17 Works of Nonfiction Coming This Spring


The House of Hidden Meanings: A Memoir, by RuPaul

Though this isn’t the drag queen and TV personality’s first memoir, it’s arguably RuPaul’s most revealing. Excavating questions of childhood love, a reckoning with his challenging father and the power found in thinking more expansively about gender (especially as a “feminine Black man, in violation of society’s norms by virtue of just existing,” as he writes), “The House of Hidden Meanings” is a powerful coming-of-age of a prominent queer icon.

Dey Street, March 5

Lessons for Survival: Mothering Against ‘the Apocalypse,’ by Emily Raboteau

As a mother disturbed by Donald Trump’s presidency and the misogyny and inequalities she sees as endemic to many facets of American life, Raboteau turns a critical eye on a number of contemporary issues, including police relations, pollution and the pandemic. The author is an English professor and also a street photographer, who finds hope in “making private anxieties public concerns,” as she writes, as well as in murals and signage, people and birds, as she seeks refuge for herself and her children.

Holt, March 12

Who’s Afraid of Gender?, by Judith Butler

The philosopher takes aim at the new interpretations and weaponization of “gender” in what might be read as a follow-up to their pioneering 1990 book, “Gender Trouble.” No longer just “a box to be checked,” gender has become a politicized concept — and one at the heart of a number of moral panics among far-right and authoritarian movements, Butler writes. The book offers thoughtful arguments placed within larger sociopolitical movements, showing why the modern conception of gender deserves, in Butler’s view, a rigorous examination.

Farrar, Straus & Giroux, March 19

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