The Oldest & Very Best LGBTQ & Feminist Bookstore in the Country
In the highly anticipated follow-up to his beloved debut, What Belongs to You, Garth Greenwell deepens his exploration of foreignness, obligation, and desire
Sofia, Bulgaria, a landlocked city in southern Europe, stirs with hope and impending upheaval. Soviet buildings crumble, wind scatters sand from the far south, and political protesters flood the streets with song.
In this atmosphere of disquiet, an American teacher navigates a life transformed by the discovery and loss of love. As he prepares to leave the place he’s come to call home, he grapples with the intimate encounters that have marked his years abroad, each bearing uncanny reminders of his past. A queer student’s confession recalls his own first love, a stranger’s seduction devolves into paternal sadism, and a romance with another foreigner opens, and heals, old wounds. Each echo reveals startling insights about what it means to seek connection: with those we love, with the places we inhabit, and with our own fugitive selves.
Cleanness revisits and expands the world of Garth Greenwell’s beloved debut, What Belongs to You, declared “an instant classic” by The New York Times Book Review. In exacting, elegant prose, he transcribes the strange dialects of desire, cementing his stature as one of our most vital living writers.
Happy Birthday Big Freedia!
Stop by the store on Tuesday, January 28th to help us celebrate Big Freedia’s birthday by taking 25% off your entire purchase!
Nitpicking: The Next Generation — LIVE PODCAST EVENT
Comics of Alison Bechdel: From the Outside in
Contributions by Michelle Ann Abate, Leah Anderst, Alissa S. Bourbonnais, Tyler Bradway, Natalja Chestopalova, Margaret Galvan, Judith Kegan Gardiner, Katie Hogan, Jonathan M. Hollister, Yetta Howard, Katherine Kelp-Stebbins, Don L. Latham, Vanessa Lauber, Katherine Parker-Hay, Anne N. Thalheimer, Janine Utell, and Susan R. Van Dyne.
Alison Bechdel is both a driver and beneficiary of the welcoming of comics into the mainstream. Indeed, the seemingly simple binary of outside/inside seems perpetually troubled throughout the career of this important comics artist, known for Fun Home, Are You My Mother?, and Dykes to Watch Out For. This volume extends the body of scholarship on her work from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives.
In a definitive collection of original essays, scholars cover the span of Bechdel’s career, placing her groundbreaking early work within the context of her more well-known recent projects. The contributors provide new insights on major themes in Bechdel’s work, such as gender performativity, masculinity, lesbian politics and representation, trauma, life writing, and queer theory.
Situating Bechdel among other comics artists, this book charts possible influences on her work, probes the experimental traits of her comics in their representations of kinship and trauma, combs archival materials to gain insight into Bechdel’s creative process, and analyzes her work in community building and space making through the comics form.
Ultimately, the volume shows that Bechdel’s work consists of performing a series of selves–serializing the self, as it were–each constructed and refracted across and within her chosen artistic modes and genres.
Book of the Week
Lover's Mercy - Zedde, Fiona
Mai Redstone prowls Atlanta as its hero, Mercy, trying to save people from themselves and each other. With her newly discovered, stronger powers, she acts as if she’s invincible. To those who know her though, she’s as delicate as a cobra lily.
Xóchitl is the complete opposite. Violence comes naturally to her. Hard-hearted and thick-skinned, the softest thing about her is her love for Mai. As part of an elite law-enforcement team in the secret Meta community, Xóchitl hunts and punishes anyone who dares to break their rules.
But when Mai is in danger from her own powerful family, Xóchitl’s soft underbelly is exposed. How can she protect Mai when she can’t even tell allies from enemies? For the first time in her life, Xóchitl feels as threatened as the vulnerable humans Mai protects.
Xóchitl is used to being the strongest one in the room, but when she suddenly isn’t, will she allow herself to surrender to her lover’s mercy?
A gripping, sexy, lesbian superhero novel that will leave your heart pounding at its powerful conclusion. This sequel to The Power of Mercy can also be read as a standalone story.
New Local Releases
Third Rainbow Girl: The Long Life of a Double Murder in Appalachia
A stunningly written investigation of the murder of two young women–showing how a violent crime casts a shadow over an entire community.
In the early evening of June 25, 1980 in Pocahontas County, West Virginia, two middle-class outsiders named Vicki Durian, 26, and Nancy Santomero, 19, were murdered in an isolated clearing. They were hitchhiking to a festival known as the Rainbow Gathering but never arrived; they traveled with a third woman however, who lived. For thirteen years, no one was prosecuted for the “Rainbow Murders,” though deep suspicion was cast on a succession of local residents in the community, depicted as poor, dangerous, and backward. In 1993, a local farmer was convicted, only to be released when a known serial killer and diagnosed schizophrenic named Joseph Paul Franklin claimed responsibility. With the passage of time, as the truth seemed to slip away, the investigation itself caused its own traumas–turning neighbor against neighbor and confirming a fear of the violence outsiders have done to this region for centuries.
Emma Copley Eisenberg spent years living in Pocahontas and re-investigating these brutal acts. Using the past and the present, she shows how this mysterious act of violence has loomed over all those affected for generations, shaping their fears, fates, and the stories they tell about themselves. In The Third Rainbow Girl, Eisenberg follows the threads of this crime through the complex history of Appalachia, forming a searing and wide-ranging portrait of America–its divisions of gender and class, and of its violence.
Our First Ever Writing Contest
Philly AIDS Thrift @ Giovanni’s Room is proud to present our first annual writing contest. You know us as the oldest LGBTQ+ and feminist bookstore in the country, and now you can be part of our fabulous history! We are publishing an anthology of writing, bringing the community together in one book.
The grand prize winner will receive a $100 gift certificate to Philly AIDS Thrift @ Giovanni’s Room. All winners will be collected in an anthology released just in time for Pride 2020! We will celebrate the release with a reading from the published works in June 2020.
The contest opens January 1, 2020 and closes at midnight (EST) March 20, 2020. Send us your best poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. We cannot wait to read your writing!