Pride Month 2021 Reading Wrap-Up

Jul 19, 2021

queer books for pride month


Hi friends, the long-awaited post is here. I'm ~finally~ sharing my reading wrap-up for June (better late than never, right? ๐Ÿ˜…). Save for one book, I read 20 books with LGBTQ+ representation mostly written by queer authors last month. All Half with the help of audiobooks (yes, audiobooks are real books).

Needless to say, June was a really good reading month and I wanted to share - and recommend - some books that I read for anyone looking for more books to add to their tbrs. (Evergreen reminder: support queer folks and books year-round)

Without further adieu, let's get to all the queer books! ๐Ÿ˜Š




๐Ÿ•ฎ More Than Organs by Kay Ulunday Barrett ★★★★ | Rep: queer transmasc Filipino (they/them), disabled/chronic illness

๐Ÿ•ฎ The Bone Way by Holly J. Underhill ★★★★ | Rep: lesbian mc, sapphic li, f/f romance // TW: past death of parent, terminal illness

๐Ÿ•ฎ Continuum by Chella Man, Ashley Lukashevsky ★★★★| Rep: deaf transgender genderqueer pansexual biracial (Jewish, Chinese) // TW: ableism, transphobia, homophobia

๐Ÿ•ฎ When the Chant Comes by Kay Ulunday Barrett ★★★★ | Rep: queer transmasc Filipino (they/them), disabled/chronic illness

๐ŸŽง The Devourers by Indra Das ★★★ | Rep: Indian folklore, Muslim, bisexual and genderfluid // TW: rape, gore, graphic urination, body horror, homophobia

๐Ÿ•ฎ The Tangelroot Palace: Stories by Marjorie M. Liu ★★★★ | Rep: Biracial (Chinese, Scottish) wlw, lesbian, gay // TW: violence, gore, death, miscarriage, murder, rape, suicide, dismemberment

๐Ÿ•ฎ More Than Enough by Elizabeth Wambheim ★★★★ | Rep: asexual mlm // TW: acephobia, nonconsensual touch

๐Ÿ•ฎ Fin & Rye & Fireflies by Harry Cook ★★★ | Rep: gay Black mc with anxiety, gay, trans Indian adoptee, pansexual // TW: bullying, homophobia, transphobia, substance use, conversion therapy, panic attacks

๐Ÿ•ฎ I Am Out With Lanterns by Emily Gale ★★★★ | Rep: autistic, bisexual, lesbian // TW: bullying, sexual harassment, substance abuse, domestic violence

๐Ÿ•ฎ Finding Nevo by Nevo Zisin ★★★★ | Rep: nonbinary transmasc (they/them), Jewish, lesbian // TW: toxic masculinity, homophobia, misogyny, bullying, transphobia, mention of suicide




๐ŸŽง Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon ★★★★★ | Rep: Black albino intersex mc, trans Indigenous (Native American), sapphic // TW: racism, ableism, homophobia, misogyny, forced sterilization, body shaming, suicide, gore, gun violence, torture, drowning, death of child, cult [see full tw list here]

๐ŸŽง All Our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O'Donoghue ★★★ | Rep: nonbinary bisexual, lesbian, Filipino // TW: cult/religion, bullying, homophobia, suicide, racism, adultery

๐ŸŽง Perfect On Paper by Sophie Gonzales ★★★★ | Rep: bisexual mc, Vietnamese American lesbian, transgender, pansexual nonbinary, bisexual // TW: biphobia, bullying, emotional parent abuse, substance use, vomiting

๐ŸŽง Darling by K. Ancrum ★★★★ | Rep: Black mc, bisexual li, lesbian, Black characters, bisexual multiracial (Ojibwe, Irish), bisexual Ojibwe, disabled (hearing impared), Ojibwe, Korean American // TW: violence, off-page murder, guns, blood, child abuse, police brutality, abduction, manipulation, child abandonment

๐ŸŽง A Master Djinn by P. Djรจlรญ Clark ★★★★ | Rep: African (Egyptian) cast, lesbian mc, sapphic // TW: murder, violence, gore, immolation, self-mutilation

๐ŸŽง Hani and Ishu's Guide to Fake Dating by Adiba Jaigirdar ★★★★ | Rep: bisexual Bengladeshi-Irish Muslim, sapphic Bengali-Irish, f/f romance // TW: racism, islamaphobia, biphobia, lesbophobia, homophobia, gaslighting, parental abandonment

๐ŸŽง Black Water Sister by Zen Cho ★★★★ | Rep: lesbian Chinese Malaysian, Chinese Malaysian, lesbian Indian American, Indian Chinese Malaysian // TW: misogyny, racism, attempted rape, homophobia, mention of cancer, mention of abuse

๐Ÿ•ฎ I Hope We Choose Love: A Trans Girl's Notes From the End of the World by Kai Cheng Thom ★★ | Rep: trans Asian author // TW: co-opting aave words by non-black people, discussions of sexual assault, self-harm, trauma, homophobia, discrimination

๐ŸŽง Some Girls Do by Jennifer Dugan ★★★ | Rep: lesbian, bisexual, sapphic, queer cast // TW: homophobia, abusive parent, accidental outing, bullying, substance use, 

๐Ÿ•ฎ The Lights of Prague by Nicole Jarvis ★★ | Rep: bisexual, sapphic, Romani // TW: antisemitism, homophobia, death, racism, suicide, gore, classism, misogyny


If any of the rep or tw's listed above are incorrect or not mentioned, please feel free to let me know and I'll correct them.


