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.

The Deep

Yetu holds the memories for her people–water-dwelling descendants of pregnant African slave women thrown overboard by slave owners–who live idyllic lives in the deep. Their past, too traumatic to be remembered regularly, is forgotten by everyone, save one–the historian. Yetu remembers for everyone, and the memories, painful and wonderful, traumatic and terrible and miraculous, are destroying her. And so, she flees to the surface, escaping the memories, the expectations, and the responsibilities–and discovers a world her people left behind long ago. Yetu will learn more than she ever expected to about her own past–and about the future of her people. If they are all to survive, they’ll need to reclaim the memories, reclaim their identity–and own who they really are. You can also check out this title as eAudiobook on Overdrive/Libby and as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.

Exquisite Mariposa

Given the initials F.A.D. at birth, Fiona Alison Duncan has always had an eye for observing the trends around her. But after years of looking for answers in books and astrological charts and working as a celebrity journalist to make rent, Fiona discovers another way of existing: in the Real, a phenomenological state few humans live in. Fiona’s journey to the Real takes her to Koreatown, Los Angeles, where she sublets a room in La Mariposa. There, in the aftermath of a reality TV deal gone wrong, Fiona asks the question, Can you rewrite your life? You can also check out this title as eAudiobook on Hoopla and as eBook on Hoopla.

Lot: Stories

In the city of Houston – a sprawling, diverse microcosm of America – the son of a black mother and a Latino father is coming of age. He’s working at his family’s restaurant, weathering his brother’s blows, resenting his older sister’s absence, and discovering he likes boys. Around him, others live and thrive and die in Houston’s myriad neighborhoods: a young woman whose affair detonates across an apartment complex, a ragtag baseball team, a group of young hustlers, hurricane survivors, a local drug dealer who takes a Guatemalan teen under his wing, a reluctant chupacabra. You can also check out this title as eAudiobook on Overdrive/Libby and as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.

Patsy: A Novel

When Patsy gets her long-coveted visa to America, it comes after years of yearning to leave Pennyfield, the beautiful but impoverished Jamaican town where she was raised. More than anything, Patsy wishes to be reunited with her oldest friend, Cicely, whose letters arrive from New York steeped in the promise of a happier life and the possible rekindling of their young love. You can also check out this title as eBook on Overdrive/Libby and as eAudiobook on Hoopla.

The Prettiest Star

Set in 1986, a year after Rock Hudson’s death brought the news of AIDS into living rooms and kitchens across America, small-town Appalachia doesn’t have a lot going for it, but it’s where Brian is from, where his family is, and where he’s chosen to return to die. Six short years after Brian Jackson moved to New York City in search of freedom and acceptance, AIDS has claimed his lover, his friends, and his future. With nothing left in New York but memories of death, Brian decides to write his mother a letter asking to come back to the place, and family, he was once so desperate to escape. You can also check out this title as eAudiobook on Hoopla and as eBook on Hoopla.

Real Life

Almost everything about Wallace, an introverted African-American transplant from Alabama, is at odds with the lakeside Midwestern university town where he is studying for a biochem degree. For reasons of self-preservation, he has kept a distance even from his own friends – some dating each other, some dating women, some feigning straightness. But a series of confrontations with colleagues, and an unexpected encounter with a young straight man, conspire to fracture his defences, while revealing hidden currents of resentment and desire that threaten the equilibrium of their community. You can also check out this title as eAudiobook on Overdrive/Libby and as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.

The Subtweet

When one of Neela’s songs is covered by internet artist RUK-MINI and becomes a viral sensation, the two musicians meet and a transformative friendship begins. But before long, the systemic pressures that pit women against one another begin to bear down on Neela and RUK-MINI, stirring up self-doubt and jealousy. With a single tweet, their friendship implodes, a career is destroyed, and the two women find themselves at the centre of an internet firestorm. You can also check out this title as eAudiobook on Hoopla and as eBook on Hoopla.

Upright Women Wanted

Esther is a stowaway. She’s hidden herself away in the Librarian’s book wagon in an attempt to escape the marriage her father has arranged for her–a marriage to the man who was previously engaged to her best friend. Her best friend who she was in love with. Her best friend who was just executed for possession of resistance propaganda. The future American Southwest is full of bandits, fascists, and queer librarian spies on horseback trying to do the right thing. You can also check out this title as eAudiobook on Hoopla, as eAudiobook on Overdrive/Libby, and as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.