An Untamed State was an unforgettable novel that was brutally honest, confronting and powerfully written. In this brilliant collection of essays Roxane Gay applies this same style to the modern world in essays that cover everything from gender, race, politics and popular mainstream culture.
I have to admit to some hesitance in reading this title. My perception of what feminism means was narrow and frankly ignorant. I firmly believe in equal rights regardless of gender, race and sexuality but have never explored or given much consideration of what feminism means, to me or other people. As a father of two daughters this is woefully negligent.
What I love most about Roxane Gay’s writing is her honesty. She applies this honesty both internally and externally. She readily admits to her own biases and contradictions but clearly points out that they shouldn’t and don’t change what she values. She calls a spade a spade; good spades and bad. And does so with a critical eye that is frank and engaging.
I most enjoyed her deconstructions of books, music and movies; in particular The Hunger Games, The Help and Django Unchained. Her perspective on and the way she conveys this in her essays is nuanced and powerful. She has an innate ability to see both sides but doesn’t let that make excuses. And by relating her personal experiences and feelings acknowledges there are no easy fixes to some of the problems we must confront and address.
Roxane Gay may call herself a bad feminist but she is a fantastic writer, commentator and storyteller. She may disagree with people being put “on a pedestal” for a movement but as a reader that is where her writing belongs. Or at least as a minimum on top of your TBR pile.
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Classification: Feminism & feminist theory , Memoirs
Format: Paperback (234mm x 155mm x 26mm)
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publish Date: 21-Aug-2014
Country of Publication: United Kingdom