There are some brilliant books by LGBTQIA+ authors and books with queer characters releasing in 2021. From exciting debut novels to authors you’re already acquainted with, we are sure you’ll find something to pique your interest. So make space on your bookshelves, stop by your favorite indie bookstore, and make those library requests after you’ve browsed our list of 2021 LGBTQIA+ books to read!
Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon
Vern–seven months pregnant and desperate to escape the strict religious compound where she was raised–flees for the shelter of the woods. There, she gives birth to twins, and plans to raise them far from the influence of the outside world.
Skye Falling by Mia McKenzie
A woman who’s used to going solo discovers that there’s one relationship she can’t run away from in this buoyant novel, a probing examination of the complexities of family, queerness, race, and community.
Love Is an Ex-Country by Randa Jarrar
Queer. Muslim. Arab American. A proudly Fat woman. Randa Jarrar is all of these things. In this exuberant, defiant, and introspective memoir of a cross-country road trip, she explores how to claim joy in an unraveling and hostile America.
Bolla by Patjim Statovci
Arsim is a twenty-two-year-old, recently married student at the University of Pristina, in Kosovo, keeping his head down to gain a university degree in a time and place deeply hostile to Albanians. In a caf he meets a young man named Milos, a Serb. Before the day is out, everything has changed for both of them, and within a week two milestones erupt in Arsim’s married life: his wife announces her first pregnancy and he begins a life in secret.
After Francesco by Brian Malloy
The year is 1988 and 28-year-old Kevin Doyle is bone-tired of attending funerals. It’s been two years since his partner Francesco died from AIDS, an epidemic ravaging New York City and going largely ignored by the government, leaving those effected to suffer in silence, feeling unjustifiable shame and guilt on top of their loss.
Last Call by Elon Green
The gripping true story, told here for the first time, of the Last Call Killer and the gay community of New York City that he preyed upon.
Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers
With her newly completed PhD in astronomy in hand, twenty-eight-year-old Grace Porter goes on a girls’ trip to Vegas to celebrate. She’s a straight A, work-through-the-summer certified high achiever. She is not the kind of person who goes to Vegas and gets drunkenly married to a woman whose name she doesn’t know…until she does exactly that.
The Perfume Thief by Timothy Schaffert
Set in Paris on the eve of World War II, where Clementine, a queer American ex-pat and notorious thief, is drawn out of retirement and into one last scam when the Nazis invade.
Outlawed by Anna North
A riveting adventure story of a fugitive girl, a mysterious gang of robbers, and their dangerous mission to transform the Wild West.
Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead by Emily Austin
A novel that follows a morbidly anxious young woman who stumbles into a job as a receptionist at a Catholic church and becomes obsessed with her predecessor’s mysterious death.
The Guncle by Steven Rowley
A warm and deeply funny novel about a once-famous gay sitcom star whose unexpected family tragedy leaves him with his niece and nephew for the summer.
Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters
Reese almost had it all: a loving relationship with Amy, an apartment in New York City, a job she didn’t hate. She had scraped together what previous generations of trans women could only dream of: a life of mundane, bourgeois comforts. The only thing missing was a child. But then her girlfriend, Amy, detransitioned and became Ames, and everything fell apart. Now Reese is caught in a self-destructive pattern: avoiding her loneliness by sleeping with married men.
The Passing Playbook by Isaac Fitzsimons
A feel-good contemporary romance about a trans athlete who must decide between fighting for his right to play and staying stealth.
The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr.
A singular and stunning debut novel about the forbidden union between two enslaved young men on a Deep South plantation, the refuge they find in each other, and a betrayal that threatens their existence.
Let's Get Back to the Party by Zak Salih
It is 2015, weeks after the Supreme Court marriage equality ruling, and all Sebastian Mote wants is to settle down. A high school art history teacher, newly single and desperately lonely, he envies his queer students their freedom to live openly the youth he lost to fear and shame.
The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo
The Chosen and the Beautiful reinvents this classic of the American canon as a coming-of-age story full of magic, mystery, and glittering excess, and introduces a major new literary voice.
One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
A magical, sexy, big-hearted romance where the impossible becomes possible as August does everything in her power to save the girl lost in time.
With Teeth by Kristen Arnett
A surprising and moving story of two mothers, one difficult son, and the limitations of marriage, parenthood, and love.
Afterparties by Anthony Veasna So
A vibrant story collection about Cambodian-American life–immersive and comic, yet unsparing–that offers profound insight into the intimacy of queer and immigrant communities.
Malice by Heather Walter
A princess isn’t supposed to fall for an evil sorceress. But in this retelling of “Sleeping Beauty,” true love is more than a simple fairy tale.
Hola Papi by John Paul Brammer
From popular LGBTQ advice columnist and writer John Paul Brammer comes a hilarious, heartwarming memoir-in-essays chronicling his journey growing up as a queer, mixed-race kid in America’s heartland to becoming the “Chicano Carrie Bradshaw” of his generation.
Bath Haus by P.J. Vernon
Oliver Park, a recovering addict from Indiana, finally has everything he ever wanted: sobriety and a loving, wealthy partner in Nathan, a prominent DC trauma surgeon. Despite their difference in age and disparate backgrounds, they’ve made a perfect life together. With everything to lose, Oliver shouldn’t be visiting Haus, a gay bathhouse. But through the entrance, he goes, and it’s a line crossed. Inside, he follows a man into a private room, and it’s the final line. Whatever happens next, Nathan can never know. But then, everything goes wrong, terribly wrong, and Oliver barely escapes with his life.
Filthy Animals by Brandon Taylor
Psychologically taut and quietly devastating, Filthy Animals is a tender portrait of the fierce longing for intimacy, the lingering presence of pain, and the desire for love in a world that seems, more often than not, to withhold it.
Milk Fed by Melissa Broder
A scathingly funny, wildly erotic, and fiercely imaginative story about food, sex, and god.
We Play Ourselves by Jen Silverman
After a humiliating scandal, a young writer flees to the West Coast, where she is drawn into the morally ambiguous orbit of a charismatic filmmaker and the teenage girls who are her next subjects.