There you have it! 20 books for Pride Month!
What were your favorite queer reads this year?
Read any of the listed above? Let me know in the comments!


๐Ÿณ️‍๐ŸŒˆ Pride month has come and gone, but the opportunities to uplift, support and amplify the LGBTQ+ community is ongoing year-round. One way to support is to call on your lawmakers to ensure safety protections and equality for queer folks, and another way to support is to donate to LGBTQ+ orgs if you can! ♥ Feel free to let me know of other LGBTQ+ orgs to add onto this list.
 

For U.S., use this call script from 5Calls.org to urge your reps to pass the Equality Act of 2021, and take action and get involved with Human Rights Campaign. Don't forget to continue to show up for LGBTQ+ rights and community every day!

Stop Asian hate in the U.S. and around the world by contacting elected officials, donating, signing petitions, volunteeringattending bystander intervention trainings, supporting Asian businesses/creators, reporting anti-Asian hate crimes near you, and more: Stop AAPI Hate, Stop Asian Hate carrd, Anti-Asian Violence Resources carrd, Asian American Commission, Asian American Advocacy Fund, Asian Mental Health Collective, and this comprehensive list of Asian-led orgs and resources via NYMag. More resources in the sidebar as well. ➔


Help raise awareness and free Palestine from apartheid and settler colonization by protesting, donating to Palestinian mutual aid and recovery funds, demanding your elected officials to cut ties with Israel and to pass H.R. 2590 (for U.S.), get involved in the BDS movement, and educate yourself and family members via DecolonizePalestine. More ways to help on palestinematters.carrd.co and free-palestine.carrd.co

Resources + educational tools on what's going on around the world right now and ways to help: worldissues.carrd.co | issuesintheworld.carrd.co | getinformed.carrd.co | currentinfo.carrd.co | dotherightthing.carrd.co

If you've found this post helpful, please kindly consider buying ya fellow aro (apro) Asian girl a ko-fi. Any tip or shares are greatly appreciated. ๐Ÿ’›

{Story Diary} Folklorn by Angela Mi Young Hur | A Genre-Defying Gothic Ancestry Family Saga Epic

Jul 12, 2021

folklorn by angela mi young hur


Folklorn is one of my favorite reads of 2021 so far. If you've been following the blog or me on twitter, you've probably noticed my screaming into the void about Folklorn for months now, and today I am finally sharing why it's a must-read (sans spoilers)! 

Read on to learn about the Korean myths, themes, and more in this spellbinding and genre-defying gothic ancestry epic family saga. Even if you're not a spec-fic reader, you might enjoy this just for the ghost friend and Korean myths.


Folklorn by Angela Mi Young Hur
Speculative Fiction, Mythology / Folklore, Asian Lit
April 27, 2021 from Erewhon

A genre-defying, continents-spanning saga of Korean myth, scientific discovery, and the abiding love that binds even the most broken of families.

Elsa Park is a particle physicist at the top of her game, stationed at a neutrino observatory in the Antarctic, confident she's put enough distance between her ambitions and the family ghosts she's run from all her life. But it isn't long before her childhood imaginary friend—an achingly familiar, spectral woman in the snow—comes to claim her at last.

Years ago, Elsa's now-catatonic mother had warned her that the women of their line were doomed to repeat the narrative lives of their ancestors from Korean myth and legend. But beyond these ghosts, Elsa also faces a more earthly fate: the mental illness and generational trauma that run in her immigrant family, a sickness no less ravenous than the ancestral curse hunting her.

When her mother breaks her decade-long silence and tragedy strikes, Elsa must return to her childhood home in California. There, among family wrestling with their own demons, she unravels the secrets hidden in the handwritten pages of her mother’s dark stories: of women’s desire and fury; of magic suppressed, stolen, or punished; of the hunger for vengeance.



★ Praises for Folkorn


"Ghost story, family saga, parable, feminist reimagined myth: Angela Mi Young Hur’s hugely ambitious Folklorn is a spellbinding shape-shifter of a novel that tackles questions of race, culture, and history head-on, exploring the blurry boundaries between past and present, fact and fantasy, and personal and cultural—or cosmic." —Celeste Ng, author of Little Fires Everywhere

“Folklorn is a work of capacious, original imagination: part supernatural mystery, part immigrant family story. Hur’s mixing and melding of genres is an inventive, elegant means of illuminating the dualities of diasporic experience, as well as a testament to the essential role of stories in understanding our identities.” —Peter Ho Davies, author of The Fortunes and A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself

