First Irish anthology of LGBTQ+ fiction, Queer Love, is released

Paul McVeigh, editor of Queer Love, tells GCN all about this anthology of Irish LGBTQ+ fiction with pieces from some big literary names.

Close up of Paul McVeigh, editor of Queer Love
Image: Instagram @paulmcveighwriter

“The writers and myself all agreed, growing up, we didn’t see ourselves in books.”

The new fiction anthology, Queer Love, includes work from Irish writers Colm Tóibín, Emma Donoghue and John Boyne among many other talented contributors.

Queer Love is a collection of love stories by writers from the LGBTQ+ community,” editor Paul McVeigh tells GCN.

“There is a mixture of established multi-award-winning writers of international standing and brand spanking new first-timers. It’s a small collection but it’s full of quality stories and great writing.”

“There are many themes throughout the anthology but it all centres around love, in its many forms,” McVeigh goes on to say. “There are stories from many viewpoints – young school girls, a drag queen, a student, an older man, a queer mum… lots of variety.”

“The writers and myself all agreed, growing up, we didn’t see ourselves in books,” McVeigh, a gay man, says on how important collections like Queer Love are to the LGBTQ+ community.

“We wanted our lives to be included in stories, to be seen by others – by writers, to be validated. I think those side-lined by society and those from minority groups often read so they know they are not alone. The writers also expressed a desire to have their work included in Irish writing anthologies.”

McVeigh also tells about what it’s like for him as the editor of such an important collection, the first of its kind.

“Well, because there are few anthologies exploring our experience there is some responsibility that goes along with the job,” he says. “Many eyes become focused on you and the work, and rightfully so. I was delighted to be asked and it was an honour to work with such talent.”

McVeigh goes on to tell us about his hopes for the anthology and its impact on the Irish LGBTQ+ community.

“I hope that the collection brings reading pleasure to all. I hope that people from all walks of life pick it up and read about our lives,” he says.

“I hope, especially, for young LGBT+ readers and writers, that they read it and see how their stories, their lives, have a place in literature. Maybe inspire some new writers from our community.”

The stunning collection, Queer Love by Munster Lit, is available now.

© 2021 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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