1. A Brief History Of Seven Killings by Marlon James
Published in 2014, this novel was conferred with the Man Booker Prize in 2015, and chronicles the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in Jamaica in 1976. In interviews, James has revealed that he was never out in Jamaica as it took time for him to come to terms with his sexuality. He described himself as “very much in the closet and very much in the church, which is a very big closet in Jamaica.”
2. Guapa by Saleem Haddad
Haddad has expressed disappointment at the underrepresentation of the LGBTQIA community in popular writing. He had said, “As someone who is both queer and Arab, I never saw myself represented accurately in dominant narratives, both English and Arabic. Arabs are represented terribly in Western narratives, and queer people are similarly demonised in Arab narratives.” In his book, we are introduced to Rasa, a young gay translator living in a certain Middle Eastern country, who is caught with his lover by his grandmother. His best friend is then arrested, and what happens next forms the crux of the story.
3. Infidels by Abdellah Taïa
Often termed as the first openly gay novelist from Morocco, his books have made him a hero for many. In this one, the readers follow the journey of a 10-year-old boy, the son of a prostitute, and his life as a young gay Muslim.
4. Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai
Shyam Selvadurai was born in Sri Lanka, where homosexuality is illegal. This book is centred on Arjie, who is coming to terms with his sexuality in the midst of the Tamil-Sinhalese conflict.
5. Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta
Born in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, Okparanta’s book chronicles the life of a young girl named Ijeoma, who is sent away to work as a servant after her father’s death. As destiny has it, she falls in love with another girl named Amina. Where will life take her next? This one highlights the narrative of war and lives of LGBTQ Nigerians during the Nigerian civil war.