Welcome to The Bookshop Darlinghurst!

For almost forty years, The Bookshop Darlinghurst has been one of the most comprehensive sources of books and DVDs for Sydney and Australia’s LGBTQ+ communities. Despite Sydney’s lockdown with the shop closed to customers, they continue to serve our communities with online orders, phone orders, and click and collect. Join them online here.

The Bookshop Darlinghurst buyer Graeme Aitken (his/him) has selected five new and recent Australian titles that would make ideal lockdown or winter reading. He also points out that writers might spend years writing their book and then all the promotional opportunities evaporate overnight due to the COVID lockdown. So buying newly published books is a wonderful way readers can support writers who have had their moment of glory crushed.

  1. The Boy From The Mish by Gary Lonesborough“This charming debut novel for young adult readers has proven popular with all ages and it is no surprise. It’s a thoroughly engaging and authentic story of attraction between two indigenous teens and their rocky path to self-acceptance. Published back in February, it is one of The Bookshop’s Top 3 bestsellers for 2021 but it is also a very significant and groundbreaking publication – it is the first Australian YA novel to explore gay indigenous themes so prominently.” 
  2. Bent Street 5.1: Soft Borders, Hard Edges by Sam Elkin, Yves Rees, and Tiffany Jones“Bent Street is a LGBTIQ+ literary anthology which is published twice a year by the first-rate small Melbourne publisher Clouds of Magellan. But this latest issue is something very special with a focus on writing by and about the trans and gender diverse communities. As soon as it became available, it sold unlike any previous issue with demand outstripping supply. Also take note that co-editor Yves Rees has their own memoir coming out next month All About Yves – and I would also encourage readers to explore some of the other brilliant books published by Clouds of Magellan.  The two memoirs by Sydney artist Guy James Whitworth and Bait the short stories of Ashley Sievwright are both recommended by me.”
  3. The Overthinkers by Lisa Portolan and Ben Cheong“This highly entertaining but also substantial new novel has just been published and is significant as one of its two authors, Ben Cheong, is a gay Asian writer. It’s rare for a book with Australian gay Asian content to be published and although the novel also features several straight characters, the Asian gay character Leo is very prominent. Set around Potts Point, Darlinghurst, Surry Hills and Paddington, Sydney readers will love this very contemporary tale of young urbanites. Especially if you ever woke up from a drunken Grindr hookup and discovered you were in Parramatta!” 
  4. Nothing But My Body by Tilly Lawless“This hotly anticipated book by Tilly Lawless, a queer, Sydney-based sex worker, has also just been published. Tilly is well-known from her online platform where she speaks out about her personal experiences within the sex industry, and exposes the everyday stigma that sex workers often come up against. This remarkable novel is set during the cataclysmic bushfire season of 2019 and also the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, with sex work providing a constant backdrop to the narrative. The locations shift between Sydney, Berlin, Orange and Bellingen as a young woman navigates breakups and infatuations over a year or more. Sex work is a subject that is perennially fascinating to many people – but this book is something thoroughly unique as we have never heard this story from the perspective of an Australian queer woman before.” 
  5. Recipe For A Kinder Life by Annie Smithers“Also just published, this is a memoir with recipes by one of Melbourne/Victoria’s best known chefs who is also an out lesbian. Annie’s restaurant Du Fernier is renowned in Victoria and beyond, and this book tells the story of how it was set up, but also showcases Annie’s philosophy of living a sustainable life. Part meditation, part memoir, the book offers practical advice and wisdom gleaned from a life dedicated to seasonal food and living lightly on the land. Covid lockdowns and working remotely has led city dwellers to flee to the coast and rural communities – well this is the perfect aspirational book for these unusual times we find ourselves in.”

The Bookshop Darlinghurst website was upgraded last year thanks to a COVID grant from City of Sydney and now it better reflects the comprehensive range of titles that they have on the shelves of their physical shop. Check their latest releases here.