Friday, October 27, 2023

Eight queer historical fiction books set around the world

Allison Epstein earned her MFA in fiction from Northwestern University and a BA in creative writing from the University of Michigan. A Michigan native, she now lives in Chicago, where she works as an editor. When not writing, she enjoys good theater, bad puns, and fancy jackets.

She is the author of historical novels including A Tip for the Hangman, the newly released Let the Dead Bury the Dead, and the forthcoming Our Rotten Hearts.

[My Book, The Movie: A Tip for the HangmanThe Page 69 Test: A Tip for the HangmanQ&A with Allison EpsteinMy Book, The Movie: Let the Dead Bury the DeadThe Page 69 Test: Let the Dead Bury the DeadWriters Read: Allison Epstein]

At ElectricLit Epstein tagged eight books that "aren’t just gripping historical page-turners, although they’re definitely that. They’re also reminders that every corner of history is queerer than we were taught." One title on the list:
Greece: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

No list of queer historical fiction would be complete without this one, the BookTok-famous granddaddy of them all. This lush, romantic retelling of Homer’s The Iliad traces the story of the famous warrior Achilles and his lover Patroclus, from their first meeting through the tragedy of the Trojan War.

Miller’s prose is ludicrously gorgeous, and it’s agonizing and beautiful to watch Achilles and Patroclus fall in love even while the end of their story is all too well known. Highly recommended for fans of lyricism, mythology, and ugly-crying.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Song of Achilles is among Phong Nguyen's seven titles that live halfway between history & myth, The Center for Fiction's 200 books that shaped two centuries of literature, Sara Stewart's six best books and Nicole Hill's fourteen characters who should have lived.

My Book, The Movie: The Song of Achilles.

--Marshal Zeringue