“Queers Read This!: LGBTQ Literature Now” edited by Ramzi Fawaz and Shante Paradigm Smalls— The Evolution of LGBTQI Literary Production

Fawaz, Ramzi and Shante Paradigm Smalls, editors. “Queers Read This!: LGBTQ Literature Now”, Duke University Press, 2018.

The Evolution of Literary Production

Amos Lassen

“Queers Read This” asks how LGBTQ literary production has evolved in response to the dramatic transformations in queer life that have taken place beginning in the early 1990s. Some of you might remember that during the 1990 New York Pride March, the activist group Queer Nation distributed a leaflet, “QUEERS READ THIS!”. The contributors here theorize what such an impassioned command would look like today with regard to our current social and political realities and ask what should queers read now and how are they reading and writing texts? The contributors give us innovative and timely approaches to the place, function, and political possibilities of LGBTQ literature in the wake of AIDS, gay marriage, the rise of institutional queer theory, the ascendancy of transgender rights, the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and the 2016 election. The authors reconsider camp aesthetics in the Trump era, uncover long-ignored histories of lesbian literature, “reconceptualize contemporary black queer literary responses to institutional violence and racism, and query the methods by which we might forge a queer-of-color literary canon”. This issue frames LGBTQ literature as not only a “growing list of texts, but as a vast range of reading attitudes, affects, contexts, and archives that support queer ways of life. 

Contributors include Aliyyah Abdur-Rahman, Cynthia Barounis, Tyler Bradway, Ramzi Fawaz, Jennifer James, Martin Joseph Ponce, Natalie Prizel, Shanté Paradigm Smalls, Samuel Solomon.

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