrator, and comic strip author. Her life-partner was Tuulikki Pietila, graphic artist and gallery owner. According to the Moomin website, they were, ". . . among Finland's most visible gay couples. . ."  Her autobiography is a charming remembrance of her childhood.


The Stonewall reader
Call Number: 306.7660973 S8815

The Stonewall uprising took place 50 years ago.  This book is comprised of articles, diaries, memoirs documenting the importance of the event, and some of what followed in the fight for LGBTQ rights in the United States.


Sybille Bedford : a life
Hastings, Selina
Call Number: 820.92 B411Ha

The extraordinary and adventurous life of Sybille Bedford was thoroughly researched for this biography. She was a writer and journalist with a precise and evocative writing style. Her life was remarkable for the variety of work she did, her sharp curiosity and intelligence, the many people she knew and her personal relationships. 


A wild and precious life : a memoir
Windsor, Edie
Call Number: 306.7663092 W766

Edie Windsor's lawsuit against the federal government made international news when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in her favor, overturning The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and paving the way for full marriage equality. The person behind the plaintiff is revealed, as Windsor chronicles her life experiences: her social life in the underground gay scene of 1950s Greenwich Village, her trailblazing career in computing, and her 44-year partnership with psychologist Thea Spyer


Zami: A New Spelling of My Name
Lorde, Audre.
Call Number: 818 L867 1983

This biomythography chronicles Lorde’s life, beginning with her childhood in 1930s Harlem to the women who shaped her adulthood. A poignant chronicle of Black lesbian life in mid-century New York City.


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