31st Annual Lambda Literary Award Finalist

This year’s finalist were selected by a panel of over 60 literary professionals from over 1,000 book submissions from over 300 publishers. We’re excited to announce the finalists in 24 categories (including new for this year, Bisexual Poetry).

Finalists will be celebrated, and winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony and Gala the evening of Monday, June 3, 2019, in New York City.


Lesbian Fiction
La Bastarda, Trifonia Melibea Obono, Translated by Lawrence Schimel, The Feminist Press at CUNY
The Evolution of Love, Lucy Jane Bledsoe, Rare Bird Books
The Fifth Woman, Nona Caspers, Sarabande Books
Maggie Terry, Sarah Schulman, The Feminist Press at CUNY
Pretend We Live Here, Genevieve Hudson, Future Tense Books
Sodom Road Exit, Amber Dawn, Arsenal Pulp Press
The Tiger Flu, Larissa Lai, Arsenal Pulp Press
Two Moons: Stories, Krystal A. Smith, BLF Press

Gay Fiction
Drapetomania, or the Narrative of Cyrus Tyler and Abednego Tyler, Lovers, John R. Gordon, Team Angelica Publishing
History of Violence: A Novel, Édouard Louis, Translated by Lorin Stein, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
The House of Impossible Beauties: A Novel, Joseph Cassara, HarperCollins / Ecco
Jonny Appleseed, Joshua Whitehead, Arsenal Pulp Press
Luminous Traitor: The Just and Daring Life of Roger Casement, a Biographical Novel, Martin Duberman, University of California Press
Some Hell: A Novel, Patrick Nathan, Graywolf Press
Speak No Evil, A Novel, Uzodinma Iweala, HarperCollins / Harper
State of the Nation, David Jackson Ambrose, The TMG Firm

Bisexual Fiction
Behind These Doors: Radical Proposals Book 1, Jude Lucens, Greenwose Books
The Best Bad Things: A Novel, Katrina Carrasco, MCD / FSG
Bhopal Dance: A Novel, Jennifer Natalya Fink, University of Alabama Press / FC2
Disoriental, Négar Djavadi, Translated by Tina Kover, Europa Editions
Jilted, Lilah Suzanne, Interlude Press
The Origin of Doubt: Fifty Short Fictions, Nathan Alling Long, Press 53
Palmetto Rose, J.E. Sumerau, Brill / Sense
The Wild Birds, Emily Strelow, Rare Bird Books / A Barnacle Book

Transgender Fiction
Confessions of the Fox: A Novel, Jordy Rosenberg, One World / Random House
Freshwater, Akwaeke Emezi, Grove Atlantic / Grove Press
Invasions, Calvin Gimpelevich, Instar Books
Little Fish, Casey Plett, Arsenal Pulp Press
Sketchtasy, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, Arsenal Pulp Press

Bisexual Nonfiction
Many Love: A Memoir of Polyamory and Finding Love(s), Sophie Lucido Johnson, Simon & Schuster, Inc. / Touchstone
No Archive Will Restore You, Julietta Singh, Punctum Books / 3Ecologies Imprint
Out of Step: A Memoir, Anthony Moll, Mad Creek Books / The Ohio State University Press

Transgender Nonfiction
Amateur: A True Story About What Makes a Man, Thomas Page McBee, Scribner
Histories of the Transgender Child, Julian Gill-Peterson, University of Minnesota Press
I’m Afraid of Men, Vivek Shraya, Penguin Canada
Mobile Subjects: Transnational Imaginaries of Gender Reassignment, Aren Z. Aizura, Duke University Press
The Soul of the Stranger: Reading God and Torah from a Transgender Perspective, Joy Ladin, Brandeis University Press

LGBTQ Nonfiction
The Boys of Fairy Town: Sodomites, Female Impersonators, Third-Sexers, Pansies, Queers, and Sex Morons in Chicago’s First Century, Jim Elledge, Chicago Review Press
Butch Heroes, Ria Brodell, The MIT Press
Has the Gay Movement Failed?, Martin Duberman, University of California Press
Ladies Lazarus, Piper J. Daniels, Tarpaulin Sky Press
Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry, Imani Perry, Beacon Press
No Place Like Home: Lessons in Activism from LGBT Kansas, C.J. Janovy, University Press of Kansas
Resistance: The LGBT Fight Against Fascism in WWII, Avery Cassell, Stacked Deck Press
Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements, Charlene A. Carruthers, Beacon Press

Lesbian Poetry
Body Work, Emilia Nielsen, Signature Editions
Each Tree Could Hold a Noose or a House, Nina Puro, New Issues Poetry & Prose
Evolution, Eileen Myles, Grove Atlantic / Grove Press
Gaze Back, Marylyn Tan, Ethos Books
Obits., Tess Liem, Coach House Books
Past Lives, Future Bodies, Kristin Chang, Black Lawrence Press
Surge, Etel Adnan, Nightboat Books
Who Is Trixie the Trasher? And Other Questions, Jane Miller, Copper Canyon Press

