Stuff & Nonsense: Top 10 Tuesday: Classics I Want to Read

01 July 2014

Top 10 Tuesday: Classics I Want to Read

For this week's Top Ten Tuesday, I'm talking about the ten queer classics I most mean to read, plus a few "more mainstream" classics for diversity's sake. I read a lot of queer lit in college, but as I aged I seemed to grow away from it and, aside from big names like Alison Bechdel and Sarah Waters, don't read nearly as much.

I guess I could see that as a "good" thing -- I took what I needed from queer lit and moved on, as I have moved on with other genres (genre is not the right word and, hopefully, you know what I mean) -- but sometimes I think I simply allowed myself to be carried along by the tide of "mainstream" lit because it still feels easier for me, even in 2014, to talk or write about mainstream lit.

The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen
England between the world wars. A sixteen-year-old orphan moves to London to live with her half-brother and falls in love her sister-in-law's friend.

Desert of the Heart by Jane Rule
1960s Nevada. An English Professor arrives in Reno to establish a six-week residency necessary in order to obtain a divorce and falls in love with a change operator at a local casino.

Harriet by Elizabeth Jenkins
1870s England. "Simple" girl falls for a fortune hunter and becomes a victim of terrible cruelty and neglect. Fictionalized account of a real murder.

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
1930s England. Journal of teenager recounting her life as part of a genteel-but-impoverished English family living in a decaying castle. (Am I the only person who hasn't read this book?).

Our Lady of the Flowers by Jean Genet
1940s France. A prisoner recounts the story of Divine, a drag queen with an interesting assortment of friends, including a murderer. The author was in prison when he wrote the story so there is speculation he is the narrator.

Patience and Sarah by Alma Routsong
1800s New England. Two Connecticut women, one wealthy and the other decidedly not, fall in love, muck things up, and then set up house together in a "Boston marriage."

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
1890s England. Man sells his soul so that the beautiful portrait of him will age and fade while he does not. Man then mucks up relationship with the woman who loves him and enters a downward spiral of vice.

Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg
1960s-1980s New York. A Jewish girl with gender identity issues finds her home life more and more stifling, ultimately running away to Buffalo … and then on to New York. I've owned a copy of this novel for a few years now and I've really wanted to read it, but it strikes me as the kind of book I would need to block a weekend out to read and then recover from.

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith
1900s New York. Coming-of-age story of the daughter of poor immigrants. (Again, am I the only person who hasn't read this book? I've avoided reading it for fear it will be excessively sentimental).

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
1850s England. Murder, intrigue, madness, mistaken identity, white mice, and bonbons. Who could resist?

1 comment :

  1. I haven't read many classics either. I really want to read Brave New World and 1984.
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian


Share your thoughts! (Unless your thoughts are unkind ... then keep them to yourself).