Last Night at the Telegraph Club

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Modern Age

Last Night at the Telegraph Club
Author: Nichols Lo, Malinda
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Time Period: Modern Age
Time Frame: 1954
Geographic Area: North America
Country: United States
Topics: McCarthyism and the Red Scare
Genre: Fiction, Own Voices
Reading Age: Young Adult, Adult
Format: Novel
Published: 2021

American History > Modern Age > LGBTQ+

Seventeen-year-old Lily Hu can't remember exactly when the feeling took root—that desire to look, to move closer, to touch. Whenever it started growing, it definitely bloomed the moment she and Kathleen Miller walked under the flashing neon sign of a lesbian bar called the Telegraph Club. Suddenly everything seemed possible.

But America in 1954 is not a safe place for two girls to fall in love, especially not in Chinatown. Red-Scare paranoia threatens everyone, including Chinese Americans like Lily. With deportation looming over her father—despite his hard-won citizenship—Lily and Kath risk everything to let their love see the light of day.

Sarah's Review

Malinda Lo has been one of my favorite authors for a few years, and so I was extremely hyped for the release of her newest book. And I can confidently say that Last Night at the Telegraph Club is her strongest work to date! This is such an important book, and does such a great job exploring such a difficult period in history both for Chinese-Americans and for queer people. This novel is also just so unabashedly lesbian, depicting one of the best written lesbian coming-of-age stories I have ever had the privilege to read. I couldn’t recommend it more.

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