Gay Poetry
ESL or You Weren’t Here, Aldrin Valdez, Nightboat Books
Indecency, Justin Phillip Reed, Coffee House Press
Inquisition, Kazim Ali, Wesleyan University Press
Junk, Tommy Pico, Tin House Books
Not Here, Hieu Minh Nguyen, Coffee House Press
Stereo(TYPE), Jonah Mixon-Webster, Ahsahta Press
Unfinished Sketches of a Revolution, Brane Mozetič, Translated by Barbara Jursa, Talisman House Publishers
Wild Is the Wind: Poems, Carl Phillips, Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Bisexual Poetry
Cenzontle, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, BOA Editions Ltd.
If They Come for Us, Fatimah Asghar, Random House / One World
Mad Quick Hand of the Seashore: Love Poems, Frances Donovan, Reaching Press / CreateSpace
My Woman Card Is anti-Native & Other Two-Spirit Truths, Xemiyulu Manibusan Tapepechul, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
We Play a Game, Duy Doan, Yale University Press
Transgender Poetry
Heal Your Love, Luna Merbruja, biyuti publishing
Holy Wild, Gwen Benaway, Book*hug Press
If the Color Is Fugitive, Sara Mithra, Nomadic Press
lo terciario / the tertiaryRaquel Salas Rivera, Timeless, Infinite Light
Some Animal, Ely Shipley, Nightboat Books

Lesbian Mystery
A Matter of Blood, Catherine Maiorisi, Bella Books
A Study in Honor: A Novel, Claire O’Dell, HarperCollins / HarperVoyager
A Whisper of Bones: A Jane Lawless Mystery, Ellen Hart, Minotaur Books
Alice Isn’t Dead: A Novel, Joseph Fink, Harper Perennial
Gnarled Hollow, Charlotte Greene, Bold Strokes Books
The Locket, Gerri Hill, Bella Books
Secrets of the Last Castle, A. Rose Mathieu, Bold Strokes Books
Stolen: A Kieran Yeats Mystery, Linda J. Wright, Cats Paw Books

Gay Mystery
Black Diamond Fall, Joseph Olshan, Polis Books
Boystown 11: Heart’s Desire, Marshall Thornton, Kenmore Books
Death Checks In, David S. Pederson, Bold Strokes Books
Dodging and Burning: A Mystery, John Copenhaver, Pegasus Books
The God Game: A Dan Sharp Mystery, Jeffrey Round, Dundurn
Late Fees: A Pinx Video Mystery, Marshall Thornton, Kenmore Books
Somewhere Over Lorain Road, Bud Gundy, Bold Stroke Books
Survival Is a Dying Art: An Angus Green Novel, Neil S. Plakcy, Samwise Books
Lesbian Memoir/Biography
Apocalypse, Darling, Barrie Jean Borich, Mad Creek Books / The Ohio State University Press
Berenice Abbott: A Life in Photography, Julia Van Haaften, W. W. Norton & Company
A Certain Loneliness: A Memoir, Sandra Gail Lambert, University of Nebraska Press
Chronology, Zahra Patterson, Ugly Duckling Presse
Food Was Her Country: The Memoir of a Queer Daughter, Marusya Bociurkiw, Dagger Editions
MINE: Essays, Sarah Viren, University of New Mexico Press
My Butch Career: A Memoir, Esther Newton, Duke University Press
nîtisânak, Lindsay Nixon, Metonymy Press

Gay Memoir/Biography
Harvey Milk: His Lives and Death, Lillian Faderman, Yale University Press
How to Write an Autobiographical Novel, Alexander Chee, Mariner Books
No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America, Moore, Bold Type Books
On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope, Deray Mckesson, Viking
The Marble Faun of Grey Gardens: A Memoir of the Beales, the Maysles Brothers and Jacqueline Kennedy, Jerry Torre & Tony Maietta, Querelle Press
The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke, Jeffrey C. Stewart, Oxford University

The Unpunished Vice: A Life of Reading, Edmund White, Bloomsbury Publishing
There Will Be No Miracles Here: A Memoir, Casey Gerald, Penguin Random House

Lesbian Romance
Autumn’s Light, Aurora Rey, Bold Strokes Books
Beowulf For Cretins: A Love Story, Ann McMan, Bywater Books
Breaking Down Her Walls, Erin Zak, Bold Strokes Books
Charming the Vicar, Jenny Frame, Bold Strokes Books
In Development, Rachel Spangler, Brisk Press
Just For Show, Jae, Ylva Publishing
The Music And The Mirror, Lola Keeley, Ylva Publishing
The Talebearer, Sheri Lewis Wohl, Bold Strokes Books

Gay Romance
The CEO’s Christmas Manny, Angela McCallister, Dreamspinner Press
Crashing Upwards, S.C. Wynne, self-published
Detour, Reesa Herberth & Michelle Moore, Riptide Publishing
Learn with Me, Kris Jacen, MLR Press, LLC
No Luck, Kayleigh Sky, Kiss Drunk Books
Of Sunlight and Stardust, Christina Lee & Riley Hart, self-published
Point of Contact, Melanie Hansen, Carina Press
Undue Influence: A Persuasion Retelling, Jenny Holiday, self-published

