Finalists for the Lambda Literary Awards were announced on Thursday March 6th, 2014 by the Lambda Literary Foundation (LLF) in Los Angeles. Now in their Twenty-Sixth Year, the awards honor achievement in LGBTQ writing for books published in 2013. “Today is a day to celebrate the richness of our literature and to give hearty congratulations to our outstanding shortlisted authors and their publishers,” said Lambda Literary Executive Director, Tony Valenzuela. “The deep commitment to advance our community’s literature by our highly qualified volunteer judges who read and deliberate on the submitted books – and often anguish over the selection of finalists – make the Lammys possible.”
The Lambda Literary Awards identify and celebrate the best Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender books of the year and affirm that LGBT stories are part of the literature of the world. Bisexual Books have been honored in their own category since 2006 and the American Institute of Bisexuality (AIB) has been a sponsor since then. Books from major mainstream publishers, academic presses, long-established as well as new LGBTQ publishers and emerging publish-on-demand technologies, make up the finalists for the Awards, also known as the “Lammys.”
More than 90 literary professionals, including booksellers, book reviewers, librarians, authors, and previous Lammy winners and finalists volunteered countless hours of reading, critical thinking, and invigorating discussion to select the finalists in 24 categories.
“This is our fifth straight year of record-breaking Lambda Literary Award submissions,” said LLF Board President, S. Chris Shirley. “We’re especially excited to add an LGBT Graphic Novel category to accommodate their explosive growth over the past few years and to recognize the extraordinary talent behind them.”
Winners will be announced during the Annual Awards Ceremony on Monday evening, June 2, 2014, at The Great Hall at Cooper Union in New York City. The Awards Ceremony has consistently drawn an audience representing every facet of publishing.
|Finalists of the 26th Annual Lambda Literary Awards: Bisexual Fiction|
|Corona, Bushra Rehman, Sibling Rivalry Press||Razia Mirza is a Pakistani woman from Corona, Queens, who grew up in a tight Muslim community surrounding the first Sunni masjid built in New York City. When a rebellious streak leads to her ex-communication, she decides to hit the road. Corona moves between Razia’s childhood and the comedic misadventures she encounters on her journey, from a Puritan Colony in Massachusetts to New York City’s Bhangra music scene. With each story, we learn more about the past she’s escaping, a past which leads her to constantly travel in a spiral, always coming closer to but never quite arriving home.|
|Hild:A Novel, Nicola Griffith, Farrar, Straus and Giroux||Griffith explores the young life of Hild, the future St. Hilda of Whitby. Set in seventh-century Anglo-Saxon England, during the early years of Christianity there, the novel begins with the sudden death of Hild’s father, Lord Hereric. To secure the futures of her daughters, Hild’s ruthless and cunning mother embarks on a plan to hook their fate to the coattails of Lord Hereric’s ambitious brother and king-to-be. Soon, Hild becomes Edwin’s trusted seer, and as the novel progresses, she attempts to stay in his favor, treading carefully among the large egos of the court and knowing that her survival depends as much on luck as it does on the accuracy of her predictions. Griffith expertly blends an exploration of seventh-century court life and a detailed character study of Hild as she balances a need for acceptance, love, and friendship and a desire to escape the strict gender roles of her time. While fierce battles and political intrigue feature prominently, so do the fascinating details of everyday life, particularly the lives of women.|
|In His Secret Life, Mel Bossa, Bold Strokes Books||When Allan’s boyfriend leaves him for a younger man, Allan lets him go without a grudge. When his sister, Elsie, gets pregnant and ditched, he becomes her support system and father figure to his niece. Then Elsie becomes engaged to Dayton, and Allan meets Dayton’s older brother, Davinder—a fierce and exceptionally gifted artist with a thousand secrets breathing in his eyes. But Davinder is a married man and father of two young boys.
