7 Books to Celebrate Lesbian Visibility Week

In honour of Lesbian Visibility Week, we at Kunzum have curated a truly diverse reading list that will introduce you to remarkable lesbian authors and their wonderful stories from across time and culture. From the cartoons of the incredible woman behind the Bechdel Test to Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville’s love letters, this list contains everything: poetry, non-fiction, fiction and graphic novels! Diversify your TBR and help yourself to some truly good reading this week:)

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel (GRAPHIC NOVEL)

Yes, she created the Bechdel Test. From the author of “Dykes To Watch Out For” comes a provocative, intelligent and hilarious “Family Tragicomic”, chronicling the author-illustrator’s upbringing in rural Pennsylvania. Grappling with issues of sexuality, familial dysfunction, gender roles, self-harm and the fluid nature of identities, Fun Home has been part of various academic discourses within biography studies and cultural studies. A labour of over seven years, involving a detailed photographic analysis of self and posture before illustration, this 2006 graphic novel/memoir is both a popular and critical success, perhaps understated within India but all the more urgent as an inventive and engrossing depiction of queer and non-heteronormative realities as well as a reflection of the author’s own sexual orientation. 

Love by Carol Ann Duffy (POETRY)

An anthology of the rousing Scott and ex-Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy’s love poetry, some old and some new, Love offers ornate, ethereal and original poems that delve into the many themes and flavours of love and loving. Unabashedly queer and excitingly real, making no high-brow distinction between the sacred and profane in selecting poetic subjects, Duffy’s collection speaks to her own queer identity as well as its celebration of love experiences. Devoid of literary pretentiousness and the bloated excess common to love poetics, this is a collection that is easy to read, easy to enjoy and easiest to love.

Fiere by Jackie Kay (POETRY)

Another Scottish poet par-excellence, who was in a 15-year-old relationship with Carol Ann (!!!), Jackie Kay must be known by all as a feminist poet with a wonderful ability to blend the profound with the heart-warmingly funny. And that is exactly what you’d see upon reading Fiere, her most accomplished collection thus far, named after the nominal poem celebrating the beauty of friendship. Writing the idiosyncratic music of the Highlander’s tongue into each poem, Kay’s English is distinct to her identity and emotionality, with each poem being a lovely offering to poetry-loving smiling readers. 

Love Letters by Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville West (NON-FICTION)

With an introduction from Alisson Bechdel (the Bechdel Test person, no we can’t stop talking about this), this collection of letters will hopefully persuade all readers that Woolf and Sackville-West were indeed more than “good friends”. An affair that started in their mid-twenties, and effectively inspired the gender-bending Orlando, is best preserved in this insane collection of letters, where Sackville-West would confess to being nothing more than a “thing that wants Virginia Woolf”, with Woolf conversely responding with an irritated longing, “I have missed you. I do miss you. I shall miss you”. For all literature lovers and even those on the lookout for earnest, passionate and tragic love stories and letters, this IS what you buy. 

Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson (AUTO-FIC)

A semi-autobiographical bildungsroman, based on the winning and excellent Winterson’s personal coming-out coming-of-age, Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit follows the author’s strictly Evangelist childhood, its many idiosyncrasies and kooky wonderful women, as well as the repressive culture that ultimately threatens to harm and limit the protagonist’s experience of self. When discovering her pure and charming attraction to a fellow adolescent girl, Jeanette is put through a series of shameful expulsions, exorcisms, ostracization and guilt-trips. But this is not a traumatic queer story. Far from it. Filled with heart-warming characters, life-affirming instances and a detailed accomplishment in representing a creative’s artistic evolution, Winterson’s novel offers a story of a seriously lovable character and her gloriously blazing arc.

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo (FICTION)

Shortlisted for 2020’s Women’s Prize for Fiction, Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo weaves a tapestry of twelve Black British women’s lives. But this isn’t your typical story. Evaristo shatters expectations by exploring a spectrum of sexuality and gender identity, including lesbian relationships that are both passionate and complex, as well as transgender characters navigating fundamental societal pressures. Through her rich, multi-layered and wonderfully written characters, Evaristo challenges rigid norms and celebrates the fluidity of desire, showcasing the beautiful diversity within Black womanhood.

Interesting Facts About Space by Emily Austin (FICTION)

Interesting Facts About Space introduces us to Enid, a lesbian with a fascination for space. While she can explain black holes with ease, Enid struggles with real-world anxieties, including a phobia of bald men and a troubled relationship with her family. As Enid embarks on her first serious relationship, paranoia begins to creep in, blurring the lines between reality and her darkest fears. This humorous and heartwarming story explores self-discovery, acceptance, and the unique ways we connect with others, all while celebrating the complexities of a queer identity.

Pick up any one of these 7 Books to Celebrate Lesbian Visibility Week from any Kunzum store or WhatsApp +91.8800200280 to order. Buy the book(s) and the coffee’s on us.

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