Five Great Books By Local Vancouver LGBTQ Authors

Why not make your next LGBTQ read local? These five books are all awesome, and by writers who call (or called) Vancouver home.

Curated by our Community Partner, Out On The Shelves, this article is one-of-three reading lists created for you! These books and many more can all be found at Out On The Shelves located at Room 2112-6133 University Blvd in the AMS Student Nest at UBC. While the library is located at UBC, you don’t need to be a student to borrow books so drop by and get reading!


How Poetry Saved My Life

By Amber Dawn
This genre-defying messy memoir which is comprised of personal essays, poems, and … erotica is simply amazing. Speaking to both her queer identity and her experience as a sex worker, Amber Dawn’s writing is alternately heart-breaking and hilarious. She writes with humor: “It Happened suddenly. It happened without warning. One day I woke up, and I was an old ho.” But she also writes: “Why are you sitting with your back to the only exit?/This what – poem?/ is dangerous.”


Love Will Burst into a Thousand Shapes

By Jane Eaton Hamilton

Hamilton’s collection of poetry is perfect for a melancholic night of contemplating new love, heartbreak, sex, loss, art, motherhood, among other topics. The titular poem of the collection, “Love Will Burst Into A Thousand Shapes: Frida Kahlo,” is a quotation taken from a letter to Diego Rivera from Kahlo. A nod to Kahlo’s art is an apt description of this book in general as it addresses devastation and beauty, sometimes simultaneously.



By Leigh Matthews

While this book was written in Vancouver, it’s not even set on this planet. Colony is a science fiction novel that takes place on Mars. The year is 2036 and “Project Arche” – to create a self-sustaining settlement on Mars – is underway. Silver Antara is a flight engineer on the planet who begins to wonder if the strange behavior around her is somehow an effect of trying to colonize a place that doesn’t want humans there…


God in Pink

By Hasan Namir

This Lambda-Award-winning debut novel is about being queer and Muslim in war-torn Iraq in 2003. Ramy is the young main character who is searching for his place in his sexuality, culture, and religion. A mentor relationship with a sheikh named Ammar helps both men grow. Alternating between pure moments of beauty and horrific instances of violence, Namir viscerally evokes Ramy’s experiences.


The Clothesline Swing

By Ahmad Danny Ramadan

A story set alternately in a future Vancouver and a past Syria, Ramadan’s first novel in English is inspired by the Arabian Tales of One Thousand and One Nights. Two elderly men, one of whom is dying and one of whom is a Hakawati/storyteller, share a home in Vancouver along with the mythical figure of death. The Hakawati works to keep his partner alive by telling stories each night.


All of these local queer books and many more can be found at Vancouver’s only LGBTQ2IA+ library, Out On The Shelves