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Bad Feministby Roxane Gay
In a year full of debates on who is and isn't doing feminism "correctly," Roxane Gay's book of essays was a refreshing look at the expectations we hold for both women in the spotlight and ourselves as self-declared feminists. Volleying between humor, literary critique, and honest reflection on her life and career as an educator, Gay makes a case for the bad feminist in each of us fighting the good fight in a problematic world.
Synopses & Reviews
New York Times Bestseller
A collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched young cultural observers of her generation, Roxane Gay.
“Pink is my favorite color. I used to say my favorite color was black to be cool, but it is pink — all shades of pink. If I have an accessory, it is probably pink. I read Vogue, and I'm not doing it ironically, though it might seem that way. I once live-tweeted the September issue.”
In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman (Sweet Valley High) of color (The Help) while also taking readers on a ride through culture of the last few years (Girls, Django in Chains) and commenting on the state of feminism today (abortion, Chris Brown). The portrait that emerges is not only one of an incredibly insightful woman continually growing to understand herself and our society, but also one of our culture.
Bad Feminist is a sharp, funny, and spot-on look at the ways in which the culture we consume becomes who we are, and an inspiring call-to-arms of all the ways we still need to do better.
"This trenchant collection assembles previously published essays and new work by cultural critic and novelist Gay (An Untamed State). Even though she loves pink, feels nostalgic about the Sweet Valley High series, and lets degrading rap lyrics blast from her car stereo, Gay is passionately committed to feminist issues, such as equal opportunity and pay and reproductive freedom. Writing about race, politics, gender, feminism, privilege, and popular media, she highlights how deeply misogyny is embedded in our culture, the careless language used to discuss sexual violence (seen in news reports of sexual assault), Hollywood's tokenistic treatment of race, the trivialization of literature written by women, and the many ways American society fails women and African-Americans. Gay bemoans that fact that role models like Bill Cosby and Don Lemon urge African-Americans to act like ideal citizens while glossing over institutional problems in the education, social welfare, and justice system that exacerbate racism and poverty. Although Gay is aware of her privilege as a middle-class Haitian-American, she doesn't refrain from advising inner-city students to have higher expectations. Whatever her topic, Gay's provocative essays stand out for their bravery, wit, and emotional honesty. Agent: Maria Massie, Lippincott Massie McQuilkin. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“Smart readers cannot afford to miss these essays, which range from socially significant art (Girls, Django in Chains) and feminist issues (abortion) to politics (Chris Brown) and why Gay likes pink.” Library Journal
“Alternately friendly and provocative, wry and serious, her takes on everything from Girls to Fifty Shades of Grey help to recontextualize what feminism is--and what it can be.” Time Out New York
“A strikingly fresh cultural critic.” Ron Charles, Washington Post
“One of our sharpest new culture critics plants her flag in topics ranging from trigger warnings to Orange is the New Black in this timely collection of essays.” O, the Oprah Magazine, 10 Titles to Pick Up Now
“Roxane Gay is the gift that keeps on giving....An entertaining and thought-provoking essay collection.” Time
“As a feminist who has been around a while I have a message for these girls: its okay — you can skip the rigors of Betty Friedan and Andrea Dworkin and go straight to Roxane Gay, where feminism is not just friendly, but more relevant than ever.” Erika Schickel, Los Angeles Review of Books
“The book is powerful, and its winsomeness is due entirely to Gay's fearless, inclusive and accessible prose.” Shelf Awareness, Best Books of the Year
“What makes Bad Feminist such a good read isn't only Gay's ability to deftly weave razor-sharp pop cultural analysis and criticism with a voice that is both intimate and relatable. It's that she's incapable of blindly accepting any kind of orthodoxy.” San Francisco Chronicle
“Fascinating....An important and pioneering contemporary writer....Readers will immediately understand the appeal of Gays intimate and down-to-earth voice....An important contribution to the complicated terrain of gender politics.” Boston Globe
“I know there are still four and a half months left, but I'm calling it now: 2014 is the year of Roxane Gay. I just devoured her book, Bad Feminist....Amazing.” Rookie
“A thoughtful and often hilarious new collection of essays.” Chicago Tribune
“”[Gay's] energetic and thought-provoking first essay collection will become as widely read as other generation-defining works, like Nora Ephron's Crazy Salad and Joan Morgan's When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost.” Essence
“Roxane Gay delivers sermons that read like easy conversations. Bad Feminist is an important collection of prose—prose that matters to those still trying to find their voice.” Ebony
“Entertaining and enlightening....Bad Feminist is an outtake of her wisdom, and we would all do well to take heed.” Bitch Magazine
“It's no surprise that Roxane Gay — author, essayist and sharp observer of everything in pop culture were supposed to be too cool to like — has written such a winning book....Perfectly imperfect, Gay is an unforgettable voice, coming at just the right time.” NPR, Best Books of 2014
About the Author
Roxane Gay is the author of the novel An Untamed State and the story collection Ayiti. Her work has also appeared in Glamour, Best American Short Stories, and the New York Times Book Review.
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