June 30, 2023
You’ve probably heard of the Oscar, the Tony, the Grammy, and the Emmy. But have you heard of the Lammy?
More formally known as the Lambda Literary Awards, the Lammys have been around for over 30 years championing LGBTQ+ books and authors. Lambda Literary believes “that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer literature is fundamental to the preservation of our culture, and that LGBTQ lives are affirmed when our stories are written, published, and read.”
Before the awards were announced, I had actually read two of the winners already: The Foghorn Echoes and I’m So (Not) Over You.
The Foghorn Echoes by Danny Ramadan – Winner: Gay Fiction
How far can you run from your past? The Foghorn Echoes follows two curious teenagers living in Syria, Hussam and Wassim. But after they are caught acting on their feelings, a tragedy occurs that reverberates through their lives. Ten years later, despite living across the world from one another they both struggle to come to grips with their shared past.
I have difficulty in articulating exactly what The Foghorn Echoes meant to me. Despite the story having very little in common with my life experience on the surface, I found that I had so much I could relate to in both Hussam and Wassim’s stories. This is a rich, detailed story that I felt so deeply moved by that I have been sharing about this book for months. The Foghorn Echoes is a difficult, and at times painful, read, but it is well worth the journey.
I’m So (Not) Over You by Kosoko Jackson – Winner: Gay Romance
Hudson, son of a wealthy family, contacts his ex out of the blue, not to apologize, but to ask him to pretend they are still dating when his family visits. Kian, an aspiring journalist, reluctantly agrees. Of course, Hudson’s parents insist that Kian join them at their estate for an upcoming wedding.
Combing the romance tropes of exes-to-lovers and fake-dating-to-real-dating, I’m So (Not) Over You is able to balance what I love about romance while not making it feel like a cookie-cutter romance. My biggest concern with exes-to-lovers stories is how they handle coming to terms with the initial break-up in order to move on. The characters handle their shared pain so well that my concerns were easily put to rest. Fans of contemporary romance will enjoy this one!
There are many other winners from this year that I already have on my to-read list. I have put a list together of all of the 2023 Lammy winners that we have in our collection. You can find the full list of winners and nominees on LambdaLiterary.org.
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