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Like so many other niche topics, there aren't that many books about lesbians; as always, recommendations are much appreciated. If a particular problem or disease isn't covered and you want it to be (mental illnesses will be in a separate list), please suggest it - it may be that we just couldn't find anything, or it may be that we didn't think to look for it.
Worth checking out: The "Music of the Soul" series by Erik Schubach is a series of lesbian romances, usually featuring one disabled protagonist and a musical theme. They're suitable for young adults and well reviewed.
In order below: Deaf/Hearing impaired; Blind/Vision impaired; Wheelchairs; Multiple Sclerosis; Cerebral Palsy; Epilsepy, and General Disability nonfiction.
Deafness/ Hearing Impairment
- All in the Family by Q. Kelly
A family drama/romance about two teens who are thrown together into a step-family. The story is all over the place, including a whole heap of issues including sexual abuse, family conflicts, the romance, and the deafness of one of the two girls.
- Bird-Eyes by Madelyn Arnold
A lesbian teen runaway is sent to a mental hospital in 1963 and becomes close friends with a deaf woman named Anna who teaches her sign language, and gives her the strength to defy the system.
- Music of the Soul by Erik Schubach
Mandy's a hard partying, successful rock and roll singer, who returns to her home town trying to escape from her life. There, she meets deaf Annabella, and discovers love. Romance/Young Adult.
- Watch Me..Moan..... by Amini Sanaa
An anthology of twenty two stories of explicit erotica involving deaf lesbians, written by a deaf lesbian.
- Mean Little deaf Queer by Terry Galloway
A memoir about growing up hard of hearing and gay. A funny, bitter sort of story about a woman who started losing her vision and hearing at nine years old.
- Eyes Of Desire: A Deaf Gay & Lesbian Reader edited by Raymond Luczak (1993)
- Eyes of Desire 2: A Deaf GLBT Reader edited by Raymond Luczak (2007)
Two anthologies of essays, interviews, poems and so on from a wide variety of gay, lesbian, intersexed, bisexual, transgender people from around the world. The second anthology has a lot more diversity but the first one was groundbreaking and is still worth reading.
Blindness and Vision ImpairmentFiction
- Blind Curves by Diane Anderson-Minshall & Jacob Anderson-Minshall
A murder mystery series featuring the Blind Eye Detective Agency; lesbian Yoshi Yakamota of the failing eyesight, and her paraplegic fellow detective, Bud.
- Blind Leading the Blind by Susan Landis-Steward
Tall dark and butch detective Erik pairs up with a blind, blonde therapist in a quest to find Erik's missing cousin. Predictable but enjoyable mystery-romance.
- Slain in the Spirit by Melanie Tem
A psychological horror about religious fanaticism and kidnapping. Leila is a lesbian with keratasis who is kidnapped by a mentally ill man obsessed with 'curing' her of her sin. While the story may not be for everyone, and opinion of the quality varies widely, the author does a good job of presenting the story from the mostly-blind heroine's point of view. So to speak.
- Traveling Blind: Adventures in Vision with a Guide Dog by My Side by Susan Krieger
A memoir about a lesbian woman's travels across the American Southwest with her partner and guide dog, as she slowly loses her sight.
- A Different Kind of Love by Jessica Lovejoy
A short story about two girls, one in a wheelchair, who connect online, meet up and discover love. Romance/ erotica.
A thriller/mystery series following the cases of the intimidating, wheelchair bound detective Hanne Wilhelmsen.
This best selling series was originally published in Norway, by one of its most successful crime writers, and only recently translated for the English speaking market.
- Blind gudinne (1993); Blind Goddess (2012)
- Salige er de som tørster (1994); Blessed Are Those Who Thirst (2012)
- Demonens død (1995); Death of the Demon (n/a)
- Løvens gap (co-authored with Berit Reiss-Andersen) (1997); The Lion's Mouth (n/a)
- Død joker (1999); Dead Joker (n/a)
- Uten ekko (co-authored with Berit Reiss-Andersen) (2000); Without Echo (n/a)
- Sannheten bortenfor (2003); The Truth Beyond (n/a)
- 1222 (2007, 2011)
- A Leaf in a Whirlypool by Madison Sheaffer
A screenplay adaptation of a medical drama lesbian romance, this fun book follows the relationship of Becky, invited to live with her online girlfriend, and desperate to get her screenplays produced before Multiple Sclerosis disables her completely. So desperate that she's happy to keep a few secrets from her girlfriend... of course, it turns out that they've both got secrets.
The third book in the Aud Torvingsen trilogy, though it reads fine as a stand alone book, this romance-mystery story alternates between the tall blonde ex-police woman taking a self defence class for women and tracking down sabotage at a local film set. At the film set she falls for the cook/ ex-stunt woman, who is diagnosed with MS during the book.
The author also suffers from MS, but didn't intentionally write it into her character and decided not to continue with the series partly because she didn't wish to write about a relationship with someone with MS.
- Two Ends Of Sleep: A Novel by Lizard Jones
A humorous story of an activist lesbian diagnosed with MS, mixing dreamy surrealism with focused realism. Mixing sleep and waking life, and the importance of sleep to the character, this is a short but delightful story and brings in plenty of detail about living with it, from tiredness and money trouble to dream-sex. The author also has MS.
- Fitting In by Robin Roseau
A charming romance about a shy computer programmer with CP and the completely different (athletic, outgoing and competitive) woman she falls in love with.
- A Deafening Whisper by Erik Schubach
A romance between a girl with Tourette's who has been bullied all her life, and discovers college is more of the same. She is rescued by the rebellious Vee, and embarks on an emotional romance.
- Karaoke Queen by Erik Schubach
- Another romance in the "Music of the Soul" series, this story follows the rivalry, respect and then romance between two Karaoke singers. The protagonist, Skylar, has severe burns and emotional trauma.
- A Great Place for a Seizure by Terry Tracy
A fictional biography of a woman with epilepsy, strongly based on the author's life, this book tends to come up in searches but is not about a lesbian character. However, her best friend is lesbian and comes out about halfway through the book, and plays a role, along with her girlfriend, in the main character's life from then on. Despite obviously having a major role in Mischa's life, her few friends and family don't get much screen time, and that is mostly in the context of her epilepsy.
It's worth mentioning here because
- it insists on coming up in Amazon searches so is likely to confuse people, as it did me,
- it does give a very thorough insight into a woman living with epilepsy, and there aren't any 'real' books about lesbians with epilepsy out there.
- there are supporting lesbian characters that are treated as real, decent people (which is probably why the Amazon search function pulled it up).
For much of the book, Mischa is almost asexual or demisexual, though this may simply be the writing style that refuses to divulge any sexual feelings; we hear of romantic crushes and involvements, but not until she actually marries, do we actually realise she is attracted to men at all.
General Disability: Nonfiction
- Crip Theory: Cultural Signs of Queerness and Disability by Robert McRuer & Michael F. Bérubé
- Exile & Pride: Disability, Queerness and Liberation by Eli Clare
- Restricted Access: Lesbians on Disability edited by Victoria A. Brownworth & Susan Raffo
- The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability: For All of Us Who Live with Disabilities, Chronic Pain and Illness by Miriam Kaufman, Cory Silverberg & Fran Odette
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