We Need Diverse Ya Sale
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    The Powell's Playlist | June 15, 2015

    Matthew Quick: IMG Portia Kane's '80s Metal Mix



    Two of Love May Fail's main characters, Portia Kane and Chuck Bass — now in their early 40s — still love the metal music that was... Continue »
    1. $18.19 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

      Love May Fail

      Matthew Quick 9780062285560

    spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$10.95
List price: $16.00
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
2 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

More copies of this ISBN

This title in other editions

An Untamed State

by

An Untamed State Cover

ISBN13: 9780802122513
ISBN10: 0802122515
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

Only 2 left in stock at $10.95!

 

Awards


Staff Pick

An Untamed State is the kind of book that just slices into you — forcing you to feel all its emotions. Gay digs deep and tells a story so searing, so awful, and so beautiful, it's hard to even describe. Set in modern day Haiti and America, this harrowing tale of a woman held captive for 13 days feels like Gay is holding your feet to the fire; the pain in these pages is palpable. However, there is redemption here; there is hope. If your reading life needs to be shaken up, if it needs an injection of real emotion, this is your book: it's both excruciating and exquisite.
Recommended by Dianah, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Roxane Gay is a powerful new literary voice whose short stories and essays have already earned her an enthusiastic audience. In An Untamed State, she delivers an assured debut about a woman kidnapped for ransom, her captivity as her father refuses to pay and her husband fights for her release over thirteen days, and her struggle to come to terms with the ordeal in its aftermath.

Mireille Duval Jameson is living a fairy tale. The strong-willed youngest daughter of one of Haiti's richest sons, she has an adoring husband, a precocious infant son, by all appearances a perfect life. The fairy tale ends one day when Mireille is kidnapped in broad daylight by a gang of heavily armed men, in front of her fathers Port au Prince estate. Held captive by a man who calls himself The Commander, Mireille waits for her father to pay her ransom. As it becomes clear her father intends to resist the kidnappers, Mireille must endure the torments of a man who resents everything she represents.

An Untamed State is a novel of privilege in the face of crushing poverty, and of the lawless anger that corrupt governments produce. It is the story of a willful woman attempting to find her way back to the person she once was, and of how redemption is found in the most unexpected of places. An Untamed State establishes Roxane Gay as a writer of prodigious, arresting talent.

Review:

"Poet and short story writer Gay's first novel delivers a searing portrait of a politically and economically divided Haiti, as seen through the lens of one family's nightmare. Mireille Duval Jameson, a Haitian-born young woman, is on vacation from Miami and visiting her upper-class parents in Port-au-Prince when she is kidnapped at gunpoint. Her captors regularly extract hefty ransoms from their wealthy victims, but in this case, Mireille's too-proud father refuses to pay up until it's nearly too late, resulting in his daughter suffering 13 days of increasingly savage sexual torture. When Mireille regains her freedom, it's only the first step in the shaken family's uncertain recovery. Though the opening kidnapping feels like a scene from a particularly stilted thriller, Gay soon finds a more assured footing as she narrows in on the pain each character both endures and inflicts. Mireille's desperate attempts to wrestle control from her kidnappers by sacrificing her body are deeply felt, but it's the author's unflinching portrayal of Mireille's shattered physical and psychological state once she's rejoined her husband and infant son that is at once disturbing and frighteningly resonant. Agent: Maria Massie, Lippincott Massie McQuilkin. (May)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

“A fairy tale...its complex and fragile moral arrived at through great pain and high cost....Perhaps Haiti, too, is a beautiful princess, well-versed in the vagaries of men, still searching for a happily ever after.” The New York Times Book Review

Review:

“Set in Haiti, Roxane Gay's first novel, An Untamed State, is a roundhouse kick to notions of privilege.” Vanity Fair

Review:

“Clear your schedule now! Once you start this book, you will not be able to put it down. An Untamed State is a novel of hope intermingled with fear....It is written at a pace that will match your racing heart.” Edwidge Danticat, author of Claire of the Sea Light

Review:

“[Roxane Gay] has written one of the most unsettling books of the year. And shes just getting started....Dark, gripping....Its a compelling and at times painful read that addresses the issues of economic privilege, immigration, and sexual assault.” Chicago Magazine

Review:

An Untamed State is breathless, artful, disturbing and original. I wont ever forget it.” Meg Wolitzer, author of The Interestings

Review:

“[A] superbly written and excoriating first tale of terror and suspense....Gay is a daring and transfixing storyteller, depicting with valor and deep intent hellishly intrusive violence, shocking betrayal, and psychological devastation, the poison fruits of prejudice, injustice, greed, and desperation. Ferocious, gripping, and unforgettable.” Booklist (starred review)

