Two or Three Things I Know For Sure by Dorothy Allison
Summary: In this lyrical yet approachable book-length essay, Dorothy Allison examines her childhood in the rural South, where she was born into a poor white family from which she eventually sought to escape after experiencing sexual abuse and beatings at the hands of her stepfather. Allison ruminates on learning to love her body, coming into her own as a lesbian, and eventually understanding what it truly means to love and be loved. Along the way she investigates class identity, the complexities of familial bonds and wounds, and the human ability to heal.
-Moving: After experiencing and working through many hardships, Allison’s philosophical realizations on love and family strike an emotional chord.
-Conversational writing style: While Allison writes of heavy subject matter, her conversational writing style makes this book accessible and even gently funny at times.
-LGBTQ: While only one aspect of her identity, Allison’s discussion of her experience as a lesbian is equal parts amusing, frank, and deeply human.
-Women’s Lives & Relationships: From the female bonds found in her family of origin to her later friends, lovers, and community as a whole, Allison’s memoir centers around both the pains and joys of female relationships.
> Extra! Extra! < Want more Dorothy Allison? Her books Trash, Skin, Cavedweller are all Lambda Literary Award Winners. Her books Bastard Out of Carolina was a National Book Award Finalist.
The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson
The Argonauts is a genre-bending memoir, a work of "autotheory" offering fresh, fierce, and timely thinking about desire, identity, and the limitations and possibilities of love and language. At its center is a romance: the story of the author's relationship with the artist Harry Dodge. This story, which includes Nelson's account of falling in love with Dodge, who is fluidly gendered, as well as her journey to and through a pregnancy, offers a firsthand account of the complexities and joys of (queer) family-making. (NoveList)
My Dangerous Desires by Amber L. Hollibaugh
Presents over twenty years of the author's work examining such themes as the relationship between activism and desire, sexuality and class identity, and the author's own political development as a response to her unique personal history. (NoveList)
Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward
Recounts the loss of five young men in the author's life to drugs, accidents, suicide, and the misfortune that can follow those who live in poverty, sharing her experiences of living through the dying as she searches through answers in her community. (NoveList)