Winterson, Jeannette.Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit. Grove Press, 1997.
Jeanette is a bright and rebellious orphan who is adopted into an evangelical household in the dour, industrial North of England and finds herself embroidering grim religious mottoes and shaking her little tambourine for Jesus. But as this budding missionary comes of age, and comes to terms with her unorthodox sexuality, the peculiar balance of her God-fearing household dissolves. Jeanette’s insistence on listening to truths of her own heart and mind—and on reporting them with wit and passion—makes for an unforgettable chronicle of an eccentric, moving passage into adulthood.
O’Connor, Flannery. “A Temple of the Holy Ghost.” 1955. InThe Complete Stories. FSG Classics, 1971.
Published posthumously in 1971, The Complete Stories combines into one accessible volume the collected short stories of Southern Gothic luminary Flannery O’Connor. With wit and shrewd observation, O’Connor brings to life a mid-century South rife with contradiction and simmering conflict, populated by misfits and outcasts. Famous for her proclamation that "anything that comes out of the South is going to be called grotesque by the northern reader, unless it is grotesque, in which case it is going to be called realistic," O’Connor spurns sentimentality in favor of truth, revealing a South that is layered, beautiful, and utterly unique.
Randolph, Vance.Ozark Magic and Folklore. 1947. Dover Publications, 1964.
People are normally reticent about their deepest beliefs, especially with outsiders. The author, however, has lived in the Ozarks since 1920 and has long since been a student of Ozark life—and a writer of a number of books and articles on various aspects of the subject. Through casual conversations rather than by direct questioning, he has been able gradually to compile a singularly authentic record of Ozark superstition. His book contains a vast amount of folkloristic material, including legends, beliefs, ritual verses and sayings and odd practices of the hillpeople, plus a wealth of general cultural data.
Proulx, Annie.Brokeback Mountain.Simon & Schuster, 2005.
Ennis del Mar and Jack Twist, two ranch hands, come together working as sheepherder and camp tender one summer on a range above the tree line. At first, sharing an isolated tent, the attraction is casual, inevitable, but something deeper catches them that summer. Both men work hard, marry, and have kids because that’s what cowboys do. But over the course of many years and frequent separations this relationship becomes the most important thing in their lives, and they do anything they can to preserve it.
Rodi, Robert.Drag Queen. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013.
Mitchell Sayer, a buttoned-down gay attorney at a prestigious Chicago law firm, discovers he has a long-lost twin. But his well-ordered life comes apart at the seams when the separated siblings finally meet, and Mitchell discovers his brother Donald is better known as Kitten Kaboodle, star of the city's most infamous drag revue. Plunged into a chaotic world where he's forced to confront his own fluid masculinity, Mitchell learns that appearances aren't just deceiving - they're even more disturbingly revealing. Building to a riotous climax in which identities blur and destinies go bust, all to the accompaniment of a cabaret pianist, Drag Queen is a rip-snorting romp through wigs and wardrobes, wit and wantonness.
Aciman, André.Call Me by Your Name. Picador, 2008.
Andre Aciman's Call Me by Your Name is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera. Each is unprepared for the consequences of their attraction, when, during the restless summer weeks, unrelenting currents of obsession, fascination, and desire intensify their passion and test the charged ground between them. Recklessly, the two are catapulted toward the one thing both fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy. It is an instant classic and one of the great love stories of our time.