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Sunday, 17 August 2014

New in stock: Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay


By now a lot of you have heard of Roxane Gay's deliciously titled Bad Feminist, a collection of essays with pop culture topics ranging from the Sweet Valley High series to Kate Zambreno's Green Girl. But have you heard about just how refreshing and wonderful this book is? Well maybe you have, but what's one more topping on the sundae of praise Gay has been receiving?

Bad Feminist is separated into 5 categories of essays: Me, Gender & Sexuality, Race & Entertainment, Politics, Gender & Race, and Back to Me. But despite the separation of the personal essays into their own categories, Gay's emotional presence is felt in every piece, from the solace found in the first African American Miss America Vanessa Williams to her fascination with strong women (Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games trilogy) and that fascination's connection to a traumatic sexual assault in her teens, you feel like you know a lot about Roxane Gay by the time you're done.

One of the best things about Bad Feminist is how approachable it is, a "text for those of us who constructed our feminism from the pages of teen chick lit as much as from the musings of post-modern theorists" (Melissa Harris). It's funny, smart, and engaging - not necessarily guiding you down one set path to one set definition of feminism but letting you find your own way, much like Gay herself has.

Several of Gay's pieces have been published elsewhere, but you owe it to yourself to get this collection. It's a sure to be classic, and a very necessary entry into the feminist oeuvre.

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