Many people disregard the allure of the classic writers, seeing them as old, established, and jaded. Yet, in their day, these writers were the revolutionaries, cutting edge writing with cutting edge messages, and I challenge anyone looking at them anew to place themselves in the mindset of the reader of the time - even swap mental genders if you like - and see them as they were intended.
Joanne Harris is perhaps best-known for her Whitbread-shortlisted novel Chocolat (which was made into an Oscar-nominated film starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp in 2000). While any author would envy the book's success, the title has overshadowed her other work - namely her forays into the fantasy genre.
How often do young lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or otherwise queer children or young adults see positive reflections of themselves and their lives in literature, in the media, on TV, or in films? When will they be featured in a documentary? When will they learn that they too are productive, welcomed, supported members of society who have bright futures ahead of them?
Briony Hatch is one such graphic novel, written and illustrated by two sisters Ginny and Penelope Skinner. One an artist and the other a play write, their story focuses on Briony, a 15 year old girl struggling with the internal turmoil of identity, as she breaks away from childhood during the splitting up of her family.
Like most authors' early novels, Ivy Pochoda has decided to set her story within the confines of a familiar town. Red Hook, a small docklands in Brooklyn, is the backdrop of Pochoda's tale of diverse characters and small town community life, which together get caught up in an intertwining murder mystery that reeks of omission.
Mott has written the novel in a way that you expect it to be an account from one of the more educated characters, whom often doubts their dates and so forth. This use of engagement with the reader, allows the mysterious narrator to guide you through the town and the story, with a somewhat effortless ease.