Groff, Delany, Arnett among ‘Lammy’ nominees for LGBTQ books

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This combination of photos shows the book cover image for “Matrix,” a novel by Lauren Groff, left, and Groff at the 69th National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner at Cipriani Wall Street in New York on Nov. 14, 2018. Groff’s novel is among the finalists for best lesbian fiction for the Lambda awards. (Riverhead via AP, left, and AP Photo)

NEW YORK | Fiction by Lauren Groff and Kristen Arnett, erotica by Samuel R. Delany and nonfiction by Daisy Hernández are among this year’s nominees for Lambda awards, given for the year’s best LGBTQ books.

Groff’s “Matrix,” a finalist for the National Book Awards, and Arnett’s “With Teeth” are nominees for best lesbian fiction, along with Verita Blackburn’s “How to Wrestle a Girl,” Mia McKenzie’s “Skye Falling” and Kirstin Valdez Quade’s “The Five Wounds.”

Hernández’s “The Kissing Bug,” her investigation into a mysterious disease that recently won the PEN/Jean Stein award for the best book of 2021, is a finalist in the bisexual nonfiction category, which also includes Aisha Sabatini Sloan’s “Borealis,” Hasanthika Sirisena’s “Dark Tourist,” Jen Winston’s “Greedy” and Courtney Cook’s “The Way She Feels: My Life on the Borderline in Pictures and Pieces.”

“The Lammys,” as they are commonly known, were established in 1989 and are presented by the Lambda Literary organization. Finalists in 24 categories, ranging from lesbian romance to transgender poetry, were announced Tuesday, at a time when numerous states are seeking to ban or restrict LGBTQ books.

“The modern movement to ban access to LGBTQ books for young people is horrendous, but we hope the publishing industry continues backing these remarkable works in volume to meet that resistance,” the Lambda announcement reads in part.

Winners will be announced during a virtual celebration June 11, hosted by the artist and drag queen Sasha Velour.

Delany, known for such classic science fiction novels as “Dhalgren,” is a finalist in LGBTQ erotica for his novel “Big Joe,” with other nominees including Levi Huxton’s “The Lodger, That Summer,” the comics anthologies “Ambrosia” and “Nectar” and MJ Lyons’ story collection “Queer Werewolves Destroy Capitalism.”

Alix Ohlin’s “We Want What We Want” and Melissa Broder’s “Milk Fed” are bisexual fiction nominees, along with SJ Sindu’s “Blue-Skinned Gods,” Tiphanie Yanique’s “Monster in the Middle” and Jen Silverman’s “We Play Ourselves.”

A complete list of finalists and more information about the ceremony can be found on https://www.lambdaliterary.org/awards/current-finalists/

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