It might just be me, but I feel like there has been a much greater emphasis on diverse literature over the past few years – and that’s a really great thing. However, at least in my experience, a lot of the books that are talked about and advertised specifically as being diverse are young adult fiction. And while I think that is amazing (it’s definitely something the young adult community needs), I think there needs to be more discussion about diverse adult fiction, because it exists, and it’s wonderful. Today, I decided to share a few of my favorites with you, focusing specifically on LGBT+ adult fiction (obviously). Here are five books I adore that feature LGBT+ characters:
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. I think I’ve talked about this book enough that most of you already know how much I love it. But let me say this: this book made me sob for hours (literally), is over 800 pages, and still routinely calls to me from it’s place on my bookshelf. It’s been over a year and a half since I’ve read this, and I still occasionally think about these characters as if they’re old friends I miss. It is brilliant and devastating and I absolutely loved it. I hesitate recommending it, because that feels akin to encouraging someone to rip out their own heart, but you should read it. Add it to your TBR now and make sure you have at least a full box of tissues on hand. You won’t regret it.
The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin. This is a recent release that completely blew me away. And, much like A Little Life, the LGBT storyline in this book broke my heart. This book follows four siblings, and is essentially four different stories, but Simon’s was my favorite. His story is engaging and painful and, sadly, probably not all that unusual. I can already say this is one of my favorite releases this year.
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. This book is incredible, and the romance/friendship between Patroclus and Achilles is one of my favorites. I also love that while this book features gay characters, it is not about the fact that they’re gay. I also enjoyed the way it is incorporated into ancient Greek culture, since homosexual relationships were not exactly taboo back then. It felt very organic, and it’s just a beautiful story.
The Color Purple by Alice Walker. I knew very little about this book going in, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved it. A large part of why I enjoyed this book was Celie’s journey to self-discovery, which includes a lesbian relationship that opens her eyes to how awful her husband is to her, and prompts her to change her life for the better. It is truly a great story, and a unique piece of historical fiction.
A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab. My favorite thing about how Victoria Schwab writes characters is that no one trait defines them. The LGBT characters in this book are so much more than that, and the story is not about how other people react to their relationships. I love that. They are simply diverse characters in a fantasy world. And, really, that’s all I want.
Do you have any books to add to this list? Share them in the comments! I would love some recommendations for LGBT+ adult literature.