Thrown into Focus: Queerness and Place — 6.22.17

“You can throw a novel into focus with one overheard line. If you don’t ever hear the right overheard line, then you’re lost forever in that novel.” — Joan Didion

Atlanta Pride 2016

“Thrown into Focus” is The Avid Reader’s periodic assemblage of recent links from the literary inter-webs revolving around a particular subject. The title of this series was inspired by a quote from Joan Didion. Today’s edition focuses on the relationship between queerness and particular places. Happy Pride Month!


Brandon Taylor writes on Southern Christianity’s treatment of queerness, stories that nullify truth, and false choices. | Literary Hub 6.6.17

At the time, I thought that there was nothing worse than being gay and Southern, that no two parts of a person could be more in conflict, and I felt that there was nothing to be done for it except to leave one or the other behind

Kait Heacock, author of Siblings and Other Disappointments, attempts to navigate the gap between her small-town upbringing, and her current life as a queer female writer and city dweller. | Literary Hub


Read books by LGBTQ+ authors whose place of origin has criminalized queerness. | Literary Hub


Chinelo Okparanta discusses the Nigerian queerness of Under the Udala Trees. | Electric Literature


Samra Habib on the intersection of LGBTQ+ and Muslim identities, and on queering the mosque. | NYLON 3.27.17

I’m just learning that my community is no longer shaped by geography

Book Club Made Me Gay:” On the importance of reading groups and bookstore spaces for marginalized groups. | JSTOR Daily 6.21.17


Read Nature Poem, and read about Tommy Pico resisting stereotypes of American Indians’ relationship to “the land” (and so much more). Here, here, and here. I can’t choose just one; he’s too good. |OUT Magazine 4.3.17; NYLON 5.9.17; Vol. 1 Brooklyn 6.14.17

Because I’m a Native person, there’s this stereotype that we’re reverent of nature or whatever. I wanted to mess with that, and be like camping is dumb and fuck lakes and grass sucks