8 renowned books featuring queer characters for Pride Month

There are several well-known novels that have LGBT characters as the primary characters outside of the mainstream. These pieces not only offer gripping storytelling but also compassionate insights into the complexity of self-discovery, love, and identity. Here is a list of eight books with LGBTQ characters in honour of June being Pride Month. Do include these novels in your month’s reading list!

‘The Colour Purple’ by Alice Walker

Alice Walker’s “The Colour Purple” explores issues of race, gender, identity, and resiliency. The story is about Celie, a young African-American lesbian who experiences unspeakable suffering and abuse. It is set in the 1930s in rural Georgia.

​​‘Call Me By Your Name’ by André Aciman​

André Aciman’s poetic coming-of-age book “Call Me By Your Name” examines themes of love, desire, and self-discovery. The plot centres on the summertime relationship between Oliver, 24, and 17-year-old Elio.

‘Less’ by Andrew Sean Greer

The story of Arthur Less, a middle-aged gay writer who is travelling abroad to avoid going to his ex-boyfriend’s wedding, is told in this Pulitzer Prize–winning book. This leads to a charming and touching investigation of love and self-discovery.

​‘Giovanni’s Room’ by James Baldwin

The classic “Giovanni’s Room,” which is set in 1950s Paris, explores themes of desire and societal expectations via the narrative of a young American man who is struggling with his sexuality.

​​‘The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo’ by Taylor Jenkins Reid​

Taylor Jenkins’ “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” Reid takes readers on a tour of the opulent life and seven marriages of the legendary Hollywood actress Evelyn Hugo. There are numerous LGBT characters in the book. The book has also been made into a movie.

 ‘Middlesex’ by Jeffrey Eugenides

The character of Calliope “Cal” Stephanides, a hermaphrodite who is reared as a girl but subsequently learns that he is actually a man named Cal, is the focus of Jeffrey Eugenides’ novel Middlesex. In the narrative, Cal struggles with issues of gender and sexuality while navigating his own identity.

‘Kafka on the Shore’ by Haruki Murakami

The novel, which takes place in present-day Japan, develops through the intertwined storylines of two different characters: Nakata, an elderly man, and Kafka Tamura, a 15-year-old boy who runs away from home. In the narrative, Kafka also encounters a transgender man who identifies as a librarian under Saeki.

 ‘Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe’ by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

The plot of the novel, which is set in modern-day Japan, unfolds as the connected stories of two distinct individuals, Kafka Tamura, a 15-year-old runaway, and Nakata, an elderly man. In the story, Kafka also meets a transsexual man who works for Saeki as a librarian.

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