It’s shaping up to be another difficult year for LGBTQ+ rights, as legislative attacks on trans and gender-nonconforming individuals continue apace and books that promote tolerance and inclusivity are banned across the country. As difficult as it can feel to muster resilience in the face of all this homophobic and transphobic oppression, there is power in reading the works of LGBTQ+ authors—and luckily, 2023 is stuffed with brilliant LGBTQ+ books. Below, find a list of the ones we’re most excited to read this year.
I Keep My Exoskeletons to Myself by Marisa Crane (January 17)
In this electric debut, a grieving new mom struggles to keep herself, her child, and her loved ones safe in a version of America where those who commit crimes are given extra shadows by the government as punishment (rather than being sent to prison). This book is as sexy as it is dystopic, which is saying a lot.
Couplets: A Love Story by Maggie Millner (February 7)
A young woman ends her long-term relationship with a man to pursue queer love in all its gorgeous and occasionally maddening incarnations in this novel-in-verse, which includes a line I have been absolutely unable to stop thinking about: “I became myself. I became myself. No, I always was myself. There’s no such person as myself.”
Dyscalculia by Camonghne Felix (February 14)
A major breakup culminates in a hospital stay and leads to a life-upending reevaluation of childhood trauma, mental health, and dyscalculia (a disorder that makes it difficult to learn math) for Felix, the acclaimed author of Build Yourself a Boat.
The People Who Report More Stress by Alejandro Varela (April 4)
This collection of linked stories gives a vivid and unforgettable voice to the anxieties of people whose experiences are frequently marginalized, from a struggling New York restaurant employee to a Selena-obsessed childcare worker and a man intent on speed-dating after the end of a long-term relationship.
Your Driver Is Waiting by Priya Guns
This book has been described as a gender-flipped Taxi Driver, which should be reason enough to pick it up; in it, an overtaxed and financially struggling ride-share driver dips into a romance with an enticing passenger, wondering all the while if the differences between them are too great to overcome.
Homebodies by Tembe Denton-Hurst (May 2)
This book opens with a sharp and incisive critique of white feminist blog culture, but it’s also a gorgeous and compulsively readable coming-of-age story about a young, Black, queer writer trying to figure out her purpose and her identity outside of her job and her long-term relationship.
Dykette by Jenny Fran Davis (May 16)
Three queer couples come together at a house in the Hudson Valley for expensive cheese and crackers and a whole lot of LGBTQ+ drama in this crackling and funny debut, which will undoubtedly make you feel better about however your last couples’ getaway with friends went.
The Late Americans by Brandon Taylor (May 23)
A wide-ranging social group anchored by three dynamic friends builds up to a key moment of reckoning against the backdrop of bustling, artist-packed Iowa City in this novel from the Booker Prize-finalist author of Real Life and Filthy Animals.
All-Night Pharmacy by Ruth Madievsky (July 11)
If you’re looking for a wild and delightfully weird sister story, this book is for you; Madievsky expertly weaves threads of queerness, addiction, Jewish mysticism, and more into this novel about a young woman struggling to define herself in present-day Los Angeles without the presence of her chaotic, captivating older sister.