15 great reads from gender diverse authors in 2020

Each year we compile a list of great reads by Australian women, originally inspired by the Australian Women Writers Challenge which begun in 2012 and continues to this day (find this year’s list here).

This year we have also created a list of great reads by gender diverse authors from all around the world, as well as list of 50 great reads by First Nations writers and Australian writers of colour. (Find the latter here.)

Here are 15 great reads by gender diverse authors from around the world published in 2020. The following books are displayed in no particular order and include fiction, biography, poetry, children’s novels, history and more.

Please note that as ever, this is not a complete list of every such read published this year.

1. Throat by Ellen van Neerven
This collection of poems from Mununjali Yugambeh writer Ellen van Neerven centres on language, colonialism and love.

2. Pet by Akwaeke Emezi
Jam lives in a world that was once filled with monsters, now banished. When a monster appears to Jam, no adult will believe her, so she must figure out what to do on her own.

3. The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi
Our second pick from powerhouse author Emezi, this novel follows the events that spiral out from the death of a young Nigerian man.

4. The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld
The winner of this year’s Man Booker International prize, this novel tells the story of a family torn apart by a tragic accident.

5. Rick by Alex Gino
In this new book from the author of George a young person searches for belonging in the world, making some big changes along the way.

6. Sissy by Jacob Tobia
This thoughtful and funny book about masulinity, femininity, and everything that lies between is an essential read and ‘coming-of-gender’ story.

7. Beyond the Gender Binary by Alok Vaid-Menon
Alok Vaid-Menon is an artist, an activist and a force to be reckoned with. In this pocket-sized book, they write about gender, expression and the power of viewing the world through a nonbinary lens.

8. Euphoria Kids by Alison Evans
Babs is made of fire, and Iris is of the earth, and they form a friendship based on the magic around them. This is an enchanting tale of adventure, fae folk and witches.

9. Something That May Shock and Discredit You by Daniel Mallory Ortberg
These essays by the hilarious and ever-astute Ortberg tackle themes ranging from literature & pop culture, religion & queerness, gender & transitioning, and beyond.

10. Wonderland by Juno Dawson
Bunny has gone missing, and her friend Alice must visit a hedonistic party, Wonderland, to try and find her in dark and captivating novel from YA superstar Juno Dawson.

11. Homie by Danez Smith
This moving collection of poetry elegantly explores themes of friendship, queerness, joy, xenophobia, and survival in the midst of great adversity.

12. Over the Top by Jonathan Van Ness
From their work on Queer Eye to their wholesome presence on social media and their activism, Jonathan Van Ness is a superstar with a heart of gold. This is their fabulous memoir.

13. Paul Takes the Form of A Mortal Girl by Andrea Lawlor
Set in the countercultural fringes of North America in the 1990s, this stunning novel is a captivating meditation on the fluidity of gender and sexuality.

14. On Connection by Kae Tempest
In this thought-provoking book, Kae Tempest writes about the ways in which creativity can help mend the broken connections in our modern lives.

15. Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee
Inspired by Korean mythology, this young adult novel is a sci-fi epic filled with pirates, adventure, sabotage, mysterious ghosts and shape-shifting magic.



Ellen van Neerven

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