The L Word: Finding Myself in Lesbian Fiction #LGBTHistoryMonth. What are your LGBT recommended reads?

On Monday 25th February, York St John Information Learning Services will be launching their LGBT History Month display. I vividly remember, at the age of about 15, finding a book called What Comes Naturally in the Women’s section of the Salisbury Bookshop. By Norwegian writer Gerd Brantenberg, it was a hilarious description of a university student in the 1960s “finding herself” and coming out as a lesbian. As I tried to figure out my own identity at that period a number of films, books and plays helped me to see who I was. The characters were often far from me in time, place and other identities – nineteenth century Americans Patience and Sarah, the confused Cypress in Sassafrass, Cypress and Indigo (a novel about an African American family in mid-twentieth century South Carolina and New York) and of course, The Colour Purple, in which Celie falls in love with Shug. Films spoke to me too, such as Hanif Kureishi and Stephen Frear’s My Beautiful Laundrette in which the characters Johnny and Omar struggled with racism, class and Thatcherism, but had no qualms about embracing each other and their sexuality.  I also got to play the delightfully ambiguous Count Orsino in an all female production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night

So come on down to the library next Monday and have a look at Katherine Hughes’ display. Contact Katherine or Thomas Peach with your recommendations, and if you want to review your favourite LGBT texts for our Words Matter blog, contact Adam Smith or myself, Saffron Vickers Walkling. 

PS I’ll be introducing my latest favourite LGBT text God’s Own Country at 5.30 that same day in a free screening for staff and students . Book tickets here.

Comfort Reads: It’s a Kind of Funny Story

By Lucy Pettigrew

From 8-12 October (THIS WEEK!) York St John University is holding its inaugural ‘Comfort Reads Week’, hosted by ILE as part of Libraries Week. This week of events seeks to celebrate and explore the power of reading for wellbeing. To get in the mood, we asked our students to tell us about their favourite comfort reads. In this post, Lucy Pettigrew shares her love for Ned Vizzini’s It’s a Kind of Funny Story.

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Comfort Reads: The Opposite of Loneliness

By Ellie Anderson-Ingham

From 8-12 October (THIS WEEK!) York St John University is holding its inaugural ‘Comfort Reads Week’, hosted by ILE as part of Libraries Week. This week of events seeks to celebrate and explore the power of reading for wellbeing. To get in the mood, we asked our students to tell us about their favourite comfort reads. In this post, Ellie Anderson-Ingham shares her love of Marina Keegan’s The Opposite of Loneliness.

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Comfort Reads: Under The Greenwood Tree

By James Turner

From 8-12 October York St John University will be holding its inaugural ‘Comfort Reads Week’, hosted by ILE. This week of events seeks to celebrate and explore the power of reading for promoting and ensuring wellbeing. To get in the mood, we asked our students to tell us about their favourite comfort reads. In this post, James Turner shares his love of Under the Greenwood Tree by Thomas Hardy.

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Comfort Reads: Muriel Spark’s A Far Cry From Kensington

By Erin Byrne

From 8-12 October York St John University will be holding its inaugural ‘Comfort Reads Week’, hosted by ILE. This week of events seeks to celebrate and explore the power of reading for promoting and ensuring wellbeing. To get in the mood, we asked our students to tell us about their favourite comfort reads. In this post, Erin Byrne shares her love of A Far Cry from Kensington by Muriel Spark.

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Comfort Reads: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

By Charlotte Stevenson

From 8-12 October York St John University will be holding its inaugural ‘Comfort Reads Week’, hosted by ILE. This week of events seeks to celebrate and explore the power of reading for promoting and ensuring wellbeing. To get in the mood, we asked our students to tell us about their favourite comfort reads. In this post, Charlotte Stevenson shares her love of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.

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