Books

Janelle Monáe is releasing a new queer, sci-fi book based on her album ‘Dirty Computer’

Jonny Yates March 16, 2022
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Janelle Monáe is releasing a queer, sci-fi book based on her album, Dirty Computer.

Janelle Monáe is releasing a queer, sci-fi book based on her album, Dirty Computer. (Joseph Okpako/Redferns)

Janelle Monáe is releasing a new, queer sci-fi book based on one of her iconic albums.

The book entitled The Memory Librarian, will see Monáe return to “the Afrofuturistic world of her album, Dirty Computer“.

The visual album, which sees the pansexual singer play a queer android resisting against a dystopian regime, is being reimagined in a collection of short stories.

They will explore themes including queerness, race, gender and love in stories of self-discovery and rebellion.

The book is being released on 14 April and it’s available to pre-order from Amazon.

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She’s collaborated with Alaya Dawn Johnson, Danny Lore, Eve L. Ewing, Yohanca Delgado and Sheree Renée Thomas for each of the five stories.

To celebrate the launch, she will head out on tour, with dates planned for Washington D.C., Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.

At each of the events Monáe will be joined by special guests including each of her collaborating writers alongside a moderator.

Fans can get their hands on tickets for the tour at harpercollins.com, while the book is available for pre-order on Amazon.

Dirty Computer, Monáe’s third studio album was released in 2018 to critical acclaim.

It features singles “Make Me Feel”, “Django Jane” and “I Like That” as well as collaborations with Grimes, Zoë Kravitz and Pharrell.

The album went on to receive two Grammy Award nominations including Album of the Year and was named one of the best LPs of the year by a number of publications.

Janelle Monáe says people shouldn’t feel ‘pressure’ to come out

Monáe has been speaking publicly about her identity for several years, clarifying in 2018 that she is a “queer Black woman” who “has been in relationships with both men and women”.

But in an interview with Out magazine she explained that she chooses not to talk about her relationships in public.

Of her decision to come out, she said: “I knew because of my art, I would have to talk about these things. So that put more pressure on me.

Monae added: “[Something] I identify with more than ever is the concept of coming in — and people coming into your life — and not coming out. I think there’s so much pressure put on people that can’t afford to announce to the world that, ‘I am queer’ or ‘I’m gay.’

“[I hope people can] talk about their sexuality and being queer, being gay, or being who they are, they can talk about it, not out of fear, but out of love and celebration for who they are.

“If people look at me as that beacon of hope, that’s great, but I always tell people don’t feel any pressure to be me. Take your time.”

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