“Waiting On” Wednesday: Difficult Women by Roxane Gay

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

My “Waiting On” Wednesday pick is Difficult Women by Roxane Gay.
Cover of Difficult Women by Roxane Gay

Title: Difficult Women

Author: Roxane Gay

Publication date: January 3rd 2017

Publisher: Grove Press

Pre-order: Book Depository | Amazon

Add to Goodreads

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 stories of rare force and beauty, of hardscrabble lives, passionate loves, and quirky and vexed human connection.

The women in these stories live lives of privilege and of poverty, are in marriages both loving and haunted by past crimes or emotional blackmail. A pair of sisters, grown now, have been inseparable ever since they were abducted together as children, and must negotiate the elder sister’s marriage. A woman married to a twin pretends not to realize when her husband and his brother impersonate each other. A stripper putting herself through college fends off the advances of an overzealous customer. A black engineer moves to Upper Michigan for a job and faces the malign curiosity of her colleagues and the difficulty of leaving her past behind. From a girls’ fight club to a wealthy subdivision in Florida where neighbors conform, compete, and spy on each other, Gay delivers a wry, beautiful, haunting vision of modern America reminiscent of Merritt Tierce, Jamie Quatro, and Miranda July. (From Goodreads.)

This is going to be so good; I cannot wait to read it.

From Roxane Gay’s essay “Not Here to Make Friends” (also found in the brilliant Bad Feminist):

“As a writer and a person who has struggled with likability — being likable, wanting to be liked, wanting to belong — I have spent a great deal of time thinking about likability in the stories I read and those I write. I am often drawn to unlikable characters, to those who behave in socially unacceptable ways and say whatever is on their mind and do what they want with varying levels of regard for the consequences. I want characters to do bad things and get away with their misdeeds. I want characters to think ugly thoughts and make ugly decisions. I want characters to make mistakes and put themselves first without apologizing for it.”

The entire essay, about unlikable female protagonists, is well worth the read (as is Bad Feminist), and it’s one of the reasons I am so excited for this short story collection.

What book are you looking forward to this Wednesday?

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