Reference Book of the Week: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Literature: A Genre Guide
Welcome to another edition of Reference Book of the Week here at The Patriot Spot. This week, in honor of LGBT Pride Month, we are featuring the book Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Literature: A Genre Guide. This book is part of the popular Genreflecting series. The series features guides on various genres and reading interests, and the series is very popular with librarians, especially librarians who do readers' advisory (RA). RA is basically what some of us do when we help readers with suggestions and ideas of what to read based on readers' needs and wants. However, readers' guides like the one we are featuring are not just for librarians. Any reader wanting to read in a particular genre can find useful and interesting ideas in these books. If you are interested in GLBT literature, and you want something good to read, then this book is for you. The volume provides a good introduction to this body of literature. For purposes of the book, "GLBT literature is defined as that written by GLBT authors, or with GLBT protagonists or themes. GLBT literature is often published by a GLBT press or imprint" (3). The book focuses on fiction, biography and drama with fiction being the predominant form. It does not include nonfiction or scholarly works, but this is because the book is meant for readers' advisors and readers to find recreational reading ideas. By the way, if you need more scholarly works on GLBT literature and topics, we do have other fine resources to help you out. Ask one of the librarians. The book is then organized by chapters based on genres. Some examples of genres and forms included are classics, historical fiction, science fiction, mystery, and drama. So, why would you want to use this book? Here are some sample requests from readers:
- "I would like to read a science fiction novel with a GLBT theme, and I have already read Samuel Delany's works" (Samuel Delany is well known as a science fiction GLBT writer). This book will provide a lot of ideas of works that are similar to Delany's writing as well as others that are different but have a GLBT theme.
- "I am enrolled in the Children and YA Literature class. My teacher said I have to read a novel that is realistic fiction with a GLBT theme, but I want something that is not a 'coming out' story." This is not a problem. There is a lot of fiction with GLBT themes and/or characters that are not "coming out" stories and fall under realistic fiction. This book can help.
- "I am curious. I would like to read a GLBT romance, but I don't want anything graphic or explicit." That is not a problem; we have you covered too. The book has a section on "sweet romances" that has suggestions for this reader. By the way, this kind of request can be common for general romance readers as well. Romance readers are a very diverse group in terms of their reading tastes ranging from the innocent prairie romances and inspirational romances to urban fantasy erotica. They can also read works with characters that can have any gender identity.
- "Yea, but what about comics and graphic novels? Got any?" Yes. This book has you covered as well with a very good chapter on comics and graphic novels.