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Real Queer America: LGBT Stories from Red States
Allen, Samantha. Real Queer America: LGBT Stories from Red States. First Back Bay trade paperback edition. New York, NY: Back Bay Books, 2020. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"A transgender reporter's narrative tour through the surprisingly vibrant queer communities sprouting up in red states, offering a vision of a stronger, more humane America. Ten years ago, Samantha Allen was a suit-and-tie-wearing Mormon missionary who cited the Bible to denounce homosexuality. Now she's a senior Daily Beast reporter happily married to another woman. A lot in her life has changed, but what hasn't changed is her deep love of red state America, and of queer people who stay in so-called flyover country rather than moving to the liberal coasts. In Real Queer America, Allen takes us on a cross-country road trip stretching all the way from Provo, Utah, to the Rio Grande Valley to the Bible Belt and to the Deep South. Her motto for the trip: 'Something gay every day.' Making pit stops at drag shows, political rallies, and hubs of queer life across the heartland, she introduces us to extraordinary LGBT people working for change, including the first openly transgender mayor in Texas, a bisexual activist in Mississippi, the manager of the only queer bar in Bloomington, Indiana, and many more. Along the way, Allen weaves in her own moving story of discovering her identity, venturing out of the closet, meeting her wife, and creating a national network of chosen family. In writing this book, she takes her place among them, reclaiming 'real America' as beautifully, unequivocally, powerfully queer. While Allen faces the dark realities and challenges of queer life in the United States head-on her book is anything but despairing. Real Queer America is a story of hope, joy, friendship, and the exhilarating possibility of change for the better."--Jacket., Review: Capturing profound cultural shifts underway in unexpected places and revealing a national network of chosen family fighting for a better world, this is a treasure trove of uplifting stories and a much-needed source of hope and inspiration in these divided times."
Bastard Out of Carolina
Allison, Dorothy. Bastard Out of Carolina. New York: Plume, 1993. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
Bone, an illegitimate child in a family of social outcasts, sees her mother's happiness with her new husband and will not tell when the stepfather begins abusing her in the 1950s.
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After I Was Raped: The Untold Lives of Five Survivors
Bhattacheryya, Urmi. After I Was Raped: The Untold Lives of Five Survivors. Pan Macmillan Publishing India, 2021. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"What happens after rape?

In After I Was Raped, we meet five individuals: a four-year-old girl, two Dalit women, an eight-month-old infant and a young professional. Through extensive interviews with them and their families and communities at large, Urmi Bhattacheryya reveals the stories of these survivors of sexual violence, as they recount how their lives and relationships have changed in the aftermath of assault. Shamed, ostracized and weighed down by guilt and depression, they continue to brave the most challenging realities.

At a time when only high-profile, sensationalized cases of sexual violence provoke a public reaction and many stories go unheard, Bhattacheryya’s sensitive portrayal of the lives of these little-known survivors raises difficult but important questions about our convenient collective amnesia." - provided by publisher.

The Runaways
Bhutto, Fatima. The Runaways. London, New York: Verso, 2020. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

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"Anita lives in Karachi's biggest slum. Her mother is a maalish wali, paid to massage the tired bones of rich women. But Anita's life will change forever when she meets her elderly neighbour, a man whose shelves of books promise an escape to a different world. On the other side of Karachi lives Monty, whose father owns half the city and expects great things of him. But when a beautiful and rebellious girl joins his school, Monty will find his life going in a very different direction. Sunny's father left India and went to England to give his son the opportunities he never had. Yet Sunny doesn't fit in anywhere. It's only when his charismatic cousin comes back into his life that he realises his life could hold more possibilities than he ever imagined. These three lives will cross in the desert, a place where life and death walk hand in hand, and where their closely guarded secrets will force them to make a terrible choice" -- Publisher description.

The Yellow House
Broom, Sarah M. The Yellow House. First Grove Atlantic edition. New York: Grove Press, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"Sarah M. Broom's [memoir] The Yellow House tells a hundred years of her family and their relationship to home in a neglected area of one of America's most mythologized cities. This is the story of a mother's struggle against a house's entropy, and that of a prodigal daughter who left home only to reckon with the pull that home exerts, even after the Yellow House was wiped off the map after Hurricane Katrina."-- Provided by publisher.
Intersectionality and Higher Education: Identity and Inequality on College Campuses
Byrd, W. Carson, Rachelle J. Brunn-Bevel, and Sarah M. Ovink, ed. Intersectionality and Higher Education: Identity and Inequality on College Campuses. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

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"Though colleges and universities are arguably paying more attention to diversity and inclusion than ever before, to what extent do their efforts result in more socially just campuses? This book examines how race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, sexual orientation, age, disability, nationality, and other identities connect to produce intersected campus experiences"-- Provided by publisher.

