Hello Dear Readers, Book Lovers, Friends & Family,
Welcome to June 2021.... the bookshops are opening, museums are welcoming visitors, the sun is shining, and people are starting to inhabit the parks, the streets, the cafes, everywhere! This springy emergent post-Covid hopefulness permeating the air is delicious- and made even more delicious by the fact that this month is PRIDE!
Beyond the confetti-strewn parades, bumping street parties, and rainbow crop tops, pride is, at its core, about celebrating the self-affirmation, dignity, equality, and visibility of LGBTQI people. (Think pride as opposed to shame).
Pride is a month for promoting queer identities, for visibility and openness in the face of oppression, for overcoming fear, and for commemorating and recognizing the pain of so many whose rights (and even lives) have been trampled on and taken from them by those who spew ignorance, fear, intolerance, and hatred.
So in honor of celebrating all things LGBTQIA+ , here is Lovestruck Literature's very own Pride-inspired Literary "Best of" List:
The 5 Best Queer Romance Novels of All Time
1. Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin
I picked up a copy of Giovanni's Room once almost accidentally, on my way from London to Istanbul. I was surprised to see a James Baldwin there in the airport book store, among the usual beach reads and presidential memoirs and such.
I read the book on the airplane and then read it again when I returned.
Searing and haunting and painful and sad, Giovanni's Room is a semi-autobiographical tale by James Baldwin. Set in the bars and midnight streets of Paris in the 1950's, the story follows the lives, couplings, and uncouplings of a group of expats and bohemians. The main character is, David, an American expat who begins a fraught relationship with a beautiful Italian bartender, Giovanni.
The story of the tumult and drama that ensues is rendered so eloquently and carefully. This book is important. It left me feeling somewhat haunted, and is worth reading many times.