We’re an independent LGBT book publisher whose mission is to celebrate and challenge how we view our lives as LGBT people. Querelle’s namesake is Jean Genet’s bold and distinctive novel, and the press aspires to publish in the book’s outspoken spirit. Under the guidance of publisher and editor Don Weise, and in partnership with writer and philanthropist Chuck Forester, Querelle publishes two new titles per year.
Coming in June 2021, novelist Sebastian Stewart’s hilarious and moving memoir, What Wasn’t I Thinking? A Story of Rebellion, Madness, and Surviving My Family. It chronicles growing up in Manhattan in the 1950s, his “turn on and drop out” hippie life in San Francisco in the 1960s. Set against the backdrop of a repressed family navigating the world of mental illness and long-kept secrets. The book also looks at gay cruising and street hustling, theater, and romance, with appearances by Arthur Miller, Liza Minnelli, Clint Eastwood, Bette Midler, Mia Farrow, and more. Alysia Abbott, author of the acclaimed Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father, calls What Wasn’t I Thinking? “A sexy joy ride of a story.”
Also due out in June 2021 is Cary Alan Johnson’s bracing debut novel, Desire Lines, the story of young coke/crack addiction and the healing power of friendship. When a young black gay man is forced to confront the terrifying realities of HIV/AIDS in New York City during the 1980s, he tries to escape this new world by fleeing to Africa, where he joins the Peace Corps and learns what it means to be an African American in Africa. The novel also considers how life catches up with us sooner or later no matter how far we run or ty to hide. Cary is a founding member of Black Heart and Other Countries, two groundbreaking literary collectives that gave voice to countless black gay writers in the 1980s and ’90s.
Coming next year is a new memoir by Chuck Forester, Wausau, his recollections of growing up gay in the Midwest only to find his real home in San Francisco during the early 1970s. His story is told in a pastiche style that follows his journey from a repressed family to jumping headfirst into the open arms of the gay family he finds on the West Coast. There he discovers unconditional love, camaraderie, wild sex unlike anything he has ever heard about, and the freedom that comes with self-acceptance.
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Querelle/Independent is a full-service self-publishing division of Querelle Press. We offer authors the same professional, industry-standard services that we provide to those authors whose books we acquire and publish under the Querelle Press banner. Because Querelle Press publishes only two new books a year, we’ve had to turn away many talented authors whose work deserves to be read. However, with the advent of Querelle/Independent, we can help many more books come to life and enter the marketplace. Anyone looking for a trusted and respected publishing home is now welcome to work with us. For more information, click on the “Publish Your Book” on the menu bar above.
A Selection of Interviews and Personal Essays about Our Press, the Writers We’ve Worked With, and Authors Whose Work We Enjoy