by Roxane Gay
Pub Date 03 Jan 2017
I had the privilege of hearing Roxane Gay speak at York College of Pennsylvania after the release of her book Bad Feminist. She was witty and empowering. I learned quite a bit that evening. When Netgalley offered her new book Difficult Women to review, I jumped on it. I am so glad I did.
Difficult Women by Roxane Gay was terrifying, wonderful, confusing, eye opening, lyrical, compelling, and damn good story telling. Difficult Women is a collection of twenty-one stories.
I Will Follow You - heartbreaking but hopeful in the incredible strength of twin girls together. It left me wondering could they survived if they were separated totally? I felt as though there was a message here that women are stronger when they have each other’s backs regardless of the difference in their circumstances.
Water, All Its Weight - contained beautiful prose but had an abrupt end which left me unsure of the meaning.
The Mark of Cain - was really creepy in a stephen king kind of way. You have to read it for yourself.
Difficult Women - contains the following sections: Loose Women, Frigid Women, Crazy Women, Mothers, Dead Girls. Each section helps view the women in a non-judgemental way. It gave me a lot to think about.
Florida - Looks at a gated community from all levels, the rich residents, the service personnel, and the maids. One of the residents is newly moved in and is set apart because she is a first wife and also not a size 4. Seeing the community from all the different perspectives is eye opening and interesting.
La Negra Blanca - this story infuriated and educated me.
North Country - is set at the Michigan Institute of Technology where Ms. Gay did do her graduate work. she talks about how being one of the few black faculty she is asked, “Are you from Detroit”. Her answer is a damning comment on the college’s culture.
The other stories are:
Requiem for a Glass Heart
In the Event of my Father’s Death
Break All the Way Down
I am a Knife
The Sacrifice of Darkness
Difficult Women is a book I will read over and over. I would like to read it with someone and be able to discuss it. I feel as though I have more to learn from it. I recommend Difficult Women to anyone who wants excellent stories as well as stories that touch your soul.