LGBTQ Anthology
As You Like It: The Gerald Kraak Anthology Volume II, The Other Foundation, Jacana Media
Beyond II: The Queer Post-Apocalyptic & Urban Fantasy Comic Anthology, Taneka Stotts & Sfé R. Monster, Beyond Press
Foglifter Volume 3, Issue 1, Miah Jeffra, Chad Koch, et al., Foglifter Press
Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture, Roxane Gay, HarperCollins / Harper Perennial
Q2Q: Queer Canadian Performance Texts, Peter Dickinson, C.E. Gatchalian, Kathleen Oliver, Dalbir Singh, Playwrights Canada Press
Sista!: An Anthology of Writing By and About Same Gender Loving Women of African/Caribbean Descent with a UK Connection, Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, Rikki Beadle-Blair, John R. Gordon, Team Angelica Publishing
Spawning Generations: Rants and Reflections on Growing Up with LGBTQ Parents, Sadie Epstein-Fine & Makeda Zook, Demeter Press
Written on the Body: Letters from Trans and Non-Binary Survivors of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, Lexie Bean, Jessica Kingsley Publishers

LGBTQ Children’s/Young Adult
Anger Is a Gift: A Novel, Mark Oshiro, Tor Teen
The Dangerous Art of Blending In, Angelo Surmelis, HarperCollins / Balzer & Bray
Darius the Great Is Not Okay, Adib Khorram, Dial
Girl Made of Stars, Ashley Herring Blake, Houghton Mifflin & Little, Brown
Hurricane Child, Kheryn Callender, Scholastic / Scholastic Press
The Poet X, Elizabeth Acevedo, HarperCollins / HarperTeen
Sawkill Girls, Claire Legrand, HarperCollins / Katherine Tegen Books
This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story, Kheryn Callender, HarperCollins / Balzer + Bray
Black Light, Daniel Alexander Jones, produced by The Public Theater
Collective Rage: A Play in Five Betties, Jen Silverman, Samuel French, Inc.
Draw the Circle, Mashuq Mushtaq Deen, Dramatists Play Service
Plot Points in Our Sexual Development, Miranda Rose Hall, produced by LCT3 at Lincoln Center Theater
Singlet, Erin Markey, produced by The Bushwick Starr

LGBTQ Erotica
Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year, Volume 3, Sacchi Green, Cleis Press
Crossplay, Niki Smith, Iron Circus Comics
Gents: Steamy Stories From the Age of Steam, Matthew Bright, Lethe Press
The Lurid Sea, Tom Cardamone, Bold Strokes Books
Miles & Honesty in SCFSX!, Blue Delliquanti & Kazimir Lee, self-published

LGBTQ Graphic Novels
Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles, Mark Russell (Writer), Sean Parsons, Mark Morales, Howard Porter, Mike Feehan (Illustrators), DC Entertainment
The Lie and How We Told It, Tommi Parrish, Fantagraphics Books
Love Letters to Jane’s World, Paige Braddock, Lion Forge
On a Sunbeam, Tillie Walden, First Second / Roaring Brook Press
Our Wretched Town Hall, Eric Kostiuk Williams, Retrofit Comics & Big Planet Comics
The Pervert, Michelle Perez (Writer), Remy Boydell (Illustrator), Image Comics
Unpacking, Steve MacIsaac, Northwest Press
We’re Still Here: An All-Trans Comics Anthology, Jeanne Thornton & Tara Madison Avery, Stacked Deck Press

The Barrow Will Send What It May, Margaret Killjoy, Tor.com
The Breath of the Sun, Isaac R. Fellman, Aqueduct
The Descent of Monsters, JY Yang, Tor.com
Forget the Sleepless Shores, Sonya Taaffe, Lethe Press
In the Vanishers’ Palace, Aliette de Bodard, JABberwocky
Metabolize, If Able, Clay AD, Monster House Press
Resilience, Fletcher DeLancey, Heartsome Publishing
Witchmark, C.L. Polk, Tor.com

LGBTQ Studies
Black. Queer. Southern. Women.: An Oral History, E. Patrick Johnson, University of North Carolina Press
Erotic Islands: Art and Activism in the Queer Caribbean, Lyndon K. Gill, Duke University Press
Gay, Inc.: The Nonprofitization of Queer Politics, Myrl Beam, University of Minnesota Press
Herlands: Exploring the Women’s Land Movement in the United States, Keridwen N. Luis, University of Minnesota Press
Media and the Coming Out of Gay Male Athletes in American Team Sports, Andrew Billings & Leigh Moscowitz, Peter Lang International Academic Publishers
Post-Borderlandia: Chicana Literature and Gender Variant Critique, T. Jackie Cuevas, Rutgers University Press
Semi Queer: Inside the World of Gay, Trans, and Black Truck Drivers, Anne Balay, University of North Carolina Press
Toxic Silence: Race, Black Gender Identity, and Addressing the Violence Against Black Transgender Women in Houston, William T. Hoston, Peter Lang International Academic Publishers