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Golden Crown Literary Society Names 2017 Lee Lynch Classic Award Recipient

Friday, February 3, 2017   (0 Comments)
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Golden Crown Literary Society Names 2017 Lee Lynch Classic Award Recipient

Contact: Carleen Spry, Director of Outreach, carleen.spry@goldencrown.org                    

Date: February 3, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Heather Has Two Mommies named 2017 Lee Lynch Classic Award Recipient – Heather Has Two Mommies by Lesléa Newman has been an essential part of American literary history, children’s literature, LGBT literature, politics, and popular culture. The American Library Association ranked it the 11th most frequently challenged book in the 1990s. In 1994, the book was read into the congressional record as a way of denying federal aid to public schools that encouraged or supported “homosexuality as a positive lifestyle alternative.” Heather Has Two Mommies has been referenced in popular TV shows such as Gilmore Girls and Will and Grace.

Originally co-published by Newman and Tzivia Gover, who owned a small desktop publishing company called In Other Words, in 1989, Heather Has Two Mommies – illustrated by Diana Souza – was subsequently released by Alyson Publications (Alyson Books). Alyson Books also released 10th and 20th Anniversary editions. In 2012, Candlewick obtained the rights and relaunched Heather Has Two Mommies in 2015 – twenty-five years after Alyson’s first release – with new illustrations by Laura Cornell.

Newman writes on her website, “Many years ago, a woman stopped me on the street and said, ‘I don't have a book to read to my daughter that shows a family like ours. Someone should write one.’ So I did!” More than twenty-five years later, Heather Has Two Mommies remains as relevant as ever.

The GCLS aims to recognize books that convey meaningful lesbian experiences with influential historical value to the lesbian community. The Lee Lynch Classic Award honors a specific book that is timeless.  The award was first presented in 2012 to The Swashbuckler by Lee Lynch, the namesake for this prestigious award.

The Lee Lynch Classic Award is selected by GCLS Trailblazers from nominations submitted over a four-month period.

Some of the Trailblazers described the impact Heather Has Two Mommies has had on Lesbian Literature:

I can't help but wonder how my life would have improved if I'd been introduced early on to the concept of a family different from my own. Perhaps as important, if my parents or school had had access to this teaching tool. Heather Has Two Mommies was a revolutionary book and changed the course not only of individual children's and families' lives and of education, but gave us hope for a better future for gay kids. It is now a fixture in children's literature and will continue to educate and inspire long after its first readers have grown up to pass on Lesléa Newman's message.” 

~~Lee Lynch (Rainbow Gap, The Raid) - 2009 Trailblazer Recipient

"The words groundbreaking, landmark, controversial, banned, essential are all true descriptions of one of the most challenged books in lesbian literature, Heather Has Two Mommies. And our community, and society at large, has its author, Lesléa Newman to thank for blazing the trail for a new lesbian genre and for telling the world that ‘The most important thing about a family is that all the people in it love each other.’”  

~~Marianne K. Martin (Tangled Roots, The Liberators of Willow Run) - 2012 Trailblazer Recipient

“Heather Has Two Mommies is a book haters desperately want to destroy. Nearly 30 years after its first publication, they vilify it because it shows the truth so plainly a child can understand: gay people have healthy families. In spite of ongoing censorship attempts, Lesléa Newman kept Heather in print so our kids could see themselves in a picture book. We all know that saved lives, changed lives.” 

~~Karin Kallmaker (Just Like That, Captain of Industry) - 2011 Trailblazer Recipient

Words of appreciation for Heather Has Two Mommies from parents:

“When our son was getting ready to go to preschool for the first time we worried other kids might question the fact that he has two moms and we wanted to prepare him for those conversations, so we got a copy of Heather Has Two Mommies to read as a family.  He liked it so much, he took it to school with him one day. The teachers liked it so much they bought a copy of it for the school.  When we told Rachel’s mom that story, she bought a copy of it for her preschool and her students fell in love with it, too. We think that says so much about what Ms. Newman did with this book. She didn't just write a controversial story about a hot button issue, she wrote a book that kids and parents fall in love with, and that makes them feel loved in return.”  

~~Rachel Spangler (Close to Home, Learning Curve) and Susan Spangler

“As our son, Logan, entered pre-school, it became important to us that he see his family reflected in the stories we read with him. He loved Lesléa Newman’s Heather Has Two Mommies from the first time we read it aloud and requested it almost every night as a four- and five-year-old. The book taught him not only to be confident in the composition of his own family, but to respect the love shared by families of all shapes and sizes. We will be eternally grateful to Lesléa for her brave and sweet story.”  

~~Mama Katie Lynch and Mama Jane Chen (aka. Nell Stark and Trinity Tam) (everafter, nevermore)

The Golden Crown Literary Society (GCLS) is a 501(c)3 non-profit, volunteer organization whose mission is education, and the promotion and recognition of lesbian literature. Our goals are to provide learning opportunities, encouragement, and assistance to new and established authors in developing their craft; support and strengthen quality lesbian writing by providing educational programs and creating opportunities for readers and writers to interact; and to recognize and promote lesbian literary work.

Heather Has Two Mommies and all other Goldie Awards winners will be honored at our Thirteenth Annual Conference, culminating in our Awards Ceremony on July 8, 2017 at the Crowne Plaza O’Hare in Chicago, IL. Please visit our website (http://www.goldencrown.org) for more information about the organization and the Annual Conference.

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