Raising Bertie
Byrne, Margaret. Raising Bertie. Cinema Guild, 2016. Film @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"Recorded over six years, Raising Bertie delivers an authentic and tender portrait of the lives of three young boys as they face a precarious coming of age within Bertie County, a rural African-American community in North Carolina. The film shows the process of growing up in a place afflicted by generations of economic and educational segregation. Growing up in a neighborhood of Bertie David "Bud" Perry calls "the 'hood," Bud has developed a tough exterior, leading to repeated suspensions for fighting and altercations with authority that threaten to derail his dreams of stability and success as an adult. Reginald "Junior" Askew lives in a small home, wedged between fields of corn, with his sister, and their mother – left to care for her children when their father was incarcerated for murder when Junior was three. For Davonte "Dada" Harrell, the youngest of the three, family is everything and the recent separation of his parents weighs heavily on his heart. All three boys attend The Hive, an alternative school for at-risk boys. But, when budget shortfalls lead the Board of Education to close The Hive, Junior, Bud, and Dada must return to Bertie High School and a system that once failed them. This documentary weaves the young men's stories together as the boys navigate school, unemployment, violence, first love, fatherhood, and estrangement from family members and mentors, all while trying to define their identities. Intimate access allows an honest portrayal of the boys' perspectives and an in-depth look at issues facing rural America's youth and what happens in the everyday lives of young people caught in the complex interplay of generational poverty, economic isolation, and educational inequity."–Container.
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Little Reef and Other Stories
Carroll, Michael. Little Reef and Other Stories. Madison, WI: Terrace Books, 2014. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

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"From Key West to Maine, this collection of stories depicts the lives of characters who are no longer provincial but are not yet cosmopolitan. These women and their gay male friends are B-listers of a new, ironic, media-soaked culture. They live in a rich but increasingly divided America, a weirdly paradoxical country increasingly accepting of gay marriage but still marked by prejudice, religious strictures, and swaths of poverty and hopelessness. Carroll shows us people stunned by the shock of the now, who have forgotten their pasts and can't envision a future."

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United States of Grace: A Memoir of Homelessness, Addiction, Incarceration, and Hope
Duncan, Lenny. United States of Grace: A Memoir of Homelessness, Addiction, Incarceration, and Hope. Minneapolis, MN: Broadleaf Books, 2021. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"A deeply personal story about growing up Black and queer in the US. In his characteristically powerful voice, Duncan recounts hitchhiking across the country, spending time in solitary confinement, battling for sobriety, and discovering a deep faith, examining pressing issues like poverty, mass incarceration, white supremacy, and LGBTQ inclusion through an intimate portrayal of his life's struggles and joys. The result is a love story about America, revealing the joy and resilience and making the bold claim that God is present with us in the most difficult of circumstances, bringing life out of death. -- adapted from jacket
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Redlined: A Memoir of Race, Change, and Fractured Community in 1960s Chicago
Gartz, Linda. Redlined: A Memoir of Race, Change, and Fractured Community in 1960s Chicago. Berkeley, CA: She Writes Press, 2018. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"Set against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement, Redlined exposes the racist lending rules that refuse mortgages to anyone in areas with even one black resident. As blacks move deeper into Chicago's West Side during the 1960s, whites flee by the thousands. But Linda Gartz's parents, Fred and Lil choose to stay in their integrating neighborhood, overcoming previous prejudices as they meet and form friendships with their African American neighbors. The community sinks into increasing poverty and crime after two race riots destroy its once vibrant business district, but Fred and Lil continue to nurture their three apartment buildings and tenants for the next twenty years in a devastated landscape–even as their own relationship cracks and withers. After her parents' deaths, Gartz discovers long-hidden letters, diaries, documents, and photos stashed in the attic of her former home. Determined to learn what forces shattered her parents' marriage and undermined her community, she searches through the family archives and immerses herself in books on racial change in American neighborhoods. Told through the lens of Gartz's discoveries of the personal and political, Redlined delivers a riveting story of a community fractured by racial turmoil, an unraveling and conflicted marriage, a daughter's fight for sexual independence, and an up-close, intimate view of the racial and social upheavals of the 1960s."– Provided by publisher.
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Appalachian Reckoning: A Region Responds to Hillbilly Elegy
Harkins, Anthony, and Meredith McCarroll, ed. Appalachian Reckoning: A Region Responds to Hillbilly Elegy. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Press, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

