Roxane Gay (born October 15, 1974) is an American writer, professor, editor, and social commentator. She completed her undergraduate degree at Vermont College of Norwich University, and also earned a Master's degree with an emphasis in creative writing from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Gay was inducted into the Omicron Delta Kappa Circle at Michigan Technological University in 2008, where she earned her Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Technical Communication in 2010.
After the completion of Ph.D., she began her teaching career in 2010 at Eastern Illinois University, where she was an assistant professor of English. Gay worked at Eastern Illinois University until the end of the 2013–14 academic year, while she was at EIU, she was a contributing editor for Bluestem magazine, and she also founded Tiny Hardcore Press.
Gay published a short-story collection, Ayiti (2011), then two books in 2014: the novel An Untamed State and the essay collection Bad Feminist (2014), A Time review noted, "Gay’s writing is simple and direct, but never cold or sterile. She directly confronts complex issues of identity and privilege, but it’s always accessible and insightful."
Gay has won numerous awards including PEN Center USA Freedom to Write Award in 2015. In 2017, she won the National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist, Autobiography category. She has received the Eisner Award for Best Limited Series, for the World of Wakanda in 2018. Also, in June 2020, in honour of the 50th anniversary of the first LGBTQ Pride parade, Queerty named her among the fifty heroes "leading the nation toward equality, acceptance, and dignity for all people".
Bad Feminist is a collection of essays by cultural critic, novelist, and professor Roxane Gay. Bad Feminist explores being a feminist while loving things that could seem at odds with feminist ideology. Gay's essays engage the pop culture and her personal experiences, covering topics such as the Sweet Valley High series, Django Unchained, and Gay's own upbringing as a Haitian-American.
The collection of essays is broken into five sections: Me; Gender & Sexuality; Race & Entertainment; Politics, Gender & Race; and Back to Me. In an interview with Time, Gay explained her role as a feminist and how it has influenced her writing: "In each of these essays, I’m very much trying to show how feminism influences my life for better or worse. It just shows what it’s like to move through the world as a woman. It’s not even about feminism per se, it’s about humanity and empathy."
Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman of color while also taking readers on a ride through the culture of the last few years and commenting on the state of feminism today. 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 cultures.
It is a 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.
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