Roxane Gay is an American writer, professor, editor, and social commentator. Gay is the author of The New York Times best-selling essay collection Bad Feminist, as well as the short story collection Ayiti, the novel An Untamed State, the short story collection Difficult Women, and the memoir Hunger.
10 books on the list
Latest Recommendations First
"Manhunt" is a post-apocalyptic novel about trans women and men who travel the New England coast, hunting feral men and harvesting their organs in order to survive. When Robbie, Beth, and Fran's paths collide, they must navigate through a world filled with murderous TERFs and other dangers. "Manhunt" is a powerful, inclusive horror story that sheds light on the experiences of transgender and non-binary people in apocalyptic worlds.
Finished this book today. It was glorious. Perfect from beginning to end. Gory, heartbreaking, sexy, riotous, infuriating. 10/10 no notes. – source
"100 Boyfriends" by Brontez Purnell is a daring and hilarious portrayal of gay dysfunction. With irreverent humor and a sharp eye for the imperfect lives of queer men, Purnell explores self-sabotage, trauma, race, and community in a white supremacist society. From Oakland to Alabama, these slice-of-life tales are a unique and unapologetic look into an unexposed queer underbelly. With a deadpan wit and uncompromising vision, Purnell is a true punk messiah of underground writing, filmmaking, music, and performance art.
100 Boyfriends by Brontez Purnell--a sexy little book about queer men, their desires and obsessions and yearnings. Very transgressive and relentless. – source
Also recommended byAlexander Chee
Explore the concept of belonging and inheritances burdened with the past in this powerful and precisely imagined debut by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson. Featuring a diverse cast of characters fighting to survive America's racial and environmental unraveling, My Monticello takes readers on a journey through a near future where a group of Charlottesville neighbors seek refuge in Thomas Jefferson’s historic plantation home. Johnson's characters all search for a home that's both physical and internal, from a Nigerian widower struggling to find his place in a new city to a single mother desperate to "Buy a House Ahead of the Apocalypse." Seamlessly weaving themes of racism, identity, and survival, My Monticello bears witness to America's complicated legacies and introduces an exciting new voice in fiction.
My Monticello by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson--short stories and the title novella--really original, sharp writing that lays bare how racism and an appalling history shape our lives. – source
Unfollow Me is an incisive memoir-in-essays about race, progress, and hypocrisy from author Jill Louise Busby, aka Jillisblack. With her background in Diversity & Inclusion, Busby provides an intimate and impertinent critique of both the nonprofit sector and online activist communities. Her commentary is both achingly open-hearted and wryly funny as she discusses tokenism and the difficulty of inhabiting spaces where complicity is the price of entry. Unfollow Me is a self-questioning critique of white fragility, respectability politics, and all the places where fear masquerades as progress.
Unfollow Me: Essays on Complicity by Jill Louise Busby--an intelligent, provocative essay collection about identity and the ways we wield it. – source
Set against the backdrop of medieval England, Matrix tells the story of Marie de France, a 17-year-old girl sent to be the new prioress of an impoverished abbey. In this new life, Marie finds purpose and love with her mercurial sisters, but as she works to protect and lead them, she must grapple with a world that can never fully accept her. In a mesmerizing portrait of passion and faith, Lauren Groff explores the power of female creativity in a corrupted world.
Matrix by Lauren Groff--a novel about a medieval nunnery. I never in a million years thought I would like this one but I LOVED it. And the nuns are bad ass. Sometimes they have sex. – source
Also recommended byLinda Liukas
A black father and a white father come together to seek revenge on the murderers of their gay sons. In Razorblade Tears, two ex-cons, with little in common except their criminal past and love for their dead children, confront their prejudices to take down those who hurt their boys. This fast-paced and provocative story grapples with themes of retribution, change, and maybe even redemption.
Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby--a gritty novel about two fathers who set out to avenge their sons, who were married, deaths as an act of contrition for the ways they failed their boys. AMAZING. Shit had me on the edge of my seat. Didn't put this book down. – source
Also recommended byDon Winslow
This poignant debut novel follows a Vietnamese family who settle in New Orleans and face the challenges of adapting to American life. When Huong arrives with her sons, her husband remains in Vietnam, leaving them to navigate their new lives in the absence of a father figure. As they grow up, their search for identity threatens to tear them apart, until a disaster strikes and they must find a new way to come together. A moving exploration of family ties and the immigrant experience.
Some recs: Things We Lost In the Water by Eric Nguyen, a gorgeous ache of a novel about a Vietnamese family in New Orleans – source
Also recommended byBethanne Patrick
A romantic comedy about two people who go off-script as they navigate a fling-turned-relationship amidst the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. When advertising exec Ben Stephens lands an ad campaign featuring movie star Anna Gardiner, it's hard to keep their interactions strictly professional. What starts as harmless flirting turns serious when they reveal personal truths to each other during a family emergency. As their real-life romance heats up, they must decide whether to pursue a Hollywood ending or leave their relationship behind when the cameras stop rolling.
Okay. Finished it. Really fun, warm, satisfying ending. Great book. – source
Also recommended byAshley C. Ford
This manifesto and practical guide challenges current models of writing and the workshop, showing how they fail marginalized writers and how cultural expectations inform storytelling. The traditional writing workshop was established with white male writers in mind, but this examination of elements of writing and aspects of workshop asks questions to reach writers with diverse backgrounds. Drawing from classic examples, the author invites us to reimagine craft and teaching methods to better reflect the world we write about. A must-read for fiction writers, teachers, and students.
This book is amazing. Challenging. A total reimagining of craft. A must read for every writer. – source
"Humanizing Representations of Black Suffering: A Cultural Study" explores the relationship between the viewer and the victim in the history of black America. Investigating the impact and ethical implications of visual displays of violence against black bodies, this book connects visual theory to African American history. Through analyzing graphic images of lynching, murders, and natural disasters, the author demonstrates how pain can become the currency of black liberation from injustice.