Books by Lauren Groff, Melissa Febos, and Torrey Peters are among the finalists announced Tuesday for the Lambda Literary Awards, which honor outstanding LGBTQ literature.
The Lambda awards, aka the Lammys, are given in multiple categories of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Among the finalists in lesbian fiction are Lauren Groff’s Matrix, which follows a group of medieval English nuns, and Kirstin Valdez Quade’s The Five Wounds, which features a single mother in a working-class New Mexico family.
Torrey Peters’ acclaimed bestselling debut, Detransition, Baby, about a trio of characters managing detransition and parenthood, is a finalist in transgender fiction. In a starred review, Kirkus called it “a wonderfully original exploration of desire and the evolving shape of family.”
Notable titles in the LGBTQ nonfiction category include Let the Record Show, Sarah Schulman’s history of the pioneering AIDS activist group ACT UP New York; Girlhood, Melissa Febos’ genre-bending study of narratives about being female; and Dear Senthuran, Akwaeke Emezi’s coming-of-age memoir.
Samuel R. Delany, best known for the pathbreaking science fiction novels he has written since the 1960s, is a finalist in the LGBTQ erotica category for his novel Big Joe.
Lambda Literary has been presenting the awards since 1989. In its release, the organization emphasized the importance of celebrating LGBTQ writing at a time when the community and its books are under increased fire.
“The modern movement to ban access to LGBTQ books for young people is horrendous, but we hope the publishing industry continues backing these remarkable works in volume to meet that resistance,” its announcement read in part.
The Lammy winners will be announced at a virtual ceremony on June 11.
Mark Athitakis is a journalist in Phoenix who writes about books for Kirkus, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and elsewhere.