nancy garden

World Book Day: Annie On My Mind

World Book Day: Annie On My Mind

The first lesbian book I ever read was Nancy Garden's unparalleled Annie On My Mind and it was like seeing sunlight after days of gray. Fellow Chicagoans will know this feeling, we who spend months in a kind of illuminated grayscale: it's never quite dismal enough to make you miserable, but certainly not bright enough to warrant joy. I was fourteen and it was the summer before high school and our library was under construction. They'd moved the collection in its entirety to a former grocery store, and it was there, beneath buzzing, flickering lights, sat cross-legged on ripped linoleum in a too-narrow aisle, propping the book up on a spare shelf, that I read it. It was the only book in the world, at least to my knowledge from the limited scope of our card catalog, that featured a pair of young girls who were in love with each other.