The Best Overlooked Books
BY Advocate Contributors
November 17 2011 5:00 AM ET
I Rise: The Transformation of Toni Newman by Toni Newman (CreateSpace)
A memoir of a college-educated African-American trans woman who, as a male physique model, once posed for Playgirl and later chose to do sex work to support her transition.
The Unreal Life of Sergey Nabokov: A Novel by Paul Russell (Cleis)
This carefully researched novel is based on the gay brother of Vladimir Nabokov, a pre-revolutionary Russian who went on to commingle with folks like Picasso, Gertrude Stein, and Alice B. Toklas.
We the Animals by Justin Torres (Houghton Mifflin)
This highly acclaimed first novel is a coming-of-age story about three Puerto Rican brothers.
Sweet Like Sugar by Wayne Hoffman (Kensington)
A friendship develops between a gay 20-something and a straight elderly rabbi, demonstrating how our human quest is a search for parts of ourselves that can only be found in others.
True Stories: Portraits From My Past by Felice Picano (Chelsea Station)
New short memoirs from this Violet Quill Club cofounder and gay publishing pioneer.
Transfigurations by Jana Marcus (7 Angels Press)
The book version of an award-winning photography series about gender in the trans community shows that it is both natural and a social construct.
Sarah, Son of God by Justine Saracen (Bold Strokes Books)
This nested story within a story is about a heretical text and the scholars who seek it, but it really investigates how gender bending affects personal relationships and the course of history.