If you’ve attended a pride parade, then I am sure that, given the ongoing pandemic, you are bound to experience nostalgia. The description is not only overwhelming but is full of queer innuendos and hilarious stuff that can only happen during a pride parade, or I would like to believe so.
So, when I read Maulik Pancholy’s The Best At It (full disclosure: sent to me by the Indian team at Harper Collins), it transported me back to a time when I was about the same age as the protagonist, Rahul. A lot of Rahul’s experiences seem to indicate quintessential ‘brown’ diaspora and queer culture (and the intersection of the two).
A voice in my head said: It’s a review; tell what you’ve read. Ask them to buy this book if you liked it, or ask them to stay away from it. The other one said, inspired by Joan Didion: If you’re not sure about this paragraph, place it in the middle; no one will notice it. Who knows what people do and do not notice, anyway?
The novel is a coming-of-age story which explores their sexual awakening. Ari and Dante incidentally meet at the swimming pool and become friends as Dante teaches Ari how to swim. The two are poles apart but find a middle ground for their bond to grow further.
Together, Rumii and Miyaa discover each other and love. Through confusion, passion, longing and romance, the protagonists learn to unlearn. Ultimately, the book reads like their relationship held a mirror to the realities of their lives.
The book, although labeled as a business book, reads like part memoir and part manifesto. Shahani doesn’t throw words and concepts in the air, but rather explains them through real-life experience which makes it more believable and practical.
A heartfelt tale about a boy trying to understand himself and his place in the world, The Boy in the Cupboard is for everyone who’s ever questioned something they were blindly asked to believe in.
With this listicle, I try to present books that contain within themselves a myriad of experiences of being a woman. I have read these books, which is why they are included in this list. The business of recommendation is tricky, and murky sometimes.
If you’re looking to read heartwarming books that go beyond the ordinary and give you a chance to read queer happy endings this month, here’s a list to get you started.
Personally, I found Benjamin and Felicia to be some of the funniest people I’ve ever spoken to. Their energy is infectious, and their ability to bounce ideas off each other highlights why they work so well together.
A common thread that runs through the 4-part series is the starting of Miss Laya’s motorbike. The process entails three sets of words: ‘dhup dhup dhup’, ‘clap clap clap’, and ‘9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, start!’
Princess Valorie has a stark and interesting character arc, one that can be expected to resonate with young queers.
This heteronormative gaze allows the straight account to take the centerstage at all times. Any marginalized narrative—in particular, the stories of and by trans, nonbinary and gender-nonconforming people—remains on the periphery. A queer story’s literary merit, economic viability, readership, and cultural value, are all decided by the barometer of the successes of established ‘straight’ narratives. It is expected to be calibrated as a response to this overculture.
It is this bridge between Irby the Author and Irby the Character that makes the book more than a comedy monologue as it is reading between the lines that tells you the whole story.
What is groundbreaking in Kundalkar’s novel is that having written in Marathi, in 2006 for a regional audience, Cobalt Blue not only begins with the narrative of a queer person but also explores his sexuality without any hesitation.
Burbidge’s personal, sexual-exploration accounts were published in an Australian magazine in 1987 without his knowledge. But, later, he took upon himself and told his story of coming to India and embracing himself as is.
In creating Nila, Sowmya Rajendran has succeeded in engaging multiple realities beyond what is being primarily sold: femme agency; they have brought to us a fierce, restless, and brimming child, who is extremely competitive, has a unibrow and muscular arms, and is very conscious of her interpersonal relationships.
Reading through the poems, the readers might feel like reading a personal diary or journal, and that personal, private quality of the poems add to their relevance and relatable quality.
The thing about Mira Nair’s A Suitable Boy is that you turn to it to have an immersive experience but from the first minute itself it seems a little off. …
The story adds a more explanatory note as an epilogue, describing what depression is and can feel like, and gives the reader advice on what to do if they see someone who looks like they might have it.