Explore the Queer Fables and Worlds of Anna-Marie McLemore

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I’m not really familiar with a lot of classic tales. This goes for books, films and popular productions of all kinds. But when I turn the pages of Anna-Marie McLemore’s stories, I am inspired to understand how an old story becomes new.

After I read “Blanca & Roja,” I spent hours learning about the varied endings of Swan Lake. Reading “Dark and Deepest Red” (weeks before we felt the beginning impact of the pandemic in Pittsburgh), I found insight on how storytelling can help process unnerving events. Most importantly, I appreciate how McLemore’s ability to situate characters of color and queer identities into the settings of traditional tales offers rare representation.

Take a dive into one of McLemore’s books and you will find your mind full of poetry, questions, dancing and deep connection.

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Blanca & Roja

Blanca & Roja, sisters of a cursed family, are determined to escape their fate: one sister in each generation is doomed to transform into a swan. Despite their best efforts, the swans show up to claim their chosen girl. But when the sisters get involved with the troubles of two lost teens, Page Ashby and Barclay Holt, nothing seems like it is inevitable anymore. You can also check out this title as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.

Dark and Deepest Red

Summer, 1518. A strange sickness sweeps through Strasbourg: women dance in the streets, some until they fall down dead. Five centuries later, a pair of red shoes seal to Rosella Oliva’s feet, making her dance uncontrollably. They draw her toward a boy who knows the dancing fever’s history better than anyone: Emil, whose family was blamed for the fever five hundred years ago. But there’s more to what happened in 1518 than even Emil knows, and discovering the truth may decide whether Rosella survives the red shoes. You can also check out this title as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.

When the Moon Was Ours

Best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable–roses grow out of Miel’s wrists and Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees. But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four sisters rumored to be witches and who now want Miel’s roses, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby.

Wild Beauty

For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera, hiding a terrible legacy, until mysterious Fel arrives and Estrella helps him explore his dangerous past. You can also check out this title as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.