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[Have a book to add to this list? Let us know through the end of June.] 
On the Bookshelf: Biography of X by Catherine Lacey [Macmillan]
Recommended By: Melanie Elyse Brewster, Professor of Counseling Psychology

Melanie Brewster (left) recommends Biography of X by Catherine Lacey. (Photos: TC Archives and Macmillan)

Why: A literary darling among critics and readers alike, Biography of X “is a parafictional novel about a version of the U.S. that reacts differently to queer women than our current country,” explains Brewster, whose latest research includes insight on workplace experiences for transgender people. “It’s akin to Handmaid’s Tale, but 100% better.”

On the Bookshelf: One Teacher in Ten in the New Millennium by Kevin Jennings (M.A. ’94) [Penguin Random House] 
Recommended By: Thomas Rock, Associate Vice President & Chief Student Affairs Officer Division of Student Affairs

Tom Rock (left) recommends One Teacher in Ten in the New Millennium by Kevin Jennings. (Photos: TC Archives and Penguin Random House)

Why: A critical voice at the intersection of education and LGBTQ+ rights, Jennings has made “transformational” contributions to the field — such as establishing the first gay-straight alliance in his early years as a teacher and later the Gay-Lesbian-Straight Education Network (GLSEN). In his 2015 book that critics describe as both inspiring and illuminating, the TC Distinguished Alumni Award honoree explores the stories of queer teachers’ from across the world. “It’s an honest and direct look at how far we’ve come,” explains Rock, “yet how much further we need to go.” 

 Kevin Jennings (M.A. ’94) with One Teacher in Ten in the New Millennium, which he published in 2015. (Photo courtesy of Jennings) 

On the Bookshelf: Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex by Angela Chen [Beacon Press]
Recommended By: Brandon Velez, Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology

Brandon Velez (left) recommends Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex by Angela Chen. (Photos: TC Archives and Beacon Press) 

Why: For Velez, whose research interests include the experiences of people with multiple stigmatized identities, Ace offers an enlightening introduction to an often overlooked component of the LGBTQIA community through the experiences of its author, journalist Angela Chen. “This is a great text for not only learning more about asexuality,” explains Velez, “but also [for] prompting critical reflection on the nature of close relationships and the assumptions underlying marriage and family law.” 

On the Bookshelf: Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin [Harper Collins] 
Recommended By: Sandra Schmidt, Associate Professor of Social Studies Education

Sandra Schmidt (left) recommends Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin. (Photos: TC Archives and Harper Collins) 

Why: A contemporary classic for young people, Symptoms of Being Human is the coming-of-age story of an nonbinary teenager facing the joys and challenges of discovering oneself. For Schmidt, whose work often explores gender norms and inclusion, the novel is a regular on her course syllabi. “What I like about this book is that it allows readers to experience the world alongside a nonbinary young person,” she says. “While this is one person’s experience and gender is a diverse experience, I find that my students are assisted in destabilizing and unbinding gender binaries by stepping into the protagonist’s story.” 

Published Thursday, Jun 13, 2024

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