BEST FICTION — NOVEL
Passing for Black and Dirty Girls on Top tied among readers for best novel of the year, and for good reason: Both offered an entertaining glimpse into the rocky romantic lives of queer women of color, and both were about more than just coming out or being gay.
In Linda Villarosa’s first novel, Passing for Black, the protagonist is engaged to a man but finds herself falling for a woman. But the book ends up being about more than just coming out, it also grapples with the concept of "passing" within both the queer and African-American communities, as AfterEllen.com reviewer Heather O’Neill described.
In Alisa Valdes Rodriguez’s Dirty Girls on Top, the sequel to The Dirty Girls Social Club which follows the lives of six successful Latina friends, openly gay journalist Elizabeth struggles with the slow realization that her partner does not want to co-parent their recently adopted son — an issue that is not often addressed in fiction or non-fiction, but likely resonates with many lesbian couples who have different parenting interests.
BEST FICTION — GRAPHIC NOVEL
This continuation of the beloved Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series in graphic novel form was the overwhelming fan favorite in this category — and not just because it contains prominent lesbian and bisexual characters. Although the art is a bit uneven at times, the story continues to be compelling, with twists and turns that leave you eagerly awaiting the next installment.
Buffy sleeping with Satsu, Willow sharing her Tina Fey-in-a-ski lodge fantasy, and Buffy and Willow’s amusing exchange about not being each other’s type are just icing on the cake.
This collection of photographs from famed queer photographer includes behind-the-scenes descriptions of well-known photographs, like Barack Obama on the campaign trail, or a pregnant, naked Demi Moore, as well as less-known photos like the last one Leibovitz took of her longtime partner Susan Sontag before she died.
Although she includes a short section of photography advice (how to use fans, etc.), most of the book is dedicated to telling the stories behind the photos, and it reveals almost as much about the photographer as it does her photos.