The Best Queer Novels Out Now
Pride month is not just a celebration of queer joy, but also an annual reminder of the ongoing fight for LGBTQ rights. It’s important, though, to break up the parades and protests with a little personal time, a moment to recharge and recenter so the battle can go on, long after June is over. That’s why we pulled together five of our favorite new books from queer authors, for when you need to take a moment off.
Big Swiss by Jen Beagin (Scribner, out now)
After a failed relationship, Greta moves into a dilapidated house in Hudson, New York, and meets Big Swiss — a woman she falls for while transcribing therapy sessions for a slightly nutty sex coach. What develops is a twisty, push-and-pull relationship between the two women that is wildly funny and unexpectedly sexy.
Dykette by Jenny Fran Davis (Henry Holt and Company, out now)
If you’re an LGBTQ person who’s ever lived in Brooklyn, you’ll probably see yourself in this biting tale of two young queer couples who go upstate with an older lesbian couple. If you’ve only heard about prototypical Brooklynites — their self-indulgent privilege and ridiculous thoughts on art and culture — you’ll still find plenty to cringe and laugh at.
People Collide by Isle McElroy (HarperVia, out Sept. 26)
With their first novel, The Atmospherians, McElroy sharply sliced through knotty questions about toxic masculinity. Their second deftly explores partnership, identity, and sex through Eli, a man who wakes up to find his wife, Elizabeth, has disappeared, and he’s now in her body. Told with their signature satirical humor, McElroy explores a relationship that has soured and how literally experiencing life in another’s shoes can reveal the truth of who we are.
Your Driver Is Waiting by Priya Guns (Doubleday, out now)
A novel that calls itself a gender-flipped Taxi Driver has big shoes to fill, but this steely dissection of the gig economy succeeds. It anchors the story of Damani, a ride-share driver taking care of her mother amid mass protests. Worlds collide when she meets Jolene, a rich white girl whose politics look good on paper. But when Jolene does an unforgivable thing, it kicks off an intense series of events.
The Late Americans by Brandon Taylor (Riverhead, out now)
One of the best contemporary writers on young queer creatives, Taylor continues the theme with this offering about a group of Iowa City friends who work as dancers, poets, and in amateur porn. Over a year of creative and personal revolution, they go through partnerships, daddy issues, and complicated friendships — all simultaneously chaotic, messy, and loving.