Earlier today I came across a list of books by queer authors of color (“queer” and “of color” as used in progressive circles in the US). The author of the list admits that it skews Afro-American and Anglophone (and, I would add, North American) but there are a number of Asian and Pacific Islander diasporic authors on it:
- Staceyann Chin, The Other Side of Paradise. Memoir about growing up poor, half-black and half-Chinese, and lesbian in Jamaica.
- Christina Chiu, Troublemaker and Other Saints. Short stories.
- Farzana Doctor, Stealing Nasreen. Muslim Gujarati lesbians in Canada.
- Lê Thi Diem Thúy, The Gangster We Are All Looking For. Autobiographical novel about a Vietnamese immigrant family in the US.
- Lani Ka’ahumanu, co-editor (with Loraine Hutchins), Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual People Speak Out.
- Mary Anne Mohanraj, Bodies in Motion. Short stories about two linked Sri Lankan families.
- Nina Revoyr, The Necessary Hunger and Southland (novels about Japanese-American and African-American communities in Los Angeles), The Age of Dreaming (novel about a Japanese-American silent film star).
- Shyam Selvadurai, Funny Boy, Cinnamon Gardens, Swimming in the Monsoon Sea. Novels that feature gay Sri Lankan men.
- Kenji Yoshino, Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights.
The list also includes Yukio Mishima‘s Confessions of a Mask, but since he appears to have lived in Japan all of his life I don’t think he can be classified as an author of color in the US sense. Also, since the list only includes authors who self-identify as queer/LGBT, it does not include books on queer/LGBT themes by authors who don’t identify this way; Monique Truong’s The Book of Salt would be a great addition if this list were extended.
If you have any books by/about diasporic Asians to add to the list, please let me know in the comments!
Update 12/4/11 - I reviewed Benjamin Law’s The Family Law, which definitely belongs on this list (though it’s only available in Australia at the moment).