The 22nd Annual Lambda Literary Awards

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The Lambda Literary Foundation has announced the finalists in the Bisexual category for the 22nd annual “Lammy” Awards.

The Lambda Literary Foundation is the country’s leading organization for LGBT literature and has just announced the finalists in each category for the 22nd annual “Lammy” Awards to be held in May at the Lambda Literary Awards Ceremony in New York City.

These Finalists represent books published in 2009. Because there were so many bisexual-themed submissions, there are two specific categories for Bisexual Books: Fiction and Non-fiction.

Leaving India: My Family’s Journey From Five Villages to Five Continents

by Minal Hajratwala

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

An inspiring personal saga that explores the collisions of choice and history that led one unforgettable family to become immigrants In this groundbreaking work,Minal Hajratwala mixes history,memoir, and reportage to explore the questions facing not only her own Indian family but that of every immigrant:Where did we come from? Why did we leave? What did we give up and gain in the process? Beginning with her great-grandfather Motiram’s original flight from British-occupied India to Fiji, where he rose from tailor to department store mogul,Hajratwala follows her ancestors across the twentieth century to explain how they came to be spread across five continents and nine countries.This luminous narrative by a child of immigrants offers a deeply intimate look at what it means to call more than one part of the world home.

Byron in Love: A Short Daring Life

by Edna O’Brien

W. W. Norton

From one of our greatest novelists comes this luminous portrait of the world’s first literary rock star. Acclaimed biographer of James Joyce Edna O’Brien has written an intimate biography that suits her fiery and charismatic subject. With her prismatic eye and novelistic style, O’Brien eerily captures the spirit of the man and creates an indelible portrait of Byron that explodes the Romantic myth. From his escapades with John Edleston, the fourteen-year-old Cambridge choir boy, to those with a galaxy of women that included his half-sister, his wife of one year, and the Italian countess who forsook her satyr-like husband for “the peer of England and its greatest poet,” Byron scandalized the world and inspires “Byronmania”to this day.

Cheever: A Life

by Blake Bailey

Alfred A. Knopf

Was John Cheever the internalized homophobia poster child? After 679 pages of every excruciating detail of this man’s life it would be hard to conclude otherwise. He tortured himself for his attraction to men from an early age to, really, his grave. While he did eventually find some modicum of peace late in life, it was more of a ceasefire rather than a true embrace of his bisexual self. It is rewarding to read this smartly written book and really see not only his dark side but also his drive and his sacrifice. It’s in the writing—both Bailey’s and Cheever’s—where Cheever, a Life really succeeds.

Read the Full Review at Lambda Literary

Map

by Audrey Beth Stein

Lulu.com

Map is a memoir about first same-sex love that reads like a page-turning novel. Audrey is a college senior who has declared a major but not a sexual orientation. She has dated a couple of guys but now has a crush on school friend A.J., who happens to be a girl. She wants to tell A.J. her feelings, but uncertain whether A.J. is straight or could be more flexible, she is afraid to risk it. This book is about first same-sex love, coming out bisexual and resolving the conflict between finding time for being a writer and being in a relationship. It’s worth reading for its writerly, but very readable style, authentic dialogue and queer culture references.

Read the Full Review at Lambda Literary

Visit the Author’s Blog and website

Vincente Minnelli: Hollywood’s Dark Dreamer

by Emanuel Levy

St. Martin’s Press

The first full-length biography of Vincente Minnelli, one of the most legendary and influential directors in the twentieth century, encompassing his life, his art, and his artistry.

Visit the Author’s Website

See who won!

The finalists in the Fiction Bisexual Book Category for the 22nd Annual Lambda Literary Awards are:

Holy Communion

by Mykola Dementiuk

Synergy Press

HOLY COMMUNION is a rite-of-passage novel that follows a seven-year-old’s first communion preparations and celebration. Throughout the four-day period the boy deals with cruel nuns, sadistic babysitters, his mother’s unfortunate accident, a drunken father, plus a pedophile or two, but he finds a way to cope in the midst of so much tragedy — first by indifference, later by defiance and rebellion. He also discovers that his urban surroundings in New York City give him autonomy, comfort, and satisfaction. HOLY COMMUNION is full of the boy’s despair and self-questioning, along with author Mykola Dementiuk’s powerful insights into the human condition.

Visit the Book Website

Visit the Author’s Website

Love You Two

by Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli

Random House Australia

When life, love and family aren’t what anyone said they’d be . . . Like LOOKING FOR ALIBRANDI, this coming-of-age story stars a girl trying to find herself within a strong family environment. Pina’s friends think she’s lucky. How many families get along the way hers does – how many parents are as free-spirited and happy as hers? But sometimes Pina wonders who the grown-up is – her or her mother. Then a chance glimpse at an email unravels what Pina thought she knew about life and love. Can her family survive what she has discovered? And what does it all mean for Pina’s own life? Two siblings, two boys, two cities, three generations, four friends. How many versions of the truth?

