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LGBTQ+ Books

The college has a selection of books on LGBTQ+ topics available to borrow from the college library. Please contact the Library if you are interesting in borrowing any of these titles. Some books are also available as e-books through the University library. Click on the links to access the e-book through your University SSO account.

Call me by Your Name cover image

Call Me By Your Name, Andre Aciman

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It’s the mid-1980s; the place is the Italian Riviera. Elio – 17 years old, precocious, the son of an academic – finds himself falling for the older Oliver, a postdoctoral scholar completing his manuscript on Heraclitus at the beautiful home of Elio’s family. Oliver is worldly, handsome, a seductive contrast to Elio’s own naivety. Both are bright and questioning; the hook of desire is soon caught fast.

Giovanni's RoomGiovanni’s Room, James Baldwin 

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Considered an 'audacious' second novel, Giovanni’s Room is set in the 1950s Paris of American expatriates, liaisons, and violence. This now-classic story of a fated love triangle explores, with uncompromising clarity, the conflicts between desire, conventional morality and sexual identity.

Rubyfruit jungle cover imageRubyfruit Jungle, Rita Mae Brown

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Molly Bolt is a young lady with a big character. Beautiful, funny and bright, Molly figures out at a young age that she will have to be tough to stay true to herself in 1950s America. In her dealings with boyfriends and girlfriends, in the rocky relationship with her mother and in her determination to pursue her career, she will fight for her right to happiness.

Invisible women cover imageInvisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men, Caroline Criado Perez

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Invisible Women shows us how, in a world largely built for and by men, we are systematically ignoring half the population. It exposes the gender data gap - a gap in our knowledge that is at the root of perpetual, systemic discrimination against women, and that has created a pervasive but invisible bias with a profound effect on women's lives.

Rapture cover imageRapture, Carol Ann Duffy

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Rapture is a book-length love-poem, and a moving act of personal testimony; but what sets these poems apart from other treatments of the subject is that Duffy refuses to simplify the contradictions of love, and read its transformations - infatuation, longing, passion, commitment, rancour, separation and grief - as simply redemptive or destructive.

Maurice cover imageMaurice, E.M Forster

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An astonishingly frank and deeply autobiographical account of homosexual relationships in an era when love between men was not only stigmatised, but also illegal. Maurice Hall is a young man who grows up confident in his privileged status and well aware of his role in society. Modest and generally conformist, he nevertheless finds himself increasingly attracted to his own sex.

Well of LonelinessThe Well of Loneliness, Radclyffe Hall

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As a little girl Stephen Gordon always felt different. A talent for sport, a hatred of dresses and a preference for solitude were not considered suitable for a young lady of the Victorian upper-class. But when Stephen grows up and falls passionately in love with another woman, her standing in the county and her place at the home she loves become untenable. Stephen must set off to discover whether there is anywhere in the world that will have her.

shropshire lad coverA Shropshire Lad, A.E. Housman (engraved by Agnes Miller)

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Evocative of 'the blue remembered hills' of his youth, Alfred Edward Housman's A Shropshire Lad is a collection of sixty-three poems of extraordinary beauty and feeling. Set in a semi-imaginary pastoral Shropshire, Housman's verse considers the helplessness of man, the fragility of life and the terrible effects of war, against the background of an achingly beautiful countryside. Inspirational for generations of readers, A Shropshire Lad, with its sweeping themes of youth and love, has found its way into the canon of English folksong and has been set to music by composers George Butterworth, John Ireland and Ralph Vaughan Williams.

goodbye to berlin cover imageGoodbye to Berlin, Christopher Isherwood

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Set in the 1930s, Goodbye to Berlin, evokes the glamour and sleaze, excess and repression of Berlin society. Isherwood shows the lives of people under threat from the rise of the Nazis: a wealthy Jewish heiress, Natalia Landauer, a gay couple, Peter and Otto, and an English upper-class waif, the divinely decadent Sally Bowles.

