LGBTQIA Classics Challenge 2016


Happy New Year!

I’ve been meaning to read more LGBTQIA Classics for ages and when I saw the lovely Stacey @ Pretty Books talking about the 2016 Classics Challenge, I thought it was the perfect occasion to get me started. The challenge is for all classics but I’ll be focusing on those with sexuality and gender identity themes.

Aside from enjoying reading brilliant books about gender identity and sexuality, I’m also really interested in reading these classics in their context. Most writers are influenced by the time in which they’re writing and I would always assume that situations and beliefs described in older books would be very different, but it’s also interesting to see how things haven’t changed or have actually changed for the worse. In the case of speculative fiction titles, it’s interesting to see if the world imagined is a different kind of ground-breaking than the speculative fiction being written today.

I’m also interested in the language and vocabulary used, especially when it comes to gender identity and sexuality. I’m guessing some of it will be obsolete with some words even now being considered offensive. That can be disturbing while reading but I’ve always been very interested in  changes in language so I’ll probably be mentioning that aspect when I talk about the classics.

I’ve looked through various web sources to get started on a to-read list. I like having a choice so the list of books I’m aiming to read is long on purpose as I want to keep these books on my radar. I’ll update this post with links to posts as they get published, as well as to add books. Do let me know if there’s any classic you’ve loved and isn’t on the list so I can add it!

Some of the books I’ll be looking forward to reading:

Orlando by Virginia Woolf

The Colour Purple by Alice Walker

The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall

The Swimming Pool Library by Alan Hollinghurst

Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin

Annie On My Mind by Nancy Garden

A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood

Maurice by E. M. Forster

The Price of Salt (now published as Carol) by Patricia Highsmith

Albert Nobbs by George Moore

Our Lady of the Flowers by Jean Genet

The City and the Pillar by Gore Vidal

The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein

Poems by Sappho

Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg

Patience and Sarah by Isabel Miller

Zami by Audre Lorde

The Passion by Jeanette Winterson

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K Le Guin

The Passion of New Eve by Angela Carter

I’m also listing below some classics which I have read but haven’t talked about here and may post about:

Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown

Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg

I’m very much looking forward to this challenge, I’m actually thinking of doing the same thing with films!

  1. Fab list! I’d like to work some of these into my challenge too, particularly Carol, Orlando, The Passion and The Left Hand of Darkness.

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