Arts & Entertainment
2 min

Toronto writers up for Lambda Literary awards

US awards honour best LGBT writers

Dunnion's short story collection, The Dirt Chronicles, is nominated in the lesbian general fiction category.
Toronto book lovers can celebrate this year’s local Lambda Literary Award nominees with a queer night of tequila, hors d’oeuvres and a few good stories.
 
Farzana Doctor, Kristyn Dunnion, JM Frey and Karleen Pendleton Jiménez will be reading from their Lambda Literary Award-nominated works at Slack’s on May 15.
 
“The Lammys are like the Oscars of queer lit. Everyone says it’s an honour just to be nominated and it sounds so trite. But it’s true; it’s utterly and fantastically true,” says Frey, whose book Triptych, published by Dragon Moon Press, is nominated in both the LGBT science fiction/fantasy/horror and bisexual fiction categories. “To see my name beside those other names is stunning. I am, in the most dictionary definition of the word, stunned. I mean, these other people, they’re so hard-working and they’re so smart and so talented.
 
Dunnion’s short story collection, The Dirt Chronicles, published by Arsenal Pulp Press, charts a love affair between two lesbian punk rebels living on the fringe.

It is nominated in the lesbian general fiction category alongside Farzana Doctor’s novel, Six Metres of Pavement, published by Dundurn Press.
 
“I was shocked when I first learned my book made the short list. I knew The Dirt Chronicles had been submitted for consideration by Arsenal Pulp Press but realized it wouldn’t fit neatly into any of the regular categories,” says Dunnion. “Characters in this collection run the gamut: queer hustlers, vegan squatters, closeted office assistants, middle-aged burnouts. In fact, I affectionately nicknamed The Dirt Chronicles my boy book. It’s chock full of man, so to learn it was shortlisted for a general lesbian fiction award was a definite surprise.”
 
Celebrating 24 years, the Lambda Literary Awards take place June 4 in New York City. For Jiménez, whose memoir How to Get a Girl Pregnant, published by Tightrope Books, is nominated in the lesbian memoir/biography category, it’s a profound honour.
 
“I wrote my guts out on this book, trying to say as honestly as possible what I could see and learn about the world as a butch trying to get pregnant,” Jiménez says. “This recognition from the Lammys means to me that the broader queer community liked what they found and appreciated my effort.  And that feels great. 
 
“On a professional level, it means my book will show up in many more reviews, booklists and bookstores,” she says. “So I’m so pleased and honoured that the Lammys have made it possible for many more people to find my memoir, and perhaps feel a little less alone in their own struggles and adventures to create life.”
 
The Deets:
Lambda Award nominee reading
Tues, May 15 at 7pm
Slack’s Restaurant
562 Church St
slacks.ca