5 queer fiction must-reads
1. The Swimming Pool Library by Alan Hollinghurst
This story is an elegy to a time gone by, written with exquisitely meticulous detail and revolves around an elderly upper class gentleman and an old colonial describes his time of excessive love to a young aristocrat, hoping the latter would want to write his biography.
2. Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai
An award-winning coming-of-age novel about a young boy exploring his sexuality between the ages of six and 14, set against the backdrop of the Tamil-Sinhala conflict.
3. Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
This is an iconic lesbian novel based on the author’s own life. Sparkling prose, brutal honesty and a story that engages from start to finish, this book was made into a BBC drama and is part of A level curricula in England.
4. Don’t Let Him Know by Sandip Roy
It’s been called a mesmerising debut, and it certainly is that. It’s also a story that so many of us will identify with, secrets we keep from our closest loved ones, to protect ourselves, and them, from what we desire so much that we are scared of those desires. This one’s a masterpiece.
5. Orlando: A Biography by Virginia Woolf
This one’s a feminist classic. Woolf’s romp of a novel based on the life of her friend and lover, Vita Sackville-West, about an aristocrat who changes his sex from man to woman, and lives and loves for centuries is worth a read.
Arpita Das is the founder of Yoda Press, an independent publishing house which has produced award-winning titles on sexuality, dissent, cities, and new perspectives on history.
From HT Brunch, April 8, 2018
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