Love Lives Here cover imageLove Lives Here: A story of Thriving in a Transgender Family, Amanda Jette Knox

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An inspirational story of accepting and embracing two trans people in a family - a family who shows what's possible when you "lead with love".

Difficult Women cover imageDifficult Women: A History of Feminism in 11 Fights, Helen Lewis

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Well-behaved women don't make history: difficult women do. Helen Lewis argues that feminism's success is down to complicated, contradictory, imperfect women, who fought each other as well as fighting for equal rights. Too many of these pioneers have been whitewashed or forgotten in our modern search for feel-good, inspirational heroines.

Sister Outsider cover imageSister Outsider, Audre Lorde

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The revolutionary writings of Audre Lorde gave voice to those 'outside the circle of this society's definition of acceptable women'. Uncompromising, angry and yet full of hope, this collection of her essential prose - essays, speeches, letters, interviews - explores race, sexuality, poetry, friendship, the erotic and the need for female solidarity, and includes her landmark piece 'The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House'.

In the Dream HouseIn the Dream House, Carmen Maria Machado

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In the Dream House is Carmen Maria Machado's engrossing and wildly innovative account of a relationship gone bad. Tracing the full arc of a harrowing experience with a charismatic but volatile woman, this is a bold dissection of the mechanisms and cultural representations of psychological abuse. 

The Heart is a Lonely HunterThe Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers

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Carson McCullers' prodigious first novel was published to instant acclaim when she was just twenty-three. Set in a small town in the middle of the Deep South, it is the story of John Singer, a lonely deaf-mute, and a disparate group of people who are drawn towards his kind, sympathetic nature.

Bluets cover imageBluets, Maggie Nelson

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Bluets winds its way through depression, divinity, alcohol, and desire, visiting along the way with famous blue figures, including Joni Mitchell, Billie Holiday, Yves Klein, Leonard Cohen and Andy Warhol. While its narrator sets out to construct a sort of 'pillow book' about her lifelong obsession with the colour blue, she ends up facing down both the painful end of an affair and the grievous injury of a dear friend.

The Argonauts cover imageThe Argonauts, Maggie Nelson

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An intrepid voyage out to the frontiers of the latest thinking about love, language, and family. A timely and genre-bending memoir that offers fresh and fierce reflections on motherhood, desire, identity and feminism. At the centre of The Argonauts is the love story between Maggie Nelson and the artist Harry Dodge, who is fluidly gendered. As Nelson undergoes the transformations of pregnancy, she explores the challenges and complexities of mothering and queer family making. 

Meditations in an Emergency cover imageMeditations in an Emergency, Frank O’Hara

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Collected poems from one of the Twentieth Century's most influential voices. Frank O'Hara was one of the great poets of the twentieth century and, along with such widely acclaimed writers as Denise Levertov, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Creeley, and Gary Snyder, a crucial contributor to what Donald Allen termed the New American Poetry, "which, by its vitality alone, became the dominant force in the American poetic tradition."

Under the Udala Trees cover imageUnder the Udala Trees, Chinelo Okparanta

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One day in 1968, at the height of the Biafran civil war, Ijeoma's father is killed and her world is transformed forever. Separated from her grief-stricken mother, she meets another young lost girl, Amina, and the two become inseparable. Theirs is a relationship that will shake the foundations of Ijeoma's faith, test her resolve and flood her heart.

Felicity cover imageFelicity by Mary Oliver

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In Felicity, we can immerse ourselves in Oliver's love poems. Here, great happiness abounds. A most delicate chronicler of physical landscape, Oliver has described her work as loving the world. With Felicity she examines what it means to love another person. She opens our eyes again to the territory within our own hearts; to the wild and to the quiet. In these poems, she describes - with joy - the strangeness and wonder of human connection.

AE Houseman cover imageA.E. Housman The Scholar-Poet, Richard Perceval Graves

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A. E. Housman, romantic poet and classical scholar, is best-known as the author of A Shropshire Lad and the meticulous editor of Manilius, the Latin poet of astronomy. In this first full biography, Richard Perceval Graves convincingly reconciles the two apparently conflicting sides of Housman's personality, and reassesses the reputation of a man who was something of a mystery even to his closest friends.

