Lambda Literary’s Good Calls.

Posted on March 14, 2017
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lambda_awardThe Lambda Literary Award Finalists have been released and it is once again time to congratulate all of the finalists.  As Queer Reader has pointed out, 2016 was an exceptionally good year for Queer Lit and narrowing it all down could not have been an easy task.  Nevertheless, The Lambda Awards have made some good calls this year.

Firstly, David France’s How to Survive a Plague is a finalist for The LGBTQ Non-Fiction Award.  This important AIDS history is impeccably researched and skillfully crafted.  How to Survive a Plague tells the history of the AIDS crisis through the stories of several persons who came to be defined as “AIDS activists”.  Mr. France renders these characters with a novelist’s sense of detail.  The result is highly readable–a genuine page-turner.

In the fiction category, both Darryl Pinckney’s Black Deutschland and Garth Greenwell’s What Belongs to You are finalists for the Gay Fiction Award.  Black Deutschland is the story of an African-American living in Berlin during the final days of the Wall.  The narrator’s voice–intellectual, erudite, peppered with ironic wit–is one of the many pleasures of this highly unique queer novel.  Garth Greenwell’s What Belongs to You tells the story of an American school teacher’s relationship with a Bulgarian hustler named Mitko.  Mr. Greenwell precisely–and often amusingly–describes Mitko’s almost childlike appreciation of the smallest material things and his seemingly genuine  affection which, with the prospect of cash, can be turned on like a faucet.  Ultimately Mr. Greenwell’s book is a testament to the power of being “out”.  Queer Reader doesn’t envy the Lambda Literary Awards judges who must chose between these two superb novels.

But it will be fun to watch.


The Lambda Literary Awards will be announced on Monday June 12 at NYU’s Skirball Center.


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