Beowulf for Cretins Wins Lambda Literary Award

by | Jul 1, 2019 | Awards, Books, News

Ann McMan has been awarded the Lambda Literary Award in the Lesbian Romance Category.

The winner of the 31st annual Lambda Literary Award in the Lesbian Romance category is author Ann McMan for Beowulf for Cretins: A Love Story.

Beowulf for Cretins is richly populated with a cast of quirky and endearing characters, and McMan’s razor-sharp wit and keen intelligence breathe life into the absurdity of human behavior. McMan explains, “Cartesian dualism, eucatastrophe, and the quantum mechanics of free will—these are the supreme triumvirate of love and longing. Mix them with a healthy dose of academic discourse, and you’ve got great fodder for humor, romance, and redemption.”

For over 30 years, the Lambda Literary Awards (the “Lammys”) have identified and honored the best lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender books.

The Lammys, which receive national and international media attention, bring together 600 attendees—including nominees, celebrities, sponsors, and publishing executives—to celebrate excellence in LGBTQ publishing. It is the most prestigious and glamorous LGBTQ literary event in the world. This year’s Lambda Literary Award finalists were selected by a panel of over 60 literary professionals who spent countless hours reading a record number of submissions from over 300 publishers.

The list of previous LGBT+ Lammy winners includes notable authors such as Jill Malone, Paula Martinac, Judith Katz, Ellen Hart, Elana Dykewomon, Katherine V. Forrest, Julie Marie Wade, KG MacGregor, Karin Kallmaker, Georgia Beers, Ann Aptaker, JM Redmann, Robbi McCoy, Dorothy Allison, Edmund White, John Berendt, Tony Kushner, Alison Bechdel, Sarah Waters, Jacqueline Woodson, Roxanne Gay, Lillian Faderman, Joan Nestle, Jeanne Cordova, Alexander Chee, Judy Grahn, Adrienne Rich, Michael Nava, Radclyffe, Nicola Griffith, David Sedaris, Eileen Myles, and Michael Thomas Ford.

Lambda Literary nurtures and advocates for LGBTQ writers, elevating the impact of their words to create community, preserve our legacies, and affirm the value of our stories and our lives.

English professor and aspiring novelist, Grace Warner spends her days teaching four sections of “Beowulf for Cretins” to bored and disinterested students at one of New England’s “hidden ivy” colleges. Not long after she is dumped by her longtime girlfriend, Grace meets the engaging and mysterious Abbie on a cross-country flight. Sparks fly on and off the plane as the two strangers give in to one night of reckless passion with no strings attached, and no contact information exchanged.

Back home at St. Albans, the college rocks Grace’s world when it announces the appointment of a new president, the first woman in its 165-year history. Cue Abbie—and cue Grace’s collision course with a neurotic dog named Grendel, a fractious rival for tenure, and a woman called Ochre, in what very well might be Grace’s last real shot at happiness.

This full-length novel reimagines and expands on the short story, “Falling From Grace,” which was originally published in the award-winning story collection, Sidecar by Ann McMan.

Beowulf for Cretins: A Love Story is also available in the following formats:

Audiobook via and

ANN McMAN is the author of eight novels and two short story collections. She is a Lambda Literary Award recipient, a two-time Independent Publisher (IPPY) medalist, a seven-time winner of Golden Crown Literary Society Awards, and a laureate of the Alice B. Foundation for her outstanding body of work. Her newest novel, the political thriller, Galileo (An Evan Reed Mystery), will publish in November 2019. She lives in Winston-Salem, N.C.