Pleasure, desire, bondage; intimacy, affection, sheer revelry; fear, uncertainty, discomfort – the myriad expressions of the erotic are revealed in Close, Too Close: The Tranquebar Book of Queer Erotica, the first South Asian anthology of its sort. In this path-breaking entry into both the queer literature and erotica genres, fifteen writers and artists from across the subcontinent (and beyond) freely explore the illimitable possibilities of genders and sexualities constantly present all around us. In the pages of this book, on a crowded bus ride, over a cosy bowl of rajma-chawal, amidst the bustle of a swanky pool’s changing room, in the familiar embraces of city flats, bungalows and teacher-training hostels, friends (or chance-met strangers) turn lovers; ideas of ‘man’ and ‘woman’ take different meaning(s); the world reveals its queerness.
Intimate, thrilling, moving, sometimes even puzzling, but always intriguing, the stories in this anthology bring both the erotic and the queer closer than ever before.
About the Author
Meenu is a queer feminist currently juggling her time between Delhi and Bombay. Since she came out as queer eight years ago, she has been an avid reader of erotica, devouring whatever she could lay her hands on. This book has given her the legitimate time to read all the erotica that she could find, without worrying about developing a weird obsession. She has been working on women’s rights and gender and sexuality rights through autonomous collectives (FAOW and LABIA) and women’s rights organisations for the last seven years. She currently works with CREA, New Delhi. Using only her first name as editor is a deliberate choice. She hopes that it serves as a reminder to everyone that the lopsided power equations between genders and sexualities in society continue to threaten many queer lives.
Shruti is not a student of literature and has never aspired to be a writer. By virtue of being lesbian, feminist and sexual, she stumbled upon the opportunity to edit this anthology. She knows however, that while the world may have allowed for a South Asian queer erotica anthology to be actually published, it is still not progressive enough for all queer people to feel safe always. This is why she has chosen not to use her second name. If her mother was ever to get her hands on this book, she wants her to know she loves her very much and is happy to sit down and explain what the hell is going on!