Review:

“Roxane Gay's debut novel stands out as an event in itself. A writer who has shown time and time (and time and time...) again that she possesses an abundance of talent and passion, Gay has written a truly unforgettable first novel about a woman's kidnapping in Haiti and what comes after, family, what we want, and what we think we deserve. An Untamed State is sure to stick with you for a very long time after you've closed it.” Flavorwire (10 Must-Read Books for May)

Review:

“Gay brilliantly writes of the story's external events while skillfully capturing Mireille's internal anguish. Not since Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper has an author so effectively captured the descent into mental instability.” Library Journal (starred review)

Review:

An Untamed State is the kind of book you have to keep putting down because you cant believe how good it is. Awesome, powerful, impossible to ignore, Roxane Gay is a literary force of nature. An Untamed State arrives like a hurricane.” Mat Johnson, author of Pym

Review:

“A harrowing and emotionally cleareyed vision of one woman's ordeal during and after her kidnapping in Haiti...remarkable....A cutting and resonant debut.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Review:

An Untamed State is a harrowing, suspenseful novel about the connections between sexual violence and political rage, narrated in a voice at once traumatized and eerily controlled. Roxane Gay is a remarkable writer, an astute observer of Haitian society and a deeply sympathetic, unflinching chronicler of the compromises people make in order to survive under the most extreme conditions.” Tom Perrotta, author of Little Children and Nine Inches

Review:

“From the astonishing first line to the final scene, An Untamed State is magical and dangerous. I could not put it down. Pay attention to Roxane Gay; she's here to stay.” Tayari Jones, author of Silver Sparrow and Leaving Atlanta

About the Author

Roxane Gay's writing has appeared in Best American Short Stories 2012, Best Sex Writing 2012, Oxford American, American Short Fiction, Virginia Quarterly Review, NOON, The New York Times Book Review, The Rumpus, Salon, The Wall Street Journals Speakeasy culture blog, and many others including her Tumblr, roxanegay.tumblr.com. She is the co-editor of PANK and essays editor for The Rumpus. She teaches writing at Eastern Illinois University. She tweets at @rgay.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

mccaly28, July 7, 2015 (view all comments by mccaly28)
Roxane Gay captures the trauma, tragedy, and intimacy of close relationships in this story.

While people may say this is a difficult book to read it's really a fantastic story about love, loss, and empowerment. The book is certainly dark, and the story captures the darkness and lostness that Miri is feeling. There are passive chapters between the flashbacks and narration but it tells a story that shows how complicated relationships are, and how finicky people can be, and what it can take to be a family. The relationship between Miri and Michael is fascinating and fragile and the story articulates so many things about recovery and friends that aren't often talked about.

Also the parallels, between Miri and Michael, between Florida and Haiti, between Miri and her mother, and so many other comparisons really carried through the narrative. We see how much these people change in just a few pages and how different life is for them all by the end. The parallels that Miri draws as well to a 'before' and 'after' mimic the 'before' and 'after' setup of the book that somehow manages to condense so many thoughts on sexual assault, identity, and safety.

By not wrapping up everything nicely at the end it's a harrowing, enlightening story that everyone should read.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Karen Rush, February 7, 2015 (view all comments by Karen Rush)
What an extraordinary and unforgettable novel. A Haitian-born woman who is visiting her well-to-do family in Haiti is kidnapped and held for ransom. Thus begins Mireille's 13 day brutal cycle of rape and torture. The treatment by her captors and the breaking down of her spirit and body took my breath away.This is not for the faint hearted.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
Elis, October 24, 2014 (view all comments by Elis)
This is one of those books that I haven't been able to put down even though I read it months ago. It's a wrenching story that stays with you long after you've finished; it's the best story about the human spirit and human condition that I've ever read. The beauty of Gay's language is at odds with the ugliness inherent in so much of the story she tells -- I can't say that you will be happy after you've read it, but everyone should read it. There are books that will stay with you the rest of your life, and "An Untamed State" is at the top of that list.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 4 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780802122513
Author:
Gay, Roxane
Publisher:
Grove Press
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20140531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in

Other books you might like

  1. The Empathy Exams: Essays
    Used Trade Paper $7.95
  2. Truth and Beauty: A Friendship
    Used Hardcover $7.50
  3. Light Between Oceans
    Used Trade Paper $9.95
  4. Slouching towards Bethlehem: Essays
    Used Trade Paper $6.50
  5. Sag Harbor
    Used Hardcover $5.95
  6. The Unamericans: Stories
    Used Trade Paper $8.00

Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Black in America
Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » Genre
Featured Titles » Literature
Featured Titles » Morning News Tournament » Tournament of Books 2015
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Contemporary Women
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » New Arrivals

An Untamed State Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.95 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Grove Press, Black Cat - English 9780802122513 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

An Untamed State is the kind of book that just slices into you — forcing you to feel all its emotions. Gay digs deep and tells a story so searing, so awful, and so beautiful, it's hard to even describe. Set in modern day Haiti and America, this harrowing tale of a woman held captive for 13 days feels like Gay is holding your feet to the fire; the pain in these pages is palpable. However, there is redemption here; there is hope. If your reading life needs to be shaken up, if it needs an injection of real emotion, this is your book: it's both excruciating and exquisite.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Poet and short story writer Gay's first novel delivers a searing portrait of a politically and economically divided Haiti, as seen through the lens of one family's nightmare. Mireille Duval Jameson, a Haitian-born young woman, is on vacation from Miami and visiting her upper-class parents in Port-au-Prince when she is kidnapped at gunpoint. Her captors regularly extract hefty ransoms from their wealthy victims, but in this case, Mireille's too-proud father refuses to pay up until it's nearly too late, resulting in his daughter suffering 13 days of increasingly savage sexual torture. When Mireille regains her freedom, it's only the first step in the shaken family's uncertain recovery. Though the opening kidnapping feels like a scene from a particularly stilted thriller, Gay soon finds a more assured footing as she narrows in on the pain each character both endures and inflicts. Mireille's desperate attempts to wrestle control from her kidnappers by sacrificing her body are deeply felt, but it's the author's unflinching portrayal of Mireille's shattered physical and psychological state once she's rejoined her husband and infant son that is at once disturbing and frighteningly resonant. Agent: Maria Massie, Lippincott Massie McQuilkin. (May)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , “A fairy tale...its complex and fragile moral arrived at through great pain and high cost....Perhaps Haiti, too, is a beautiful princess, well-versed in the vagaries of men, still searching for a happily ever after.”
"Review" by , “Set in Haiti, Roxane Gay's first novel, An Untamed State, is a roundhouse kick to notions of privilege.”
"Review" by , “Clear your schedule now! Once you start this book, you will not be able to put it down. An Untamed State is a novel of hope intermingled with fear....It is written at a pace that will match your racing heart.”
"Review" by , “[Roxane Gay] has written one of the most unsettling books of the year. And shes just getting started....Dark, gripping....Its a compelling and at times painful read that addresses the issues of economic privilege, immigration, and sexual assault.”
"Review" by , An Untamed State is breathless, artful, disturbing and original. I wont ever forget it.”
"Review" by , “[A] superbly written and excoriating first tale of terror and suspense....Gay is a daring and transfixing storyteller, depicting with valor and deep intent hellishly intrusive violence, shocking betrayal, and psychological devastation, the poison fruits of prejudice, injustice, greed, and desperation. Ferocious, gripping, and unforgettable.”
"Review" by , “Roxane Gay's debut novel stands out as an event in itself. A writer who has shown time and time (and time and time...) again that she possesses an abundance of talent and passion, Gay has written a truly unforgettable first novel about a woman's kidnapping in Haiti and what comes after, family, what we want, and what we think we deserve. An Untamed State is sure to stick with you for a very long time after you've closed it.”
"Review" by , “Gay brilliantly writes of the story's external events while skillfully capturing Mireille's internal anguish. Not since Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper has an author so effectively captured the descent into mental instability.”
"Review" by , An Untamed State is the kind of book you have to keep putting down because you cant believe how good it is. Awesome, powerful, impossible to ignore, Roxane Gay is a literary force of nature. An Untamed State arrives like a hurricane.”
"Review" by , “A harrowing and emotionally cleareyed vision of one woman's ordeal during and after her kidnapping in Haiti...remarkable....A cutting and resonant debut.”
"Review" by , An Untamed State is a harrowing, suspenseful novel about the connections between sexual violence and political rage, narrated in a voice at once traumatized and eerily controlled. Roxane Gay is a remarkable writer, an astute observer of Haitian society and a deeply sympathetic, unflinching chronicler of the compromises people make in order to survive under the most extreme conditions.”
"Review" by , “From the astonishing first line to the final scene, An Untamed State is magical and dangerous. I could not put it down. Pay attention to Roxane Gay; she's here to stay.”
spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.