Posted on Leave a comment

Queer Book Recs for Speak Your Language Day!

A graphic (1 of 2) on a pale blue background. It's entitled "Our Favorite Non-English Queer Reads" and shows a stylized artwork of the globe with a swirl of rainbow colors over it, and shows three book titles. The books are: Where We Go From Here by Lucas Rocha; Guardian by priest; and The Center of the World by Andreas Steinhofel.
A graphic (2 of 2) on a pale blue background. The books are: Journey Home by May Barrows; Roze Brieven by Splinter Chabot; Modu by priest; Favorite by Mayara Barros; Amatka by Karin Tidbeck; Thieves by Lucie Bryson; Here the Whole Time by Vitor Martins; Love Me For Who I Am by Kata Konayama; This Is Our Place by Vitor Martins; Heaven Official's Blessing by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu; Golden Hue by May Barrows; and The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories edited by Regina Kanyu Wang and Yu Chen.

Once a year on Tumblr on May 7th, the account spyld organizes Speak Your Language Day, a day to encourage people on such an English-centric platform to speak their native languages instead. Duck Prints Press works with creators from over the world, many of whom speak languages other than English as their native tongues (French and German are most common among our folks, but they’re far from the only mother tongues) and so we wanted to join in the celebration for the day by highlighting some of our favorite queer works originally published in languages other than English. Six people contributed to this list (half themselves not native English speakers.). Original language blurbs used when possible!

Where We Go from Here (Você Tem a Vida Inteira) by Lucas Rocha. Original language: Brazilian Portuguese

As vidas de Ian, Victor e Henrique se encontram de uma forma inesperada.
Ian conhece Victor no dia em que recebe o resultado de seu teste rápido de HIV. Os dois são universitários. Victor está envolvido com Henrique. Ian está solteiro. Os três são gays.

Dois deles têm a vida atingida pela notícia de um diagnóstico positivo para o HIV. Um não tem o vírus. Um está indetectável. Dois estão apaixonados.
Henrique é mais velho e, depois de Victor, pensou que poderia acreditar de novo em alguém.

Victor têm medo do que o amor pode trazer para a sua vida.

Ian sequer sabe se será capaz de amar.

Os três são, ao mesmo tempo, heróis e vilões de uma história que não é sobre culpa, mas sim sobre amor, amigos e sobre como podemos formar nossas próprias famílias.


Guardian (镇魂/Zhen Hun) by priest. Original language: Chinese

Zhao Yunlan heads up a covert division of the Ministry of Public Security that deals with the strange and unusual, blurring the line between the mortal realm and the Netherworld. His cocky, casual attitude conceals both a sharp mind and an arsenal of mystical tools and arcane knowledge. 

While investigating a gruesome death at a local university, Zhao Yunlan crosses paths with the reserved Professor Shen Wei. Zhao Yunlan is immediately intrigued by Shen Wei’s good looks and intense gaze, and the attraction between them is immediate and powerful, even as Shen Wei tries to keep his distance. Shen Wei and his secrets are a puzzle Zhao Yunlan feels compelled to solve as mysterious circumstances throw them together, and their connection becomes impossible to deny.


The Center of the World (Die Mitte der Welt) by Andreas Steinhöfel. Original language: German

Was immer ein normales Leben auch sein mag – der 17-jährige Phil hat es nie kennengelernt. Denn so ungewöhnlich wie das alte Haus ist, in dem er lebt, so ungewöhnlich sind auch die Menschen, die dort ein- und ausgehen – seine chaotische Mutter Glass, seine verschlossene Zwillingsschwester Dianne und all die anderen. Und dann ist da noch Nicholas, der Unerreichbare, in den Phil sich unsterblich verliebt.


Journey Home (A Caminho de Casa) by May Barros. Original language: Brazilian Portuguese

Amara e Luiza are two witches that live in a queerplatonic relationship. When Luiza decides to embark on a journey throught the galaxy in a quest for the lost fortress of Laura, the Dragon Queen, she ends up finding more than expected, while Amara follows her footsteps, hoping it’s not too late.


Roze Brieven by Splinter Chabot. Original language: Dutch

Op zijn verjaardag op 3 maart 2020 debuteerde Splinter Chabot met CONFETTIREGEN. Het boek werd al snel omarmd door de boekhandel en media. En daar bleef het niet bij. Sinds de verschijning krijgt Splinter dagelijks reacties op zijn openhartige verhaal over zijn coming-out. Reacties van ouders, van jongeren die met dezelfde worsteling kampen, van ouderen die zichzelf herkennen in het verhaal, van mensen uit de LGBTQ+-gemeenschap, van docenten en nog vele anderen. Ontroerende, grappige, gekke, treurige en hoopvolle reacties die Splinter stuk voor stuk beantwoordt.

In Roze brieven zijn de meest bijzondere brieven verzameld door Splinter zelf met daarbij de reacties die hij heeft gestuurd. Voor alle lezers van CONFETTIREGEN en voor iedereen die worstelt met zijn of haar identiteit zal Roze brieven een waardevolle bron van herkenning zal zijn. Een intieme en ontroerende bundeling waarin een belangrijke boodschap weerklinkt: Het wordt beter.


Silent Reading (默读/Mo Du) by priest. Original language: Chinese

Childhood, upbringing, family background, social relations, traumatic experiences…We keep reviewing and seeking out the motives of criminals, exploring the subtlest emotions driving them. It’s not to put ourselves in their shoes and sympathize, or even forgive them; it’s not to find some reasons to exculpate their crimes; it’s not to kneel down before the so-called “complexity of human nature”; nor to introspect social conflicts, much less to alienate ourselves into monsters.We just want to have a fair trial – for ourselves and for those who still have hope for the world.


