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Reader name: Lacey
Hometown: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Favorite genres: Literary fiction, short stories, LGBT, children’s/YA
Favorite authors: David Mitchell, Don DeLillo, Jeanette Winterson, Flannery O’Connor
Favorite books: Cloud Atlas, House of Leaves, Drown (by Junot Diaz), Orlando (by Virginia Woolf), The Picture of Dorian Gray, Varmints (by Helen Ward)

Ellis Avery’s The Last Nude would be a good choice for Lacey. This sensual jazz-age story is about the relationship between real-life Art Deco painter Tamara de Lempicka and her muse, Rafaela, the woman famously depicted in the portrait Beautiful Rafaela (and on that stunning book jacket).

In the realm of short stories, I recommend Adam Haslett’s collection You Are Not a Stranger Here. A finalist for both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, this perceptive and dark book drew praise from our Well Read columnist Robert Weibezahl in 2002: “Haslett is an expert storyteller who draws the reader in with his compassion, then methodically unravels unexpected truths.” Haslett also won the Lambda Literary Award for his debut novel, Union Atlantic.

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