Push cover imagePush, Sapphire

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This is the story of Precious Jones, a sixteen-year-old illiterate black girl who has never been out of Harlem. She is pregnant by her own father for the second time, and kicked out of school when that pregnancy becomes obvious. Placed in an alternative teaching programme, she learns to read and write. This is Precious's diary, in which she honestly records her relationships and life.

Songs of Sappho cover imageSongs of Sappho

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Called the "Tenth Muse" by the ancients, Greece's greatest female lyric poet Sappho (ca. 610-580 b.c.e.) spent the majority of her life on the famed island of Lesbos. Passionate and breathtaking, Sappho's poems survive only in fragments following religious conspiracies to silence her. Sappho penned immortal verse on the intense power of the female libido; on the themes of romance, love, yearning, heartbreak, and personal relationships with women.

Text me When you Get HomeText Me When You Get Home, Kayleen Schaefer

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A personal and sociological examination - and ultimately a celebration - of the evolution of female friendship in pop culture and modern society. For too long, women have been told that we are terrible at being friends, that we can't help being cruel or competitive, or that we inevitably abandon each other for romantic partners. But we are rejecting those stereotypes and reclaiming the power of female friendship. In Text Me When You Get Home, journalist Kayleen Schaefer interviews more than 100 women about their BFFs, soul mates, girl gangs, and queens while tracing this cultural shift through the lens of pop culture.

Marriage of a Thousand LiesMarriage of a Thousand Lies, SJ Sindu

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Lucky is an unemployed millennial programmer. Her husband, Krishna, is an editor for a greeting card company. Both are secretly gay, presenting their conservative Sri Lankan-American families with a heterosexual front while dating on the side. When Lucky's grandmother falls, Lucky returns to her mother's home and unexpectedly reconnects with her childhood friend and first lover, Nisha. When the two rekindle old romantic feelings, Lucky tries to save Nisha from entering a marriage based on a lie and finds herself pushed to breaking point. A moving exploration of love and queerness.

Autobiography of Alice B ToklasThe Autobiography of Alice B Toklas, Gertrude Stein

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A fascinating insight into the vibrant culture of Modernism, and the rich artistic world of Paris's Left Bank. For Gertrude Stein and her wife Alice B. Toklas, life in Paris was based upon the rue de Fleurus and the Saturday evenings and 'it was like a kaleidoscope slowly turning'. Picasso was there with 'his high whinnying Spanish giggle', as were Cezanne and Matisse, Hemingway and Fitzgerald. A light-hearted entertainment, this is in fact Gertrude Stein's own autobiography and a roll-call of all the extraordinary painters and writers she met between 1903 and 1932.

Night sky with Exit Wounds cover imageNight Sky with Exit Wounds, Ocean Vuong

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Ocean Vuong’s debut collection Night Sky with Exit Wounds is a profound investigation of the refugee experience and three generations of conflict in a land annihilated by the forces of war. Remarkably, Vuong was the first member of his family to gain literacy, arriving to the United States as a Vietnamese refugee as a 2-year-old child. The poems included talk not just of the legacies of violence and cultural displacement but of a world brimming with hope and wonder.

Tipping the Velvet cover imageTipping the Velvet, Sarah Waters

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A saucy, sensuous and multi-layered historical romance, Tipping the Velvet follows the glittering career of Nan King - oyster girl turned music-hall star turned rent boy turned East End 'tom'. 

Orlando cover imageOrlando: A Biography, Virginia Woolf

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Woolf’s fantastical, magnetic tale of love and androgyny is a masterpiece of boundless imagination. Charting the path of Orlando, a youth in the Elizabethan court who transmigrates into different – female and male – bodies while retaining the same personality and flair, Woolf’s narrative spans centuries and permeates all echelons of society as well as all corners of the human heart.