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"With hundreds of thousands of copies sold, a Ron Howard movie in the works, and the rise of its author as a media personality, J. D. Vance's Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis has defined Appalachia for much of the nation. What about Hillbilly Elegy accounts for this explosion of interest during this period of political turmoil? Why have its ideas raised so much controversy? And how can debates about the book catalyze new, more inclusive political agendas for the region's future? Appalachian Reckoning is a retort, at turns rigorous, critical, angry, and hopeful, to the long shadow Hillbilly Elegy has cast over the region and its imagining. But it also moves beyond Hillbilly Elegy to allow Appalachians from varied backgrounds to tell their own diverse and complex stories through an imaginative blend of scholarship, prose, poetry, and photography. The essays and creative work collected in Appalachian Reckoning provide a deeply personal portrait of a place that is at once culturally rich and economically distressed, unique and typically American. Complicating simplistic visions that associate the region almost exclusively with death and decay, Appalachian Reckoning makes clear Appalachia's intellectual vitality, spiritual richness, and progressive possibilities."--Back cover.

The Rib King
Hubbard, Ladee. The Rib King. New York, NY: Amistad, 2021. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
 "For fifteen years August Sitwell has worked for the Barclays, a well-to-do white family who plucked him from an orphan asylum and gave him a job. The groundskeeper is part of the household's all-black staff, along with "Miss Mamie," the talented cook, pretty new maid Jennie Williams, and three young kitchen apprentices - the latest orphan boys Mr. Barclay has taken in to "civilize" - boys like August. But the Barclays' fortunes have fallen, and their money is almost gone. When a prospective business associate proposes selling Miss Mamie's delicious rib sauce to local markets under the brand name "The Rib King" - using a caricature of a wildly grinning August on the label - Mr. Barclay, desperate for cash, agrees. Yet neither Miss Mamie nor August will see a dime. Humiliated, August grows increasingly distraught, his anger building to a rage that explodes in shocking tragedy. "--Publisher.
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Negroland: A Memoir
Jefferson, Margo. Negroland: A Memoir. First Vintage Books edition. New York, NY: Vintage Books, 2016. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"Pulitzer Prize–winning cultural critic Margo Jefferson was born in 1947 into upper-crust black Chicago. Her father was head of pediatrics at Provident Hospital, while her mother was a socialite. In these pages, Jefferson takes us into this insular and discerning society: "I call it Negroland," she writes, "because I still find 'Negro' a word of wonders, glorious and terrible." Negroland's pedigree dates back generations, having originated with antebellum free blacks who made their fortunes among the plantations of the South. It evolved into a world of exclusive sororities, fraternities, networks, and clubs--a world in which skin color and hair texture were relentlessly evaluated alongside scholarly and professional achievements, where the Talented Tenth positioned themselves as a third race between whites and "the masses of Negros," and where the motto was "Achievement. Invulnerability. Comportment." At once incendiary and icy, mischievous and provocative, celebratory and elegiac, Negroland is a landmark work on privilege, discrimination, and the fallacy of post-racial America."
The Kindest Lie: A Novel
Johnson, Nancy. The Kindest Lie: A Novel. First edition. New York, NY: William Morrow, 2021. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"It's 2008, and the rise of Barack Obama ushers in a new kind of hope. In Chicago, Ruth Tuttle, an Ivy-League educated black engineer, is married to a kind and successful man. He's eager to start a family, but Ruth is uncertain. She has never gotten over the baby she gave birth to, and abandoned, when she was a teenager. She had promised her family she'd never look back, but Ruth knows that to move forward, she must make peace with the past. Returning home, Ruth discovers the Indiana factory town of her youth is plagued by unemployment, racism, and despair. Determined, Ruth begins digging into the past. As she uncovers burning secrets her family desperately wants to hide, she unexpectedly befriends Midnight, a young white boy who is also adrift and looking for connection. When a traumatic incident strains the town's already searing racial tensions, Ruth and Midnight find themselves on a collision course that could upend both their lives."--Publisher.
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When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir
Khan-Cullors, Patrisse, and Asha Bandele. When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2018. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"Raised by a single mother in an impoverished neighborhood in Los Angeles, Patrisse Khan-Cullors experienced firsthand the prejudice and persecution Black Americans endure at the hands of law enforcement. For Patrisse, the most vulnerable people in the country are Black people. Deliberately and ruthlessly targeted by a criminal justice system serving a white privilege agenda, Black people are subjected to unjustifiable racial profiling and police brutality. In 2013, when Trayvon Martin's killer went free, Patrisse's outrage led her to co-found Black Lives Matter with Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi. Condemned as terrorists and as a threat to America, these loving women founded a hashtag that birthed the movement to demand accountability from the authorities who continually turn a blind eye to the injustices inflicted upon people of Black and Brown skin. Championing human rights in the face of violent racism, Patrisse is a survivor. She transformed her personal pain into political power, giving voice to a people suffering inequality and a movement fueled by her strength and love, to tell the country -- and the world -- that Black Lives Matter."