Favorite (Preferida) by May Barros. Original language: Brazilian Portuguese

(no blurb available)


Amatka by Karin Tidbeck. Original language: Swedish

Av ren slump har människor hamnat i en parallell värld. Det är en instabil plats, där orden hela tiden formar verkligheten. Den dagliga kampen för att överleva har skapat ett samhälle fyllt av regler, där kollektivet alltid går före individen. Vanja skickas till det avlägsna samhället Amatka. De människor hon möter där ruskar om i hennes sorg och ensamhet. Hon gör häpnadsväckande upptäckter, som förändrar inte bara henne, personligen. I en instabil värld kan en förändring spridas hur långt som helst.


Thieves (Voleuse) by Lucie Bryon. Original language: French

Arriver à l’heure en cours et étudier ? Très peu pour Ella. Ce qu’elle aime ? Regarder à la dérobée la douce et mystérieuse Madeleine et, bien sûr, faire la fête. Un peu trop, même.

Un matin, elle se réveille avec une gueule de bois carabinée : c’est le blackout. Et la panique. Chez qui a-t-elle passé la soirée ? Et pourquoi son lit est jonché d’objets luxueux qui ne lui appartiennent absolument pas ?


Here the Whole Time (Quinze Dias) by Vitor Martins. Original language: Brazilian Portuguese

Felipe está esperando esse momento desde que as aulas começaram: o início das férias de julho. Finalmente ele vai poder passar alguns dias longe da escola e dos colegas que o maltratam. Os planos envolvem se afundar nos episódios atrasados de suas séries favoritas, colocar a leitura em dia e aprender com tutoriais no YouTube coisas novas que ele nunca vai colocar em prática.

Mas as coisas fogem um pouquinho do controle quando a mãe de Felipe informa que concordou em hospedar Caio, o vizinho do 57, por longos quinze dias, enquanto os pais dele não voltam de uma viagem. Felipe entra em desespero porque a) Caio foi sua primeira paixãozinha na infância (e existe uma grande possibilidade dessa paixão não ter passado até hoje) e b) Felipe coleciona uma lista infinita de inseguranças e não tem a menor ideia de como interagir com o vizinho.


Love Me for Who I Am (不可解なぼくのすべてを/Fukakai na Boku no Subete o) by Kata Konayama. Original language: Japanese

男の子?女の子?『ぼく』らの青春にはナゾがいっぱい!

女子の制服を着て学校に通う高校生、もぐもはある日、カフェのアルバイトに誘われる。
可愛い制服を着て働ける仕事に、最初は喜ぶもぐもだったが、このカフェが『男の娘カフェ』であることを知って…。


This Is Our Place (Se a Casa 8 Falasse) by Vitor Martins. Original language: Brazilian Portuguese

O terceiro romance de Vitor Martins, autor de Quinze dias e Um milhão de finais felizes Ambientado e narrado pela mesma casa em três décadas diferentes, Se a casa 8 falasse é um romance sobre jovens lidando com mudanças drásticas, conflitos familiares e primeiros amores, que mostra que, apesar das gerações mudarem, algumas experiências são capazes de atravessar a barreira do tempo. Algumas casas guardam histórias especiais. A que fica no número 8 da rua Girassol tem muito para contar. 2000: Ana recebe a notícia de que vai se mudar e será obrigada a deixar para trás tudo o que conheceu até agora, inclusive a parte mais dolorida de todas: sua namorada. 2010: Enquanto os pais de Greg passam por um divórcio complicado, ele é enviado para a casa da tia, que é dona de uma locadora em tempos de internet e odeia companhia – e muitas outras coisas. 2020: Beto sempre quis se mudar e seguir o sonho de ser fotógrafo em São Paulo. Só que uma pandemia aparece para obrigá-lo a ficar trancado em casa com a mãe protetora e a irmã aparentemente perfeita. Esta é uma história sobre uma casa e seus moradores, incluindo um vira-lata de três patas chamado Keanu Reeves


Heaven Official’s Blessing (天官赐福/Tian Guan Ci Fu) by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu. Original language: Chinese

Born the crown prince of a prosperous kingdom, Xie Lian was renowned for his beauty, strength, and purity. His years of dedicated study and noble deeds allowed him to ascend to godhood. But those who rise may also fall, and fall he does–cast from the heavens and banished to the world below. 

Eight hundred years after his mortal life, Xie Lian has ascended to godhood for the third time, angering most of the gods in the process. To repay his debts, he is sent to the Mortal Realm to hunt down violent ghosts and troublemaking spirits who prey on the living. Along his travels, he meets the fascinating and brilliant San Lang, a young man with whom he feels an instant connection. Yet San Lang is clearly more than he appears… What mysteries lie behind that carefree smile?


Golden Hue (Aura Dourada) by May Barros. Original language: Brazilian Portuguese

(no blurb available)


The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories (no Chinese title) ed. by Regina Kanyu Wang & Yu Chen. Original language: Chinese

In The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories, you can dine at a restaurant at the end of the universe, cultivate to immortality in the high mountains, watch roses perform Shakespeare, or arrive at the island of the gods on the backs of giant fish to ensure that the world can bloom.

Written, edited, and translated by a female and nonbinary team, these stories have never before been published in English and represent both the richly complicated past and the vivid future of Chinese science fiction and fantasy.

Time travel to a winter’s day on the West Lake, explore the very boundaries of death itself, and meet old gods and new heroes in this stunning new collection.


There are so many wonderful queer books being published in languages other than English. What are some of your favorites, available in translation or not?

View this list, and other books we’ve previously recommend that were originally published in languages other than English, on this Goodreads shelf!

Leave a Reply