The book reviews of The New York Times are hugely influential, so to be included on their 100 Notable Books of 2012 list is extremely prestigious. This year, a number of gay and lesbian authors or books with gay/lesbian subject matter or characters were included, so I decided to highlight those titles for readers who might be interested.
CARRY THE ONE By Carol Anshaw.
Anshaw pays close attention to the lives of a group of friends bound together by a fatal accident in this wry, humane novel, her fourth.
IN ONE PERSON By John Irving.
Irving’s funny, risky new novel about an aspiring writer struggling with his sexuality examines what happens when we face our desires honestly.
TELEGRAPH AVENUE By Michael Chabon.
Chabon’s rich comic novel about fathers and sons in Berkeley and Oakland, Calif., juggles multiple plots and mounds of pop culture references in astonishing prose.
THE TESTAMENT OF MARY By Colm Toibin.
This beautiful work takes power from the surprises of its language and its almost shocking characterization of Mary, mother of Jesus.
ALL WE KNOW: Three Lives By Lisa Cohen.
The vanished world of midcentury upper-class lesbians is portrayed as beguiling, its inhabitants members of a stylish club.
ARE YOU MY MOTHER? A Comic Drama By Alison Bechdel.
Bechdel’s engaging, original graphic memoir explores her troubled relationship with her distant mother.
FLAGRANT CONDUCT: The Story of Lawrence Vs. Texas By Dale Carpenter.
Carpenter stirringly describes the 2003 Supreme Court decision that overturned the Texas sodomy law.
ODDLY NORMAL: One Family’s Struggle to Help Their Teenage Son Come to Terms with His Sexuality By John Schwartz. A Times reporter’s deeply affecting account of his son’s coming out also reviews research on the experience of LGBT kids.
VICTORY: The Triumphant Gay Revolution By Linda Hirshman.
Written with knowing finesse, this expansive history of gay rights from the early 20th century to the present draws on archives and interviews.
WHY BE HAPPY WHEN YOU COULD BE NORMAL? By Jeanette Winterson.
Winterson’s unconventional and winning memoir wrings humor from adversity as it describes her upbringing by a wildly deranged mother.
Although I have read quite a number of these titles myself, for this post I am merely promoting what The New York Times said in their brief reviews. Their full list of 100 titles can be found at this URL http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/02/books/review/100-notable-books-of-2012.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0