Roxane Gay is from the Midwest, but as a woman of color she feels like an outsider in the rural places she often inhabits. In an essay for Brevity, “Black in Middle America,” Gay examines reactions to her face in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, a place so remote “my blackness was more curiosity than threat”, and in Illinois’s cornfields—somewhere blackness is more familiar but no more understood....more
Posts Tagged: Roxane Gay
Supposedly “unlikable” female characters are often the most complex, humanly flawed, and interesting ones—yet many readers are perturbed by such representations of women. In an excerpt from her collection The Geek Feminist Revolution, Kameron Hurley muses on the reasons why female protagonists are uniquely expected to be likable:
When you find yourself reading about a gun-slinging, whisky-drinking, Mad Max apocalypse hero who you’d love if it was a guy but find profoundly uncomfortable to read about when you learn it’s a woman, take a step back and ask why that is.
“I keep trying to imagine a universe in which too many public figures declaring themselves feminists would be a bad thing,” Roxane Gay, the novelist and the author of an essay collection entitled “Bad Feminist,” wrote, before concluding, “Of all the words that should be spoken more, ‘feminist’ should be at the top of the list.”
When Esquire released a list of “The 80 Best Books Every Man Should Read,” the magazine provoked ire and excoriation. But hey, at least Esquire has recognized its mistake. For its new list of “80 Books Every Person Should Read,” the magazine consulted women readers who know what they’re talking about, from authors like Lauren Groff and Sloane Crosley to book critics like Camille Perri and Michiko Kakutani to one of the baddest feminists out there, Roxane Gay....more
In the protests at Mizzou and Yale and elsewhere, students have made it clear that the status quo is unbearable. Whether we agree with these student protesters or not, we should be listening: They are articulating a vision for a better future, one that cannot be reached with complacency.
Literary juggernaut, Rumpus Essays Editor Emeritus, and beloved Twitter person Roxane Gay won the PEN Center USA Freedom to Write Award. Gay told Lit Hub:
“The freedom to write,” Gay said about winning the award, “has been one of my life’s greatest blessings and it is a freedom that should be available to everyone who wants or needs to share their voice,” says Gay.
For the next hour or so, we shifted in our seats, tense and transfixed. It felt like I was witnessing history, a dialogue I’d mostly been exposed to on the internet being brought forth into real life and vocalized by two important people.
While some audience members clapped, others shifted uncomfortably at the disconnect between Gay’s light-hearted opening and Jong’s seriousness.
It’s difficult to break free. It’s difficult to think about what’s next and face the unknown.
Over at The Barnes & Noble Review, The Rumpus’s Essays Editor Emeritus Roxane Gay interviews the talented Karolina Waclawiak about her latest novel, The Invaders—women in fiction, sense of place, and the art of breaking free....more
Over the weekend, newspapers across the country shared headlines of forgiveness from the families of the nine slain. The dominant media narrative vigorously embraced that notion of forgiveness, seeming to believe that if we forgive we have somehow found a way to make sense of the incomprehensible.
So begins a piece on NPR from Roxane Gay on the New York Times’s newly released summer reading list, which features zero authors of color. Gay argues that national outlets with wide-ranging audiences, like NYT or NPR, should not and cannot afford to continue leaving out extraordinary works by a diversity of authors....more