During this time of COVID-19, when many of us are forced to stay in our homes, we search for books that would entertain and inspire us.
(“The Decameron” by Giovanni Boccaccio, written during the Bubonic Plague of 1348, is making a comeback.)
As a lifelong lover, collector and reviewer of gay books I often buy from online dealers like Bolerium Books (bolerium.com), arguably the best of its kind. In one of their recent emails I was thrilled to learn that Canadian author Ian Young, still active at 76, has published a “Supplement” to his classic work “The Male Homosexual in Literature: A Bibliography” (second edition, 1982).
After I ordered a copy from Bolerium I learned that both Young’s “Bibliography” and his newly-written “Supplement” were being published by ReQueered Tales (requeeredtales.com), a new company whose goal is “to seek out, obtain rights and republish LGBTQ fiction which has been out of print,” Young’s classic reference work being a non-fiction exception to this rule.
The ReQueered Tales Team consists of Justene Adamec, Alexander Inglis and Matt Lubbers-Moore. In the ReQueered Tales Blog (requeeredtales.com/blog) Inglis wrote about their efforts to resurrect lost queer literary works, especially mysteries: “Forty years of gay fiction … has been teetering on the brink of obscurity.” The mission of ReQueered Tales is “to bring back to circulation this treasure trove of fantastic fiction which, for one reason or another, has fallen by the wayside. … We are honored, here at ReQueered Tales, to be custodians shepherding back into circulation some of the best gay and lesbian fiction writing. We hope to bring many volumes to the public, in modestly priced, accessible editions, worldwide, over the coming months and years.”
On May 15, 2019, ReQueered Tales released its first book, “Steam” by the late Jay B. Laws, a gay horror novel set at the height of the AIDS crisis (1990). Since then ReQueered Tales has published classic mysteries and thrillers by the likes of Jack Dickson, Grant Michaels and Lev Raphael. It also resurrected literary classics like “The Genius of Desire” by Brian Bouldrey, “The Family of Max Desir” by Robert Ferro and the epic “Like People in History” by Felice Picano. Though most of their publications thus far have been written by “old white men” (dead or alive) RQT promises to seek and publish books by and about women and LGBT People of Color.
ReQueered Tales also released three important bibliographies. Two of them, by Ian Young, I already mentioned. The third one, a completely new effort, is “Murder and Mayhem: An Annotated Bibliography of Gay and Queer Males in Mystery, 1909-2018” by RQT’s own Matt Lubbers-Moore.
In this resource Lubbers-Moore “examines every mystery novel to include a gay or queer male in the English language starting with Conan Doyle’s short story ‘The Man with the Watches’ … ‘Murder and Mayhem’ will prove invaluable for mystery collectors, researchers, libraries, general readers, aficionados, bookstores, and devotees of LGBTQ studies.”
Most ReQueered Tales are available in print or ebook format and may be purchased through Amazon, Bolerium and other online outlets. In times like these, nothing helps us forget the problems of the world like a good mystery, especially one that’s LGBT to boot.
Visit ReQueeredtales.com to see what’s available, and enjoy this abundance of gay literary riches.
Jesse Monteagudo is a freelance writer and journalist. He has been an active member of South Florida's LGBT community for more than four decades and has served in various community organizations.