Dumbfounded by Matt Rothschild.
Left by his mother to be raised by a flamboyant grandmother and her stern husband, Rothschild is the only Jewish boy in his Upper East Side building -- and the only kid he knows with a penchant for his grandmothers dresses. Funny and poignant, Rothschilds tale of growing up an outsider feels utterly familiar. (August, Crown, $23.95)
The Alcoholic by Jonathan Ames.
Following the misadventures of Jonathan A., The Alcoholic swerves from the comic (dinner with Monica Lewinsky) to the tragic (9/11) to the nostalgic (sex with his childhood friend Sal). Ames again mines his own irony-soaked life for truth and comedy in this fictionalized graphic novel illustrated by Dean Haspiel. (September, Vertigo, $19.99)
Death: A Life by George Pendle.
Pendles attraction to the curious biography (Millard Fillmore, rocket scientist John Whiteside Parsons) takes its most absurd turn yet with this archly comic memoir of Death, as told to the author, one of our best satirists. The chronically misunderstood demon delivers the dirt on celebs, offers afterlife fashion advice, and questions his sexuality. (September, Three Rivers Press, $13.95)
Smile as They Bow by Nu Nu Yi.
Tackling love across genders, Yi tells the story of a transgender medium and the young girl who falls under her spell. Set against the backdrop of one of Myanmars largest spirit festivals, Smile gives Western readers a rare glimpse of this largely hidden culture. (September, Hyperion, $24.95)
Sicilian Tragedee by Ottavio Cappellani.
This delicious mysterycumgangster story pits the gay theater mafia against the actual mafia as two pairs of star-crossed lovers come to blows over a contemporary production of Romeo and Juliet in the latest from Italys favorite postmodern crime novelist. (October, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, $25)
Big Trips: More Good Gay Travel Writing edited by Raphael Kadushin.
Where do we go when we travel, and what do we find when we get there? The answers come from a mix of emerging and established gay writersincluding Bruce Benderson, Andrew Holleran, and Edmund Whitein this follow-up to Wonderlands, Kadushins well-received first collection. (November, University of Wisconsin Press, $24.95)