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Read these 6 LGBTQIA+ novels this Pride Month

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  • A Thousand Moons by Sebastian Barry

    Sebastian Barry’s award-winning Days Without End told the story of two soldiers – Thomas McNulty and John Cole – falling in love against the backdrop of the Civil War. His luminous follow-up is set in Tennessee in the years after the war, when the two men have created a precarious family for themselves, having adopted a Lakota orphan they call Winona. It’s a dangerous world; and two acts of violence see Winona set out looking for justice – and find love with another woman, Peg, along the way. Barry is an extraordinary writer and this novel, which pitches cruelty against compassion, sings.

  • Milk Fed by Melissa Broder (£26, simonandschuster.com)

    Melissa Broder’s second novel is the riotously strange and sexy story of a woman with an eating disorder who falls in love with the voluptuous fat woman who serves her yoghurt. Rachel, who works for a talent agency and rigorously counts calories while dreaming of sugary treats, spins out of control when she meets Miriam, who keeps filling her yoghurt cup up higher than Rachel wants. Bizarre sexual fantasies and an oddly symbolic relationship follow in an idiosyncratic and extremely funny novel about self-love.

  • The Man Who Saw Everything by Deborah Levy (£8.99, foyles.co.uk)

    It’s 1988, a few months before the fall of the Berlin Wall, and 28-year-old historian Saul is hit by a car when crossing Abbey Road. He breaks up with his girlfriend, moves to East Berlin, falls in love with his translator Walter, who’s spying on him for the Stasis and whose sister fancies Saul too. Flashforward to 2016, and Saul is hit by a car again when he tries to cross Abbey Road. As he lies recovering in hospital, the past and the present blur together and intermingle. Dead characters come back to life and reality shifts and changes. Intricately constructed, playful yet poetic, it’s another must-read from the brilliant Deborah Levy.

  • Cleanness by Garth Greenwell (£14.99, waterstones.com)

    Cleanness is an extremely sexy book. It follows on from Greenwell’s excellent first novel What Belongs to You, with the same protagonist, a nameless gay American teacher living in Bulgaria. The novel is episodic and doesn’t have a plot as such – instead, we get intense and reflective scenes, many of which involve sex with either strangers or lovers, encompassing emotions from love and longing to fear. More shocking in its intimacy than in its frank and fruity descriptions, this is a novel that’s truly memorable.

  • The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr, £16.99, (foyles.co.uk)

    This poetic and powerful debut is a queer love story set among slaves in America’s deep south. Samuel and Isiah are enslaved on the same plantation (called ‘Empty’). Close as children, they grow up into lovers – though the precarious sanctuary is threatened by another slave, Amos, whose preaching turns the rest of the plantation against them.

  • Enter the Aardvark by Jessica Anthony (£8.99, foyles.co.uk)

    Enter the Aardvark begins with a breathless description of the creation of our planet – setting the tone for the rest of the endearingly odd book. It flits between present day America, in which a Reagan-loving Republican congressman Alexander Paine Wilson running for re-election is sent a stuffed aardvark, and England in the 19th century, when taxidermist Titus Downing makes it. There’s a symmetry to the plot – both men are gay and forced to hide their sexuality, and both their lovers are connected to the aardvark. The plot thickens and Wilson desperately tries to avoid a scandal. Sharp, inventive and very funny, it’s an entertainingly bizarre political satire.

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