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January 2024 Additions

Welcome to 2024! To kick things off this year, we're adding two exciting new nonfiction books covering history and activism in different queer communities—namely, punks and those in Appalachia. For those wanting to explore more the intersections of queerness and other geographic and cultural identities, these books provide deep and nuanced explorations of their subjects, with a keen look at rebellion, expression, and joy.

First up is Queercore: How to Punk a Revolution: An Oral History from Liam Warfield, Walter Crasshole, and Yony Leyser. The book looks at the connections between the queer rights and punk movements through interviews, first hand accounts, and more. The narratives create an attempt at a full picture of how punk and queer cultures intertwined, diverged, and built off one another through times of great upheavals and changes, grounded in unashamed presence, action, and community. From the publisher:

"Queercore: How to Punk a Revolution: An Oral History is the very first comprehensive overview of a movement that defied both the music underground and the LGBT mainstream community. Through exclusive interviews with protagonists like Bruce LaBruce, G.B. Jones, Jayne County, Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre, film director and author John Waters, Lynn Breedlove of Tribe 8, Jon Ginoli of Pansy Division, and many more, alongside a treasure trove of never-before-seen photographs and reprinted zines from the time, Queercore traces the history of a scene originally “fabricated” in the bedrooms and coffee shops of Toronto and San Francisco by a few young, queer punks to its emergence as a relevant and real revolution. Queercore is a down-to-details firsthand account of the movement explored by the people that lived it—from punk’s early queer elements, to the moment that Toronto kids decided they needed to create a scene that didn’t exist, to Pansy Division's infiltration of the mainstream, and the emergence of riot grrrl—as well as the clothes, zines, art, film, and music that made this movement an exciting middle finger to complacent gay and straight society. Queercore will stand as both a testament to radically gay politics and culture and an important reference for those who wish to better understand this explosive movement."

The second addition is Y'all Means All: The Emerging Voices Queering Appalachia edited by Z. Zane McNeill. Rather than placing Appalachian queerness solely in context of wider queer movements, the book seeks to show how queer people in Appalachia define themselves, giving space for the regional complexities that can at times erase the vibrant queer voices coming out of the area. The book features a wide range of essays from those from or living in Appalachia, both revealing the queerness already growing there and giving guidance to those in and from the region who feel a lack of queer acceptance and community. From the publisher:

"Y'all Means All is a celebration of the weird and wonderful aspects of a troubled region in all of their manifest glory! This collection is a thought-provoking hoot and a holler of “we’re queer and we’re here to stay, cause we’re every bit a piece of the landscape as the rocks and the trees” echoing through the hills of Appalachia and into the boardrooms of every media outlet and opportunistic author seeking to define Appalachia from the outside for their own political agendas. Multidisciplinary and multi-genre, Y’all necessarily incorporates elements of critical theory, such as critical race theory and queer theory, while dealing with a multitude of methodologies, from quantitative analysis, to oral history and autoethnography. This collection eschews the contemporary trend of “reactive” or “responsive” writing in the genre of Appalachian studies, and alternatively, provides examples of how modern Appalachians are defining themselves on their own terms. As such, it also serves as a toolkit for other Appalachian readers to follow suit, and similarly challenge the labels, stereotypes and definitions often thrust upon them. While providing blunt commentary on the region's past and present, the book’s soul is sustained by the resilience, ingenuity, and spirit exhibited by the authors; values which have historically characterized the Appalachian region and are continuing to define its culture to the present."

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