Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bad Feminist:Essays by Roxane Gay

Photo Credit:Amazon Author Page

I recently posted a rave review on An Untamed State and a less stellar but favorable review on Ayiti. Bad Feminist is Roxane Gay’s third and most recent book, published a few months ago. And after reading this one, it’s safe to say that I’ll read whatever book Gay publishes next.

That said, I didn’t love this book. But only because I don't follow pop culture. Gay is apparently a pop culture maven and in more than a few essays, I had no interest in or idea what she was talking about. For that reason, I wasn’t able to read straight through. But where this book was good, it was really good, like - why are you all in my head - good!

Music, movies, reality television, politics, books, race...she touches on, what seems like, everything! She doesn't overlook her own bias and even shares some of the most traumatic experiences of her life which gives insight on her perspective. One of the things I like about her writing is that she comes from a place of - this is what I think, you should feel free to use your own brain.

We get an idea of what to expect from her work in the future when she writes, ”I have no problem with darkness, sorrow, pain, or unhappiness. I have no intention of straying from these themes in my writing.” So it doesn’t sound like we should expect any fluffy stuff whenever her next book does come out.  

Just before I finished Bad Feminist, someone posted something that I think sums up this book -

"Freedom cannot be achieved unless the women have been emancipated from all forms of oppression.” Nelson Mandela

On second thought, I think that sums up feminism.

“I can’t debate the artistic merits of Django Unchained because the palms of my hands are burning with the desire to slap Tarantino in the face until my arms grow tired.”
Roxane Gay

Purchase through affiliate links to support Reading Has Purpose
Bad Feminist: Essays on Amazon
View all by Gay on Amazon


Toni Campbell said...

I haven't posted my review yet, so don't be angry when it sounds like yours! LOL! I loved An Untamed State and struggled with this book. I do follow pop culture and still couldn't connect with it. I thought it was because I was older than her.

Shannon @ Reading Has Purpose said...

Ha! Someone on Goodreads made a similar comment. She thought she wasn't loving the book because she was older than Gay. But Gay and I are of the same generation, so that's not the problem. Coincidentally, that same reviewer posted her entire review just after I wrote mine and I would've thought we were writing from the same script. So I will not be surprised if yours sound similar, I think it says something when people of a certain demographic all share the same opinion.

didibooksenglish said...

I loved everything about this one, especially the pop culture and literary references. Gay is the bomb talking about these subjects. I also commend her for putting herself out there. I'm sure that wasn't easy. Can't wait to pick up An Untamed State and Ayiti. You should follow Gay on Twitter. She's hysterical and clever.

Shannon @ Reading Has Purpose said...

I follow her on twitter; although, I'm not on twitter enough to actually follow anyone. But I remember her being on a list of exceptional twitter users, along with Teju Cole.

Gay will be around for a very long time. I'm glad I got on board from the start of her career.

Stefani @ Keep It Wordy said...

Ha! I love the Tarantino comment. I'm excited to get to Bad Feminist, because I also follow her on Twitter and I feel like this would reflect that "voice" most clearly. It also just amazes me how she can be so prolific, coming out with two books, many articles, blogging, and being on Twitter 24/7 while touring. Don't know how she does it!