Over the past couple of years, there has been something of a downturn in the number of new titles for the GLBT market from major Australian publishers.
Yet there has been a steady number of titles self-published or published by small presses over the past few months. C.C. Saint-Clair already has six books to her credit and now her seventh Morgan In The Mirror has just been published. This novel is something of a departure for Saint-Clair away from her usual lesbian themes to transgender issues. The characters Christen and Maddy featured in her earlier book Far From Maddy but in the new book, Christen is challenged by her attraction to Morgan, who is at the mid-point of a transition from female to male.
Homosapien Books in Canberra have published a number of gay and lesbian titles over the past few years and their latest is Narrelle M. Harris’s Fly By Night. This murder mystery set in Perth centres around a musician and his band-mate lover who try to make some extra money on the side by getting into some smuggling -“ only to then get caught up in a murder. Accompanying the main story is a novella called Sacrifice which features the same characters and revolves around an anti-gay killing in Melbourne’s botanical gardens.
From Perth comes Tweed Harris’s memoir D’Gay Mates, published by Access Press. It tells of Harris’s life in the theatre in both Perth and London, and also recounts his stint in uniform fulfilling his British National Service which involved being stationed in Nigeria. But the overriding subject of the book is Harris’s various loves and sexual encounters over the years and his search to form a permanent loving relationship. Very little material has ever been published which is set in Perth and so from a historical perspective the book is of considerable interest as well as being most engagingly written.
Billie & Kim is a novella from new Melbourne writer Wednesday who usually writes scripts and makes porn movies. Mr Jones, the organiser of the weekly Melbourne drag king night, narrates this story of a stone butch and a baby dyke. Kim is in her 30s and has decided to make the transition to become a man. Billie is new to the scene, but after a brief affair with the notorious Toni, realises her true feelings are actually for Kim. However, Kim’s new gender throws this fledgling dyke into a crisis -¦
Finally, just out from Queensland poet Alicia Bennett is The Tincture Of Salt, a new collection of poetry with an erotic edge. Unlike some small press offerings, the book is most attractively jacketed with an erotic/literary design. In her poems, Bennett primarily explores lesbian relationships and themes of solitude and isolation.