"With enviable ambition and swagger, Folklorn tosses us from one shimmering setting to another: Antarctic research station, Korean spa, Scandinavian island, hipster neighborhood in Stockholm, auto body shop in Southern California. Exploring our genetic and traumatic inheritances, Angela Hur weaves gorgeous Korean fables through a woman’s messy, international search for redemption and connection. This novel is brash, defiant and ultimately full of yearning." —Chia-Chia Lin, author of The Unpassing

“A complex meditation on intergenerational trauma…. The honest look at prickly Elsa’s internalized racism is ambitious but often brutal in its unflinching execution…. This thought-provoking work will appeal to SFF fans who like their talk of particle physics side by side with fox spirits and fairy tales.” —Publishers Weekly






Folklorn in a Gist (a la Readerly)


 


[side note: add me on Readerly @emptykingdom]

Setting / Places


Antarctica


[Image Source]


Stockholm, Sweden


[Image Source]


Los Angeles, California, U.S.


[Image Source]


Korean Myths


Heo Hwang-Ok


[Image Source]


In Korean legends, Heo Hwang-Ok sailed from India to South Korea to meet King Suro whom she prophesized in a dream and then later married around 48BCE, making her the Queen of Gaya Kingdom in Korea. According to 13th century collections of legends and texts called the Samguk Yusa Chronicle, she was a princess of the Ayuta Kingdom, a distant country.

Fun fact: the author Angela is an ancestress of Heo Hwang-Ok, whom was the forebearer of the Hur family clan. How cool is that!?


Learn more about the fascinating legend of Queen Heo Hwang-Ok:


Themes / Tropes


☾ Ghosts
☾ Women in science
☾ Ancestral curses
☾ Gothic ancestry epic
☾ Family saga
☾ Past and present narratives
☾ Complex familial bonds and secrets
☾ Suppressed magic
☾ Immigrant/diaspora experience
☾ Vengeance
☾ Healing
☾ Redemption

Rep


Korean American adoptee MC
Korean American/Swedish-based author
☀ Parent with mental illness (schizophrenia) 

Content / Trigger Warnings


➤ Intergenerational trauma
➤ Death of parent
➤ Grief
➤ Abusive parent (mentioned/referenced)
➤ Discussions of domestic violence
➤ Discussions of war (Korean War) and racism









"My mother always spoke Korean to me, but when telling her stories, she didn't sound like herself."

--Angela Mi Young Hur, Folklorn



"We have full right to these stories of our ancestors, even more so because we are of the diaspora. These tales--like us--have traveled far across time and space, to be remade and understood in a new light."

--Angela Mi Young Hur, Folklorn



"Madness is like a muscle though—if you don’t use it, you lose it."

--Angela Mi Young Hur, Folklorn

Comparative Titles


   


The Vegetarian by Han Kang
The Quiet Is Loud by Samantha Garner
Little Gods by Meng jin
Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi







Angela Hur received a BA in English Literature from Harvard and an MFA in Creative Writing from Notre Dame, where she won the Sparks Fellowship and the Sparks Prize, a post-graduate fellowship. Her debut The Queens of K-Town was published by MacAdam/Cage in 2007. It has been assigned in Korean-American literature classes at Stanford, UC Berkeley, University of British Columbia, and University of Seoul.

Folklorn was chosen by Kelly Link for a Tin House novel mentorship through the Tin House Summer Workshop, where Hur also studied with Alexander Chee and Mat Johnson, and later with Peter Ho Davies at the Napa Valley Writers Conference.

Hur has taught English Literature and Creative Writing at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, in Seoul, Korea. She’s also taught for Writopia, a U.S. non-profit providing creative writing workshops for children and teens. While living in Stockholm, Sweden, she’s worked as a Staff Editor for SIPRI, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. She is currently living in Stockholm, with her husband and children.










Let's chat! Have you read Folklorn yet?
Do you plan on reading it if you haven't yet?
Let me know in the comments below!


Stop Asian hate in the U.S. and around the world by contacting elected officials, donating, signing petitions, volunteeringattending bystander intervention trainings, supporting Asian businesses/creators, reporting anti-Asian hate crimes near you, and more: Stop AAPI Hate, Stop Asian Hate carrd, Anti-Asian Violence Resources carrd, Asian American Commission, Asian American Advocacy Fund, Asian Mental Health Collective, and this comprehensive list of Asian-led orgs and resources via NYMag. More resources in the sidebar as well. ➔


Help raise awareness and free Palestine from apartheid and settler colonization by protesting, donating to Palestinian mutual aid and recovery funds, demanding your elected officials to cut ties with Israel and to pass H.R. 2590 (for U.S.), get involved in the BDS movement, and educate yourself and family members via DecolonizePalestine. More ways to help on palestinematters.carrd.co and free-palestine.carrd.co

Resources + educational tools on what's going on around the world right now and ways to help: worldissues.carrd.co | issuesintheworld.carrd.co | getinformed.carrd.co | currentinfo.carrd.co | dotherightthing.carrd.co

If you've found this post helpful, please kindly consider buying ya fellow Asian girl a ko-fi. Any tip or shares are greatly appreciated. ๐Ÿ’›
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