Amelia Abraham’s top 5 books to read in Pride month

'Queer Intentions: A (Personal) Journey Through LGBTQ+ Culture' author Amelia Abraham runs down her top reads for celebrating Pride this June

Giovanni’s Room

by James Baldwin

A bold and beautiful expression of same-sex desire about an American man in Paris obsessed with an Italian bartender and grappling with his sexuality.

Walking Through Clear Water In a Pool Painted Black

by Cookie Mueller

Hilarious short stories by a personal hero; from starring in John Waters films to partying with Andy Warhol to accidentally burning her friend’s house down. Someone once said Cookie couldn’t leave the house to buy milk without something wild happening to her. This book proves that’s true.

The Waterfront Journals

by David Wojnarowicz

New Yorker Wojnarowicz was one of the most powerful literary voices to come out of the Eighties Aids crisis. Here are his poetic and head-spinning vignettes of life on the road, hustling and cruising across America. To really understand his power, watch him on YouTube. His voice is amazing.


The Big Issue has inspired the launch of 120 street papers globally, including sister titles in Australia, South Africa, Japan, Taiwan and Korea.

Trans: A Memoir

by Juliet Jacques

It’s great to see so many trans memoirs recently but this remains a pioneer. It intertwines a diary of surgery with an insightful look at the politics of being trans in Britain in the early 2010s.

This Brutal House

by Niven Govinden

A semi-fictional document of life in vogueing houses in New York. By focusing on the mothers of the houses – the black men and trans women who took in homeless LGBTQ+ children – it asks us to think about the many meanings of ‘family’ and the way queer people of colour are still treated in America today.


Queer Intentions: A (Personal) Journey Through LGBTQ+ culture by Amelia Abraham is out on May 30 (Picador, £14.99)