I listened to most of this book on audiobook. Then I bought it as a paperback. Then I bought it on Kindle. So, suffice it to say, I’m a fan.
I had heard of Roxanne Gay, and this book from a few close friends who sang its praises, but was finally compelled to pick it up as it was the book for the ANUW (Association of Northwestern University Women) book club pic of the month. (This makes three book clubs I am currently a member of. Not quite sure how that happened).
Roxanne Gay is one of the most raw and authentic writers I have ever read. She shares her views on gender, sexuality, race, politics, and entertainment. Poignant, stark and funny, she is unabashedly opinionated, but more importantly, she is clear in that doesn’t have all the answers, but rather is relentlessly inquisitive, questioning, and thoughtful. She illustrates how she views the world, and how she would like it to be, and greatly details what it means to be a minority in America. This book is often uncomfortable as she is very vulnerable, but it makes you as the reader question your own perspectives and preconceive notions. And, because she puts her own out there, there isn’t an accusation from her of “why aren’t you doing better,” but rather, it’s as if she creates a safe space where you can examine your own perspectives.
Her writing style is so conversational it is like you are just hearing a friend tell you what they think, and chatting with them while trying to solve the problems of the world. The audio actress also read “The Hate U Give” and she is outstanding in her own right, so I suggest that format. I also think this is a book that you can pick up and put down easily, the essays are short and leave you a lot to think about. Hence buying it in multiple formats – I know I’m going to go back to it, time and again, and also pester people with experts. I wish more people were brave enough to put their thoughts down in such a way. This collection is the start of a conversation, or rather many conversations about multiple topics, and I highly recommend it to all. It is especially for women who struggle with what it is to be a feminist in the modern age, and all the pressures and complications of the feminist movement.