June's status as LGBTQ+ Pride Month grants us the coveted opportunity to celebrate queer literature of all kinds, but there’s also nothing wrong with focusing on books that share a particular tonal thread. After a slew of viral tweets in 2018 the month after Pride has jokingly been dubbed Wrath Month as a way to celebrate queer rage, something that is arguably the reason we have Pride Month at all in the first place. The entire thing may have started off as a joke, but there is a significant connection to queer history here and that makes the sentiment hit even harder.
In the name of this new—and honestly, very fun—tradition, here are some books that you should pick up for Wrath Month:
The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri
If we’re talking about rage, The Jasmine Throne is filled to the brim with it. Priya, Malini, and almost everyone else around them are hellbent on doing what they need to do to get what they want regardless of the consequences of their actions. Everyone matches the energy of the violence inflicted upon them, and it’s absolutely incredible.
Let The Record Show: A Political History of Act Up New York, 1987-1993 by Sara Schulman
It’s well known that ACT UP was instrumental in working to end the AIDS Crisis, and there would be no ACT UP without queer rage. The organization states itself that it was a group “united in anger” when it was established, and that anger led to incredible progress not only in the fight against AIDS as a disease but the people and corporations that neglected and profited off of the suffering of millions of people.
Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon
Among many things, rage is a tool for survival. Sorrowland follows Vern as she hides herself and her two children from the religious cult that raised her while undergoing a mycelial transformation out of her control. Solomon effortlessly weaves real world history into this book, and there’s no doubt that you’ll match Vern’s level of fury all throughout the book.
Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
While Sister Outsider should be read in its entirety, Audre Lorde’s speech ‘The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism’ is what I’m going to highlight here. Lorde speaks about and justifies directed rage as a response to racism, and while the speech isn’t specific to the experience of queer rage it still comes from a Black lesbian perspective and can easily apply.
Hell Followed With Us by Andrew Joseph White
After escaping the religious cult that raised him–and, you know, caused the destruction of humanity–Benji falls in with a group of queer teens who are just trying to survive in the destruction of what’s left on Earth. This would be all fine and good if Benji wasn’t also a bioweapon designed to take out what remains. Really, what better way to celebrate Wrath Month than found family and revenge?