The Cotillion, or, One Good Bull is Half the Herd
Killens, John Oliver. The Cotillion, or, One Good Bull is Half the Herd. The Coffee House Press black arts movement series. St. Paul, MN: Coffee House Press, 2002. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"Beautiful, high-stepping Yoruba of Harlem is invited to the annual cotillion thrown by African American high society of Queens. Caught between the indifference of her father, the excitement of her social-climbing mother, and her prodigal boyfriend's militancy, Yoruba persuades her sister debutantes to challenge the aging doyennes in one of the most sidesplitting scenes in American literature."
Katihar to Kennedy: The Road Less Travelled
Kumar, Sanjay. Katihar to Kennedy: The Road Less Travelled. New Delhi, India: Vani Book Company, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"'Katihar to Kennedy' is an extraordinary journey of a man from dusty alleys of Katihar to the gleaming pathways of Kennedy. It is an autobiographical account of a small-town boy who starts his journey from a tiny town of Bihar, in one of India’s economically backward districts and is able to reach the Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The journey also depicts the inner conflicts of a man and his continuous efforts to overcome all the difficulties in his path while fighting with his inner shortcomings. The book is about the lessons he learned – from failures as well as from moments of triumph. These are learned while engaging intimately with harsh socio-economic realities, and contrasts he experienced while moving between cities, institutions, and job roles. It is also a book of honest confrontation, of a person’s own ego and pride." - Amazon.com
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The Other Americans
Lalami, Laila. The Other Americans. New York: Pantheon Books, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"From the Pulitzer Prize finalist, author of The Moor's Account–a timely and powerful new novel about the suspicious death of a Moroccan immigrant that is at once a family saga, a murder mystery, and a love story, all of it informed by the treacherous fault lines of American culture. Nora Guerraoui, a jazz composer, returns home to a small town in the Mojave after hearing that her father, owner of a popular restaurant there, has been killed in a suspicious hit-and-run car accident. Told by multiple narrators–Nora herself, Jeremy (the Iraq war veteran with whom she develops an intimacy), widow Maryam, Efrain (an immigrant witness to the accident who refuses to get involved for fear of deportation), Coleman (the police investigator), and Driss (the dead man himself), The Other Americans deftly explores one family's secrets and hypocrisies even as it offers a portrait of Americans riven by race, class, and religion, living side by side, yet ignorant of the vicissitudes that each tribe, as it were, faces" – provided by publisher.
The Other Americans
Lalami, Laila. The Other Americans. New York: Pantheon Books, 2019. eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]Abstract
"From the Pulitzer Prize finalist, author of The Moor's Account–a timely and powerful new novel about the suspicious death of a Moroccan immigrant that is at once a family saga, a murder mystery, and a love story, all of it informed by the treacherous fault lines of American culture. Nora Guerraoui, a jazz composer, returns home to a small town in the Mojave after hearing that her father, owner of a popular restaurant there, has been killed in a suspicious hit-and-run car accident. Told by multiple narrators–Nora herself, Jeremy (the Iraq war veteran with whom she develops an intimacy), widow Maryam, Efrain (an immigrant witness to the accident who refuses to get involved for fear of deportation), Coleman (the police investigator), and Driss (the dead man himself), The Other Americans deftly explores one family's secrets and hypocrisies even as it offers a portrait of Americans riven by race, class, and religion, living side by side, yet ignorant of the vicissitudes that each tribe, as it were, faces" – provided by publisher.
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What We Are: A Novel
Malae, Peter Nathaniel. What We Are: A Novel. New York: Grove/Atlantic, 2011. eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]Abstract
"This novel of a young Samoan-American’s search for authenticity is “a rollercoaster ride inside the haunted house of American multi-cultural sin and shame” (Sherman Alexie). The twenty-eight-year-old mixed-race son of a Samoan immigrant, Paul Tusifale is desperate to find his place in an American culture that barely acknowledges his existence. Within the Silicon Valley landscape of grass-roots activists and dotcom headquarters, where the plight of migrant workers is ever-present, Paul drifts on and off the radar. An unemployed drifter who defiantly—even violently—defends those in need, Paul soon discovers that life as an urban Robin Hood will never provide the answers he seeks. So he decides to try the straight-and-narrow: getting a job, obeying the law, and reconnecting with his family. Along the way, Paul moves through the lives of sinister old friends, suburban cranksters, and septuagenarian swingers. A dynamic addition to America’s diverse literature of the outsider, What We Are brings to life the pull of a departed father’s homeland, the anger of class divisions, the noise of the evening news, and the pathos of the disengaged."

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