From the moment they meet, and for over four decades, Allan and Davinder will walk along the edge of their secret lives, never allowed to push open the gates. And though their love is a head-on collision, a meeting of the minds, a fusing of two lost souls, both men know that it is also, and above all…impossible.
|My Education, Susan Choi,Penguin Group/Viking||Regina Gottlieb had been warned about Professor Nicholas Brodeur long before arriving as a graduate student at his prestigious university high on a pastoral hill. He’s said to lie in the dark in his office while undergraduate women read couplets to him. He’s condemned on the walls of the women’s restroom, and enjoys films by Roman Polanski. But no one has warned Regina about his exceptional physical beauty—or his charismatic, volatile wife.
My Education is the story of Regina’s mistakes, which only begin in the bedroom, and end—if they do—fifteen years in the future and thousands of miles away. By turns erotic and completely catastrophic, Regina’s misadventures demonstrate what can happen when the chasm between desire and duty is too wide to bridge.
|The Two Hotel Francforts: A Novel, David Leavitt, Bloomsbury||It is the summer of 1940, and Lisbon, Portugal, is the only neutral port left in Europe—a city filled with spies, crowned heads, and refugees of every nationality, tipping back absinthe to while away the time until their escape. Awaiting safe passage to New York on the SS Manhattan, two couples meet: Pete and Julia Winters, expatriate Americans fleeing their sedate life in Paris; and Edward and Iris Freleng, sophisticated, independently wealthy, bohemian, and beset by the social and sexual anxieties of their class. As Portugal’s neutrality, and the world’s future, hang in the balance, the hidden threads in the lives of these four characters—Julia’s status as a Jew, Pete and Edward’s improbable affair, Iris’s increasingly desperate efforts to save her tenuous marriage—begin to come loose.|
|Finalists of the 26th Annual Lambda Literary Awards: Bisexual Nonfiction|
|The B Word: Bisexuality in Contemporary Film and Television, Maria San Filippo, Indiana University Press||Often disguised in public discourse by terms like “gay,” “homoerotic,” “homosocial,” or “queer,” bisexuality is strangely absent from queer studies and virtually untreated in film and media criticism. Maria San Filippo aims to explore the central role bisexuality plays in contemporary screen culture, establishing its importance in representation, marketing, and spectatorship. By examining a variety of media genres including art cinema, sexploitation cinema and vampire films, “bromances,” and series television, San Filippo discovers “missed moments” where bisexual readings of these texts reveal a more malleable notion of subjectivity and eroticism. San Filippo’s work moves beyond the subject of heteronormativity and responds to “compulsory monosexuality,” where it’s not necessarily a couple’s gender that is at issue, but rather that an individual chooses one or the other. The B Word transcends dominant relational formation (gay, straight, or otherwise) and brings a discursive voice to the field of queer and film studies.|
|Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution, Shiri Eisner, Seal Press||This book takes a long overdue, comprehensive look at bisexual politics—from the issues surrounding biphobia/monosexism, feminism, and transgenderism to the practice of labeling those who identify as bi as either “too bisexual” (promiscuous and incapable of fidelity) or “not bisexual enough” (not actively engaging romantically or sexually with people of at least two different genders). In this forward-thinking and eye-opening book, feminist bisexual and genderqueer activist Shiri Eisner takes readers on a journey through the many aspects of the meanings and politics of bisexuality, specifically highlighting how bisexuality can open up new and exciting ways of challenging social convention.
Informed by feminist, transgender, and queer theory, as well as politics and activism, the book is a radical manifesto for a group that has been too frequently silenced, erased, and denied—and a starting point from which to launch a bisexual revolution.
|The Soundtrack of My Life, Clive Davis, Simon & Schuster||Music legend Clive Davis recounts an extraordinary five-decade career in the music business, while also telling a remarkable personal story of triumphs, disappointments, and encounters with some of the greatest musical artists of our time, from Bob Dylan and Paul Simon to Whitney Houston and Alicia Keys.
Orphaned and impoverished in his teens, Davis overcame early hardships, earning a full scholarship to New York University and then one to Harvard Law School. As general counsel at Columbia Records, Davis quickly distinguished himself and capitalized on a lucky break to catapult to the presidency of the company. More surprisingly, he was to learn he had “ears,” a rare ability to spot talent and create hit records. His is the imprimatur that has helped shape contemporary music and our popular culture for the past forty-five years.