As the world begins a new chapter of self-isolation, we asked our community of LGBTQ+ travellers what gay and/or travel lit they recommend curling up to.
Written by Andrew Sean Greer
Recommended by Steven Charlton
Struggling 49-year-old novelist, Arthur Less, begins an international adventure to avoid an awkward wedding and grapple with his “…sorrows.” This darkly comedic recommendation won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
Written by Bill Bryson
Recommended by Jules Villareal Van Opijnen
Travel writer Bill Bryson ventures Downunda to explore a country as dangerous as it is beautiful. Hilarious, insightful, and brimming with uproarious Aussies.
Written by Jonathan Kemp
Recommended by Bill Baker
This nuanced piece of queer lit explores the lives of three rent boys at three different points in history. Think The Hours, but with an LGBTQ+ twist.
Written by Ann Leckie
Recommended by Brian Yamanaka
Allow your imagination to enter deep space on this intergalactic recommendation by nine-time Out Adventurer Brian Yamanaka. The series follows Breq – an artificial intelligence that once linked thousands of soldiers – as she adapts to the new, singular human body she’s been assigned.
Written by Armistead Maupin
Recommended by Lino DiNallo
Tales of the City is a series of nine light and fluffy novels that capture a bygone era of San Francisco. Pre-AIDS, gay marriage and Pete Buttigieg.
Written by James Baldwin
Recommended by Vince Contrucci
This character-driven novel is heavily based in 1950s New York City and tackles many taboos of the time, including bisexuality and interracial relationships.
Written by Madeline Miller
Recommended by David Danish
An extraordinary (and gay) retelling of the Battle of Troy from the POV of Patroclus (an awkward and exiled young prince) and Achilles (the half-god warrior). The narrative is imaginative, while the love story is timeless.
Written by Kenny Porpora
Recommended by Rick Kong
This powerful memoir by one of Out Adventures’ very own travellers, Kenny Porpora, is darkly comedic yet entirely enlightening. The novel was recommended by Porpora’s fellow Kenya: Safaris & Savannahs traveller, Rick Kong (pictured on the right).
Recommended by Marco Zannier Virginillo
As a librarian, Marco was never going to recommend ONE piece of gay lit. Instead, he recommended an entire genre: queer young adult fiction! In no particular order, his list included They Both Die at the End (by Adam Silvera), The Gravity of Us (by Phil Stamper), Reverie (by Ryan La Sala), Every Day (by David Levithan), and, Ask the Passengers (by A. S. King).
Written by Jeff Greenwald
Recommended by Brian Farmer
In the words of Brian himself, it’s “…about the uprising and demonstrations in Nepal in the 1990s, giving you a great insight into the people and culture while describing the sights and experiences that entice you to come and visit. I loved it and hope others will too.”
Written by Mark Manson
Recommended by Anthony Nove
Mark Manson’s wildly popular anti-self-help-self-help book takes ‘positive thinking’ to the task. He argues the world is unfair, but it’s not always your fault. And admitting so is the first step to living a happier life.
Written by Rebecca Makkai
Recommended by Carl Hiehn
Decades before covid-19, AIDS ripped through urban queer communities across America. Meanwhile, the world largely turned its back on those affected. The Great Believers dives into the onset of this crisis, narrowing in on the tender story of a small group of friends living through it all.
Written by Daniel Smith
Recommended by Clarence Chant
From Three Mile Island to the Vatican archives, this guidebook takes you to destinations either so hard to reach or so secret that “they are near impossible to visit any other way.”
Written by Ian Fleming
Recommended by Peter Graham
From the author of the James Bond canon comes this observational travelogue featuring 14 cities across Asia, Europe and North America. Just like 007 himself, Fleming was a world traveller. Both his war experiences and career in journalism took him around the globe and inevitably influenced his famous series.
Written by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras and Ella Morton
Recommended by Robert Sharp
Our final recommendation comes from Out Adventures’ fearless leader, Mr. Robert Sharp. In his own words, “When we are ready to travel again, it will be so important to support not only the go-to tourist destinations but the hidden gems as well.”
Header photo by Chris Benson on Unsplash.com.
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