Bywater Books is pleased to announced that three of our titles have been named finalists for the Foreword 2017 INDIES Book of the Year Awards in the LGBT Fiction category.
A novelist clings to sanity by writing about her childhood, but the exercise adds more chaos than clarity to her life.
Faced with the sudden and unexpected death of her mother, disillusioned novelist Joanna Jacobs begins chronicling her willful childhood in 1960s Cleveland, Ohio. But the writing exercise that starts out as a means to reflect and refocus becomes a journal of Joanna’s rebellious existence. Jewish and gay, yet unwilling to expose herself to the accompanying scrutiny and rejection, Joanna spends much of her youth fostering chaos and embracing self-denial, even while celebrating an affirming commitment to the psychiatric ward.
After an inadvertent bomb threat to a conservative talk-show host brings the FBI knocking on her door, Joanna finds herself navigating an unexpected immigrant invasion, a crew of juvenile delinquents in her living room, and a never ending low-pressure system. When the going finally gets too tough to wrangle alone, Joanna turns to her lifelong friends for emotional support—but this comfort is tempered by a confusing cocktail of lingering hurts, unresolved anger, and resurgent disappointment, making it even more difficult for Joanna to put her life to paper.
A girl from a Carolina mill family isn’t supposed to strive for a career.
Ada Shook graduates from college on a scholarship and lands a plum job as a school librarian. As the 1950s South rocks with turbulence, Ada finds herself caught in the ugly fight to integrate the Charlotte, NC public schools. At the same time, she makes friends with Cam Lively, a teacher who challenges her to reexamine her narrow upbringing. The two young women fall in love and throw in their lot together, despite their underlying fear of being found out and fired.
Over seven decades, Ada is witness to the racism laced through her Southern city, the paradox of religion as both comfort and torment, and the survival networks created by gay people. Eleven interconnected stories cover the sweep of one woman’s personal history as she reaches her own form of Southern womanhood – compassionate, resilient, principled, and lesbian.
Women’s history professor Hannah Stern walks into her local lesbian bar one winter night, seeking love advice from her old friend.
“Women’s history will be my date this year!” Hannah raises her glass in sarcastic tribute, resigned to life as a scholar, but her remark sets in motion a wild, sexy-smart romp through time. Much to her astonishment, Hannah soon finds herself meeting up with the actual figures and foremothers she assigns her college students to learn about. She’s caught in a time-travel vortex: one that seemingly emanates from Sappho’s Bar and Grill.
What are these figures of the past trying to tell Hannah? What wisdom do they share? Given the opportunity to ask her feminist role models questions about their lives and viewpoints, what will Hannah say? More importantly, will she find romance with women who loved women in the past? Or will she take a chance on her old friend Isabel, whose drinks and potions seem to hold the secret of time travel itself?
More than 2,000 entries spread across 68 genres were submitted for consideration. The list of finalists was determined by Foreword’s editorial team. Winners are now being decided by a panel of judges across the country, reflecting Foreword’s readership of booksellers and librarians. Winners in each genre—along with Editor’s Choice Prize winners and Foreword’s INDIE Publisher of the Year—will be announced June 15, 2018.
Founded in 1998, Foreword Magazine, Inc. is the only media company completely devoted to independent publishing. Publishers of a Folio: award-winning bi-monthly print review journal, special interest products, and daily online content feeds, Foreword exclusively covers university and independent (non “Big 5”) publishers, the books they publish, and their authors. Foreword is based in Traverse City, Michigan, USA, with staff based around the world.