This series of short, linked vignettes by Rhode Island author Joon Oluchi Lee takes place in the San Francisco Bay area, reflecting the multicultural hues of the city. It’s centered around Young Ae, a Korean-born ballet dancer studying for her Ph.D., and her Korean American husband, who expresses his maleness through his innate femininity. Together and separately, they negotiate the boundaries of their relationship by exploring casual sex and other random encounters. Bold in execution and frank in subject, this study of imploding gender roles packs a lot of queer theory in a hundred pages.
Neotenica, by Joon Oluchi Lee. Published by Nightboat Books. The editor is Andrea Abi-Karam. Neotenica is a finalist for the Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBTQ Fiction, presented by the Ferro-Grumley Foundation in conjunction with the Publishing Triangle; the winner will be announced on May 12.