Read Proud: Notable Fiction for Adults

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Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh engages all of our communities in literacy and learning. Check out the titles below for some current fiction picks that feature LGBTQIA+ characters and ask your local librarian for more.


Arsim is twenty-four, recently married and trying to gain a university degree in a time and place, Kosovo 1995, that is deeply hostile to Albanians. After a chance meeting in a café, he begins an unlikely affair with another man named Milos, a Serb. However, their relationship is derailed by the outbreak of war, which sends Arsim’s fledgling family abroad and Milos spiraling down a dark path, as depicted through chaotic journal entries. 

Manywhere: Stories

The nine stories in Morgan Thomas’s shimmering debut collection witness Southern queer and genderqueer characters determined to find themselves reflected in the annals of history, whatever the cost. As Thomas’s subjects trace deceit and violence through Southern tall tales and their own pasts, their journeys reveal the porous boundaries of body, land, and history, and the sometimes ruthless awakenings of self-discovery. 

An Ordinary Wonder

Oto is a twelve-year-old who is intersex and forced to live as a boy despite their profound belief they are a girl. This novel follows Oto through life at home and at boarding school in Nigeria, where they fall in love with their roommate but must keep their love and true self hidden. A powerful coming-of-age story, An Ordinary Wonder explores complex desires as well as challenges of family, identity, gender, and culture, and what it means to feel whole. This title is also available as an eBook or eAudio on Hoopla.

Radiant Fugitives

Working as a political activist in the early days of the Obama presidency, Seema still struggles with her father’s long-ago decision to exile her from the family after she came out as lesbian, forcing her to construct a new life in the West. Now, nine months pregnant and estranged from the father of her unborn son, Seema seeks reconciliation with the family that once renounced her. This title is also available as an eBook on Libby/OverDrive or as eAudio on Hoopla.

Siren Queen 

Luli Wei is beautiful, talented, and desperate to be a star. The studios want to own everything from her face to her name to the women she loves, and they run on a system of bargains made in blood and ancient magic, powered by the endless sacrifice of unlucky starlets like her. For those who do survive to earn their fame, success comes with a steep price. Luli is willing to do whatever it takes–even if that means becoming the monster herself. 

Tell Me How to Be

Told between alternating stories of Akash and his mother, Renu, this debut novel by Neel Patel is about an Indian-American family confronting the long-held secrets that have fractured their relationships. And when their pasts catch up to them, Renu and Akash must decide between the lives they left behind and the ones they’ve since created, between making each other happy and setting themselves free. This title is also available as an eBook on Libby/OverDrive.

The Town of Babylon

In this contemporary debut novel–an intimate portrait of queer, racial, and class identity –Andrés, a gay Latinx professor, returns to his suburban hometown in the wake of his husband’s infidelity. There he finds himself with no excuse not to attend his twenty-year high school reunion, and hesitantly begins to reconnect with people he used to call friends.

Yerba Buena

Emilie and Sara meet one morning at the glamorous restaurant Yerba Buena. Their connection is immediate, but the damage both women carry, and the choices they have made, pulls them apart again and again. When Sara’s old life catches up to her, upending everything she thought she wanted just as Emilie has finally gained her own sense of purpose, they must decide if their love is more powerful than their pasts. Yerba Buena is the debut adult novel by the bestselling and award-winning YA author Nina LaCour. 

Young Mungo

Douglas Stuart’s second novel tells a tale of first love between two young men, Mungo and James, set against the backdrop of working-class life in Glasgow. Young Mungo is a gripping and revealing story about the bounds of masculinity, the divisions of sectarianism, the violence faced by many queer people, and the dangers of loving someone too much. This title is also available as an eBook or eAudio on Libby/OverDrive, or as an eBook on Hoopla.