The Letter Q: Queer Writers' Notes to Their Younger Selves

Hardcover | May 1, 2012

EditorSarah Moon, James Lecesne

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Life-saving letters from a glittering wishlist of top authors

This book was conceived as part of the response to a spate of suicides among LGBT youth that revealed how vulnerable and isolated these teens often still are. The popularity of the "It Gets Better" YouTube campaign shows how badly needed are messages that tell LGBT teenagers that they will be OK if they just hang on.

The Letter Q takes this one step further by moving beyond the simple platitude of "it gets better" to tell a deeper and more personal story for each of its contributors. Each letter is like a tightly focused biography, where the writer reveals an aspect of his or her self that speaks to the heart of what's important to LGBT teens. With moving stories from contributors such as Brian Selznick, Michael Cunningham, Amy Bloom, David Levithan, and Rakesh Satyal, this is a book that should be available to every LGBT kid coming of age today and fans of this stellar list of authors.

Contributors include:Amy Bloom, Paul Rudnick, Rakesh Satyal, Michael Cunningham, Eileen Myles, David Levithan, Jasika Nicole, Doug Wright, Stacey D'Erasmo, Jennifer Camper, Erik Orrantia, Brian Selznick, Malinda Lo, Martin Moran, Armistead Maupin, Arthur Levine, Richard McCann, Jacqueline Woodson, Ali Liebegott, Linda Villarosa, J. D. McClatchy, Eric Orner, Lucy Jane Bledsoe, Tony Valenzuela, Gregory Maguire, Christopher Rice, Jewelle Gomez, Bill Clegg, Erika Moen, David Leavitt, Sarah Moon, LaShonda Katrice Barnett, Howard Cruse, Michael DiMotta, Terrence McNally, Brent Hartinger, Susan Stinson, Marc Wolf, Julie Anne Peters, Lucy Knisley, Nick Burd, James Lecesne, Paula Gilovich , Colman Domingo, Marion Dane Bauer, Lucy Thurber, Paige Braddock, Melanie Braverman, Michael Nava

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From the Publisher

Life-saving letters from a glittering wishlist of top authorsThis book was conceived as part of the response to a spate of suicides among LGBT youth that revealed how vulnerable and isolated these teens often still are. The popularity of the "It Gets Better" YouTube campaign shows how badly needed are messages that tell LGBT teenagers ...

Sarah Moon is a teacher, writer, and translator. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. James Lecesne is an actor, writer, and activist. His Academy Award-winning short film, Trevor, inspired the founding of The Trevor Project (www.thetrevorproject.org).

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 8.53 × 5.79 × 0.96 inPublished:May 1, 2012Publisher:SCHOLASTIC INCLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0545399327

ISBN - 13:9780545399326

Extra Content

Read from the Book

David Levithan"I have no idea if there's such a thing as retroactive gaydar, but I'm pretty sure now that Mr. Jones is not in fact gay. And you, indeed, are.I'm still not entirely sure whether I use the word irony correctly, but I believe there's something exquisitely ironic about making fun of your non-gay teacher for being gay, and then going home and listening to Barbra Streisand's Broadway Album over and over again." Sarah Moon"Just between you and me, we both know that the weirdest thing about coming out on your first day of high school in this tiny cow-town is that you haven't even kissed a girl, yet. All you're going on is that feeling in your stomach when you see those pictures of the Spice Girls. It feels a little strange to go around proclaiming that you're a lesbian when you're not even sure that, you know, you'll like it. That quiet fear that this isn't the right thing, that you're going through all of this trouble for nothing, that if you had Angelina Jolie right there in front of you, you wouldn't know what to do with her, it's very scary. I have good news for you: The trouble is worth it, and you'll learn what to do; and that will be fun."Michael Cunningham"As you're nearing thirty, you'll say, screw it, maybe I'll never be recognized, but I still want to write. It's the only thing I've ever wanted to do. So I'm going to start writing about the people who matter most to me, the people I know best. I'm going to stop trying to court the New Yorker with tales of adultery and divorce in Connecticut. I'm going to write about gay people. I can live with the idea that no one will ever publish me. When I'm the oldest living bartender, I'll try to keep those errant hairs plucked.And that's when your writing career will take off. Try to believe me."

Editorial Reviews

Praise for The Letter Q"[T]houghtful, humorous, and moving...Read together, the letters become a powerful refrain." -Publishers Weekly*"[A] lovely, often funny, and always heartfelt book...that may save lives." -Booklist, starred review"Offering encouragement, comfort, advice, valor, and love, they create a vivid rainbow of political perspectives, personal anecdotes, and wisdom." -Elle "[W]ith its repeated exhortations to relax more and worry less, this book might be a life-saver for some-and could function as an author list, as well, for teens wanting to read more about People Like Us." -Horn Book"The Letter Q is the most recent book addressing the issue and sheds the formalities of speaking to a broad audience you've never met. It is instead an anthology of letters from LGBT writers to their younger selves. The result is an intimate experience where the authors address specifics and call themselves out on their own faults." -The Advocate