The Victorian government’s shutdown measures to contain the spread of Coronavirus has resulted in Hares and Hyenas, Melbourne’s iconic queer book shop and cafe, announcing on Tuesday that they will be closed to the public until further notice. That does not, however, mean that the city’s residents will be deprived of books to keep them company during the lockdown. The book shop is offering a ‘Books by Bike’ free home delivery service.

“New government regulations coming into force on Wednesday 25 March means that Hares and Hyenas will be closed to the public until further notice…During the closure we will be providing an expanded mail-order system and a free Book by Bikes home delivery service,” the book shop said in a statement to its patrons.

The book shop, which also hosts a cafe and performance venue, has said that it will operate as an online retail outlet through its website The bookshop is also taking requests for home delivery on email ([email protected]) and on phone on (03) 9495 6589. The reach of its home delivery service has been expanded with a promise of same day delivery in some areas.

Rowland Thomson and Crusader Hillis opened Hares and Hyenas in 1991. The bookshop moved to its location at 63, Johnston Street, Fitzroy in 2006, which also houses a cafe and a performance venue.

We took a look at the website and here are five titles that piqued our interest:

Girl, Women, Other

Winner of the 2019 Booker Prize, this novel written by Bernardine Evaristo delves into the lives of 12 characters, inlcuding a black lesbian playwright and a non-binary social media influencer.




Swimming In the Dark

Thomas Jedrowski’s debut novel is a coming of age love story set in 1980s Poland, then under Communist rule. Ludwik, a young closeted graduate meets Janusz, soon discovering they stand on opposite sides of Warsaw’s political spectrum.

19 Love Songs

The New York Times best-selling author David Leviathan’s new work is a collection of short stories and poems about teenage love and heartbreak.

Bent Street #3

This is the annual collection of “Australian LGBTIQA+ art, writing and ideas,” with everything queer in 2019 – “essays, fiction, poetry, artwork, reflections, letters, blog posts, interviews, performance writing and rants”.

My First Frida Kahlo – Little People, Big Dreams

A doll and book set is the perfect gift to introduce “little dreamers” to the life of Frida Kahlo. For the grown ups there is the illustrated hardcover Frida A to Z: The Life of an Icon From Activism to Zapotec.

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