Some of our favourite Black writers who are transforming queer literature

BY SOPHIE GRIFFITHS, IMAGE VIA INSTAGRAM

We’re sure you’ve been ploughing through your lockdown reading list as the days are getting rainier and the nights are getting longer. There’s no better time than now to pick up a book by a Black queer author and celebrate Black History Month. 

It’s important to evaluate the kinds of books you’re reading and to make sure they don’t just reflect one point of view. It’s easy to miss the intersection of identities and limit your reading lists if you don’t know where to look when starting to diversify your book shelf. 

Reading the work of these five Black LGBTQI authors is a great place to start. Hopefully their work will resonate with you and urge you to read more work by Black authors, this year, and beyond. 

Bernardine Evaristo

You’ll be spoilt for choice if you’re looking to read anything by Bernardine Evaristo. She is an award-winning author of eight books and numerous other published works. Her critically acclaimed novel Girl, Woman, Other has topped the book charts throughout most of this year, it’s pretty much mandatory reading at this point. 

Roxane Gay

You probably already know this LGBTQI literary icon, but if you’ve never read anything by Roxane Gay, what are you waiting for? Roxane really is changing the world with her discussions of fat activism, feminism and queer identities. 

Samantha Irby

Everything that Samantha Irby writes is always hilariously relatable and sometimes heartbreaking. Her collection of essays looks at what is’s like to be a Black queer woman tackling the world of adulthood. You’ll finish reading her work with a smile on your face and the deep, deep desire to become her best friend. 

Valerie Mason-John 

Providing a voice for marginalised voices and experiences, Valerie Mason-John is a powerful writer. Her latest work I Am Still Your Negro: An Homage to James Baldwin is an incredible piece of social justice poetry, experimenting with form and exploring history, geography and culture all at once. 

Kacen Callendar 

Kacen Callendar’s work spans from YA to adult fiction and most of their work explores queer identities in some way. The latest offering from Kacen, Felix Ever After, explores the story of a queer, Black, trans teen searching for his happily ever after with the perfect balance of hardship and hope.

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