The AfterEllen.com 2009 Visibility Awards

 
 

BEST FICTION — NOVEL

The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

The second book in the Millennium Trilogy was released in the U.S. and U.K. this year (it has previously been released in Sweden) and has remained at the top of the best-seller lists in large part because of its compelling and well-defined female protagonist, bisexual computer hacker Lisbeth Salander.

So far, two books in the Millennium trilogy have been published in the U.S. — The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played With Fire — with the third expected to arrive in the U.S. in May 2010.

Runner Up: Ash by Malinda Lo

BEST FICTION — GRAPHIC NOVEL

Detective Comics: Batwoman (Greg Rucka, J.H. Williams III and DC Comics)

StuntDouble tells us why we should all be fans:

Comics in general, and superhero comics specifically, have always been geared toward dudes. Even female comic book characters are drawn and written with a male audience in mind. So we were a little skeptical this year when DC unveiled its plan to have Batwoman take over the long-running Detective Comics title.

Batwoman has been out as a lesbian for a while, but her sexuality has always played like appeasement at best and titillation at worst. We expected the latter we heard about the relaunch — but boy, were we wrong.

Batwoman’s alter-ego, Kate Kane, is sexy for sure. She’s got 99 problems and a woman is more than one. But nothing about her sexual orientation is exploited. When Batwoman appeared in Detective Comics #854, we met Kate’s girlfriend, and discovered that the couple was suffering the exact same relationship turmoil as the Supermen and Spider-Men before them: Kate was out again all night. Who was she with? Was she cheating? Was she lying? Why all the secrets, and tardiness and running off in the middle of dates every time she hears an ambulance?

Just like her male contemporaries, Kate Kane is torn between her woman and her duty. And just like her male contemporaries, she takes out her frustration with some well-placed ass-kicking. Batwoman is here. She’s awesomely queer. We’re still not used to it.

BEST NON-FICTION

Susan Sontag: Reborn Journals and Notebooks

"Early diaries from her life before Annie Leibowitz, filled with coming out, girlfriends, trysts and the ideas that eventually made her famous." (Trish Bendix)

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