BOOK REVIEW: Difficult Women: Roxane Gay

Difficult Women

Roxane Gay

Award-winning author and powerhouse talent Roxane Gay burst onto the scene with An Untamed State and the New York Times bestselling essay collection Bad Feminist (Harper Perennial). Gay returns with Difficult Women, a collection of twenty short stories of rare force and beauty, of hardscrabble lives, passionate loves, and quirky and vexed human connection. These women are difficult because they dare to strive for free open lives lived from the threat of men’s wretched stupidity and violence.

Gay takes us on a rollercoaster of lives, each seemingly dark but bursting with the light of strength, endurance and passion that allow the protagonists to rise above their circumstance and triumph, on their own terms, but their own rules. The protagonists are as wild and as wide ranging as the subject matter of the stories themselves. And Gay gives us pure fantasy experience next to girding realism and although there’s a repetitive return to how these women manage to get by in their men soiled world by plunging headlong into sense dulling sex there’s plenty of breaking though of the drudge, out into the bright sunshine of Gay’s mind and seeing forever, and ever on the wings of hope.

A superb book, an astonishing read, her writing is on fire.

Out now £13.99

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