After a phenomenal debut in 2022, The Aesop Queer Library returns for 2023’s pride season in Melbourne and Sydney.
Founded on a belief in the transformative power of queer storytelling, the familiar regimented rows of Aesop formulations will be cleared from the shelves of Aesop Sydney and Aesop Collins Street, and replaced with 7,500 books by contemporary Australian and New Zealand authors that celebrate the queer experience and creative expression.
As was the case with the 2022 edition, the selection of 45 titles is made up of books purchased from queer independent book stores Hares & Hyenas in Melbourne and The Bookshop in Sydney, as well as Allen & Unwin and Penguin Random House.
Visitors will be able to collect a complimentary volume of their choice—with no purchase required—in Melbourne from 1 February to 8 February and Sydney from 22 February to 1 March.
That’s right, friends, these books are entirely free. All you have to do is pop into their Sydney or Melbourne store, and grab a copy of your new fave book!
With a view to championing historically marginalised voices, the Library presents an expansive view of the queer canon, with more than half the titles exploring BIPOC, trans and gender-non-conforming perspectives. It also highlights how the act of sharing queer experiences helps to carveout new chapters for queer representation and empowerment.
Bisexual poet and writer Omar Sakr, former international development adviser Shelley Parker-Chan as well as queer author and artist Mimi Zhu are among those to be spotlighted as part of the initiative, which aims to demonstrate the power of literature to unite and liberate.
The full list of books on offer can be found here (with availabilities slightly varying by location).