100 Years Of Queer Literature | 100 LGBT+ Books Published In The Last 100 Years

Backlist Bananas is a series of posts dedicated to underrated classics and the backlist in general.

Happy Valentine’s Day! In the spirit of ‘we have always been here’, here’s a list of 100 queer/LGBT+ books published in the last 100 years. It includes common queer classics, as well as more underrated titles, and attempts to showcase an international collection of 100 years of LGBT+ literature.

So, if you’re a lonely gay on this day of romance, you can bury your nose in one of these queer classics. And if you have a special someone, you can forgo the capitalist traditions and instead both bury your noses in these queer classics! Isn’t love great? Let’s get right into it.


1920: El hombre que parecía un caballo (translated from Spanish: “The Man Who Looked Like A Horse”) by Rafael Arévalo Martínez

1921: Sodom and Gomorrah (translated from French) by Marcel Proust

1922: The Life to Come by E.M. Forster (short story)

1923: Flower Tales (translated from Japanese) by Nobuko Yoshiya

1924: Pasión y muerte del cura Deusto (translated from Spanish: “Passion and Death of Prist Deusto”) by Augusto d’Halmar

1925: The Counterfeiters (translated from French) by André Gide

1926: Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner

1927: Dusty Answer by Rosamond Lehmann

1928: The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall

1929: Burnt Offering (translated from French) by Jeanne Galzy


Djuna Barnes
Djuna Barnes

1930: Poems by W.H. Auden

1931: Strange Brother by Blair Niles

1932: The Pure and the Impure (translated from French) by Colette

1933: Torment by Richard Meeker

1934: Jeunes filles en serre chaude (translated from French: “Girls In A Hothouse”) by Jeanne Galzy

1935: Men and Women: The World Journey of a Sexologist (translated from German) by Magnus Hirschfeld

1936: Nightwood by Djuna Barnes

1937: Dečki: roman iz dijaškega internata (translated from Slovenian: “Boys: A Novel from a Boarding School”) by France Novšak

1938: Torchlight to Valhalla by Gale Wilhelm

1939: Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood


1940: The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

1941: Reflections in a Golden Eye by Carson McCullers

1942: Lihaaf (translated from Urdu: “The Quilt”) by Ismat Chughtai (short story)

1943: Our Lady of the Flowers (translated from French) by Jean Genet

1944: The Lost Weekend by Charles Jackson

1945: Querelle of Brest (translated from French) by Jean Genet

1946: Miracle of the Rose (translated from French) by Jean Genet

1947: The Strumpet Wind by Gordon Merrick

1948: The City and the Pillar by Gore Vidal

1949: Confessions of a Mask (translated from Japanese) by Yukio Mishima


1950: Women’s Barracks (translated from French) by Tereska Torrès

1951: Forbidden Colors (translated from Japanese) by Yukio Mishima

1952: The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith

1953: The Charioteer by Mary Renault

1954: Roberta Cowell’s Story by Roberta Cowell

1955: Howl by Allen Ginsberg (poem)

1956: Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin

1957: Chocolates for Breakfast by Pamela Moore

1958: A Room in Chelsea Square by Michael Nelson

1959: Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs


1960: Journey to a Woman by Ann Bannon

1961: The Gay Detective by Lou Rand

1962: Árbol de Diana (translated from Spanish: “Diana’s Tree”) by Alejandra Pizarnik

1963: City of Night by John Rechy

1964: Desert of the Heart by Jane Rule

1965: A Season in the Life of Emmanuel (translated from French) by Marie-Claire Blais

1966: Paradiso (translated from Spanish: “Paradise”) by Jose Lezama Lima

1967: Poems by Suniti Namjoshi

1968: Myra Breckinridge by Gore Vidal

1969: Fire From Heaven by Mary Renault


1970: Cruising by Gerald Walker

1971: Maurice by E.M. Forster

1972: Cobra (translated from Spanish) by Severo Sarduy

1973: Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown

1974: The Front Runner by Patricia Nell Warren

1975: Ernesto (translated from Italian) by Umberto Saba

1976: Kiss of the Spider Woman (translated from Spanish) by Manuel Puig

1977: The Faggots & Their Friends Between Revolutions by Larry Mitchell

1978: Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin

1979: Only As Far As Brooklyn by Maurice Kenny


1980: Duffy by Julian Barnes

1981: The Celluloid Closet by Vito Russo

1982: The Color Purple by Alice Walker

1983: Crystal Boys (translated from Chinese) by Pai Hsien-yung

1984: Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde

1985: Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

1986: Sphinx (translated from French) by Anne Garréta

1987: Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza by Gloria E. Anzaldúa

1988: Kitchen (translated from Japanese) by Banana Yoshimoto

1989: Sweet Days of Discipline (translated from Italian) by Fleur Jaeggy


1990: To The Friend Who Didn’t Save My Life (translated from French) by Hervé Guibert

1991: The Gilda Stories by Jewelle Gomez

1992: Peculiar Chris by Johann S. Lee

1993: Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg

1994: Notes of a Crocodile (translated from Chinese) by Qiu Miaojin

1995: Holding the Man by Timothy Conigrave

1996: Luck in the Shadows by Lynn Flewelling

1997: Love Like Gumbo by Nancy Rawles

1998: Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters

1999: Sor Juana’s Second Dream by Alicia Gaspar de Alba


2000: My Fellow Skin (translated from Dutch) by Erwin Mortier

2001: At Swim, Two Boys by Jamie O’Neill

2002: Letters to Montgomery Clift by Noel Alumit

2003: Girl from Mars (translated from German) by Tamara Bach

2004: The Salt Roads by Nalo Hopkinson

2005: And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson

2006: Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

2007: Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman

2008: Jambula Tree by Monica Arac de Nyeko

2009: The Others (translated from Arabic) by Seba al-Herz


2010: The Two Krishnas by Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla

2011: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

2012: Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

2013: Ministry of Moral Panic by Amanda Lee Koe

2014: A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James

2015: The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson

2016: The Devourers by Indra Das

2017: Don’t Call Us Dead by Danez Smith

2018: La Bastarda (translated from Spanish) by Trifonia Melibea Obono

2019: The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Bonus: 2020

Some new/upcoming queer releases include:

  • A Beautiful Crime by Christopher Bollen
  • The Unspoken Name by A. K. Larkwood
  • This Town Sleeps by Dennis E. Staples
  • Kept Animals by Kate Milliken
  • Swimming in the Dark by Tomasz Jedrowski
  • Ghost Wood Song by Erica Waters

For more information about all of those, check out my list of book releases to watch out for in 2020. I also have a Goodreads shelf with books released this year, of which a good majority are queer. You can find that here.

If you have suggestions for books in languages that are not featured above, please let me know in the comments below, or get in touch on Instagram or Goodreads, so that I can diversify this list more. General recommendations for queer/LGBT+ classics are also welcome!

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