Arusha

by J. E. Knowles

Spinsters Ink

A family struggles to come to its own peace accords: between husband and wife, between mother and children, and self and community. The issues at the heart of the struggle between spouses Edith and Joe center around his sexual urges. He’s been honest about the attractions he has for men since they married.  She can’t fault him for lying even when he does take up with her hairdresser — he tells her about that, too.  Arusha is a sharply drawn story that is not often told. A man who marries a “beard,” and tries to live a heteronormative life. The wife who can accept that. And then what happens when that tension of maintaining normalcy becomes too much — too powerful to ignore — and she is faced with all the fall-out she could ever imagine, and even more her pedestrian life couldn’t prepare her for.

Read the Full Review at Lambda Literary

Visit the Author’s Website

The Janeid

by Bobbie Geary

The Graeae Press

This novel subtitled “Jan’s Journey” covers twenty-four hours in which a few simple, daily things happen but Jan, the hero, is changed forever. It begins in the rain in “a leak of a wreck of a clammer’s house” and ends in an ecstatic sunset. That ordinary but momentous day, Jan leaves home, mother and tea kettle and sets sail through visions of her past: a manatee and a frog prince; visits in the present with a generous and taciturn Old Man of the Sea with a secret; a hippie commune crammed with characters who talk to their plants and nourish their communal children; and Cass, an enchanting woman artist who washes up at Jan’s feet and invites her to a siren’s island. In frenzied but inexplicable pursuit, Jan crosses the polluted bay in a borrowed clamboat to a treasure she didn’t know she was looking for.

Torn

by Amber Lehman

Closet Case Press

Torn is a brave and memorable achievement in teen fiction. If a bisexual coming-of-age novel like Torn had been written when I was coming of age in the mid-1970s, it would have gone a long way toward helping me feel sane. In fact, if I could have read this book when I was 14 (the age at which we meet the book’s protagonist, Krista McKinley), I probably would have become addicted to this book and carried it with me wherever I went; bisexuals – let alone teenaged bisexuals – get very few reliable toeholds in our society even today. This is a terrific first novel that deserves an open-minded read.

Read the Full Review at Lambda Literary

Visit the Author’s Website

See who won!

Congratulations to all of the finalists! The winner will be announced at the 22nd annual “Lammy” Awards to be held in May at the Lambda Literary Awards Ceremony in New York City.

And the winner in the Bisexual Non-Fiction Category is…..

Leaving India: My Family’s Journey From Five Villages to Five Continents

by Minal Hajratwala

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

An inspiring personal saga that explores the collisions of choice and history that led one unforgettable family to become immigrants.  In this groundbreaking work, Minal Hajratwala mixes history, memoir, and reportage to explore the questions facing not only her own Indian family, but that of every immigrant:  Where did we come from?  Why did we leave?  What did we give up and gain in the process?  Beginning with her great-grandfather Motiram’s original flight from British-occupied India to Fiji, where he rose from tailor to department store mogul, Hajratwala follows her ancestors across the twentieth century to explain how they came to be spread across five continents and nine countries.  This luminous narrative by a child of immigrants offers a deeply intimate look at what it means to call more than one part of the world home.

Leaving India: My Family’s Journey From Five Villages to Five Continents wins the award! Congratulations to Minal Hajratwala!

Visit the Author’s Website

It’s A Tie! And the two winners in the Bisexual Fiction Category are…..

Holy Communion

by Mykola Dementiuk

Synergy Press

HOLY COMMUNION is a rite-of-passage novel that follows a seven-year-old’s first communion preparations and celebration. Throughout the four-day period the boy deals with cruel nuns, sadistic babysitters, his mother’s unfortunate accident, a drunken father, plus a pedophile or two, but he finds a way to cope in the midst of so much tragedy — first by indifference, later by defiance and rebellion. He also discovers that his urban surroundings in New York City give him autonomy, comfort, and satisfaction. HOLY COMMUNION is full of the boy’s despair and self-questioning, along with author Mykola Dementiuk’s powerful insights into the human condition.

Holy Communion wins! Congratulations to Mykola Dementiuk!

Visit the Book Website

Visit the Author’s Website

Love You Two

by Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli

Random House Australia

When life, love and family aren’t what anyone said they’d be . . . Like LOOKING FOR ALIBRANDI, this coming-of-age story stars a girl trying to find herself within a strong family environment. Pina’s friends think she’s lucky. How many families get along the way hers does – how many parents are as free-spirited and happy as hers? But sometimes Pina wonders who the grown-up is – her or her mother. Then a chance glimpse at an email unravels what Pina thought she knew about life and love. Can her family survive what she has discovered? And what does it all mean for Pina’s own life? Two siblings, two boys, two cities, three generations, four friends. How many versions of the truth?

Love You Two also wins! Congratulations to Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli!

About the Lambda Literary Foundation:

The Lambda Literary Foundation is the country’s leading organization for LGBT literature. Their mission is to celebrate LGBT literature and provide resources for writers, readers, booksellers, publishers, and librarians & the whole literary community.

Visit their website: lambdaliterary.org

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About Author

Denise Penn

Denise Penn is a Southern California-based journalist who has covered issues for the LGBT and HIV-affected community for nearly two decades. While an investigative reporter for the Blade Newsmagazine, her coverage of hate crimes became part of Congressional records. She served as News Editor for the Lesbian News and has contributed to In Los Angeles Magazine, EDGE, and many others. She is also a clinical social worker and brings that perspective to her articles. She produced and hosted an award-winning community television program in Long Beach, California for 12 years.

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