Roxane Gay - Difficult Women - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9781472152770
    • Publication date:03 Jan 2017
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    • ISBN:9781405538534
    • Publication date:03 Aug 2017

Difficult Women

By Roxane Gay

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A collection of stories of rare force and beauty, of hardscrabble lives, passionate loves, and quirky and vexed human connection from award-winning author and powerhouse talent Roxane Gay

'Phenomenally powerful and beautifully written' the Guardian

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.

'Gay brings the powerful voice that flows through her work as a novelist and cultural critic to the 21 short stories in her first collection . . . Gay's "difficult women" are unforgettable' BBC.com

'Gay's signature dry wit and piercing psychological depth make every story mermerisingly unusual and simply unforgettable' Harper's Bazaar

Biographical Notes

Roxane Gay is the author of An Untamed State, Bad Feminist and the story collection Ayiti. Her work has also appeared in Glamour, Best American Short Stories, and the New York Times Book Review. She is the co-editor of PANK.

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  • ISBN: 9781472152787
  • Publication date: 03 Jan 2017
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  • Imprint: Corsair
The stories, phenomenally powerful and beautifully written, demonstrate the threats so many women in reality face, but also how, whatever their situation, they have agency, resilience and identities away from stereotypes created and reinforced by men. — The Guardian
Roxane is a powerhouse of a writer. — Lena Dunham
Powerful . . . Gay's fantastic collection is challenging, quirky, and memorable. — Publishers Weekly
Different to anything I've read before . . . Be warned, it can get a little dark at times, but the collection is worth it — Stylist
A powerful, two-fisted collection with heart under its surface. — Sunday Times
A writer of prodigious, arresting talent — Guardian
Gay tells intimate, deep, wry tales of jaggedly dimensional women. . . . Be they writer, scientist, or stripper, Gay's women suffer grave abuses, mourn unfathomable losses, love hard, and work harder — Booklist
Gay expands her writing prowess with this collection featuring colorful women protagonists . . . Refreshing yet intricate . . . This work will appeal to lovers of literary and feminist fiction — Library Journal (starred review)
Unified in theme ? the struggles of women claiming independence for themselves ? but wide-ranging in conception and form . . . Gay is an admirable risk-taker in her exploration of women's lives and new ways to tell their stories — Kirkus Reviews
Astonishing, arresting, and staggering — Book Riot
Gay has fun with these ladies. Her narrative games aren't rulesy. She plays with structure and pacing . . . She moves easily from first to third person, sometimes within a single story. She creates worlds that are firmly realist and worlds that are fantastically far-fetched — New York Times
Gut-wrenching . . .They aren't just characters. They are our mothers, sisters and partners. They are human. They are us . . . Difficult Women is not a collection of happy stories, but these are real stories about real experiences and women seeking, deserving happy endings. They aren't victims but survivors . . . Gay makes mosaics out of these women, seeing them as perfectly imperfect wholes in a world that routinely tries to break them down to pieces. — USA Today
The great James Baldwin once said, "You want to write a sentence as clean as a bone. That is the goal." In "Difficult Women," Gay achieves that goal. Her writing is unfussy, well matched to the women and men she's created, and she finds a distinct rhythm both elegant and plainspoken . . . In "Difficult Women," Gay gives these often-overlooked lives color and meaning. From a ramshackle Michigan trailer park to the affluence and ennui of a gated community in Florida - and myriad points in between - Gay writes of chances missed and unexpected joy, love gone awry or resurrected, and the slivers of hope that keep these fascinating women alive. — The Boston Globe
The women here are complex, but not in the typical way of fiction. Much like Mireille, the protagonist of Gay's profound and violent novel, "An Untamed State," the women here reveal themselves in how their minds adjust to a world that seems bent on violating their bodies . . . This collection begs for a slow, serious reading. — Star Tribune
Dark, yes, difficult, yes, but also luminous, transporting, and totally worth the effort. — Vogue.com
Gay's signature dry wit and piercing psychological depth make every story mermerisingly unusual and simply unforgettable. — Harper's Bazaar
Gay brings the powerful voice that flows through her work as a novelist and cultural critic to the 21 short stories in her first collection . . . Gay's "difficult women" are unforgettable. — BBC.com
Gay's writing encompasses so much-simultaneously direct, funny, whipsmart, sometimes painful, and always thought-provoking . . . Difficult Women [is] wonderful. — Chicago Review of Books
Corsair

Ayiti

Roxane Gay
Authors:
Roxane Gay

From New York Times-bestselling powerhouse Roxane Gay, Ayiti is a powerful collection exploring the Haitian diaspora experience.In Ayiti, a married couple seeking boat passage to America prepares to leave their homeland. A young woman procures a voodoo love potion to ensnare a childhood classmate. A mother takes a foreign soldier into her home as a boarder, and into her bed. And a woman conceives a daughter on the bank of a river while fleeing a horrific massacre, a daughter who later moves to America for a new life but is perpetually haunted by the mysterious scent of blood. Originally published by a small press, this edition will make Gay's debut widely available for the first time, including several new stories.'These early stories showcase Gay's prowess as one of the voices of our age' (National Post, Canada).

Virago

The Feminist Revolution

Bonnie J. Morris, D. M. Withers
Authors:
Bonnie J. Morris, D. M. Withers

Oprah's book club has declared The Feminist Revolution a must-read for Women's History Month.The Feminist Revolution offers an overview of women's struggle for equal rights in the late twentieth century. Beginning with the auspicious founding of the National Organization for Women in 1966, at a time when women across the world were mobilizing individually and collectively in the fight to assert their independence and establish their rights in society, the book traces a path through political campaigns, protests, the formation of women's publishing houses and groundbreaking magazines, and other events that shaped women's history. It examines women's determination to free themselves from definition by male culture, wanting not only to 'take back the night' but also to reclaim their bodies, their minds, and their cultural identity. It demonstrates as well that the feminist revolution was enacted by women from all backgrounds, of every color, and of all ages and that it took place in the home, in workplaces, and on the streets of every major town and city. This sweeping overview of the key decades in the feminist revolution also brings together for the first time many of these women's own unpublished stories, which together offer tribute to the daring, humor, and creative spirit of its participants.

Corsair

Hunger

Roxane Gay
Authors:
Roxane Gay
Abacus

Primitive Rebels

Eric Hobsbawm
Authors:
Eric Hobsbawm

Social agitation is as essential a part of public life today as it has ever been. In Eric Hobsbawm's masterful study, Primitive Rebels, he shines a light on the origins of contemporary rebellion: Robin Hood, secret societies, revolutionary peasants, Mafiosi, Spanish Civil War anarchy, pre-industrial mobs and riots - all of which have fed in to our notions of dissent in the modern world.Coining now familiar terms such as 'social banditry', Primitive Rebels shows how Hobsbawm was decades ahead of his time, and his insightful analysis of the history of social movements is critical to our understanding of movements such as UK Uncut, Black Lives Matter and the growing international resistance to Donald Trump's presidency.Reissued with a new introduction by Owen Jones, Primitive Rebels is the perfect guide to the revolutions that shaped western civilisation, and the bandits, reformers and anarchists who have fought to change the world.

Piatkus

Unfollow

Linda Papadopoulos
Authors:
Linda Papadopoulos

Life is full of opportunity for young women, but it's also far more pressured than ever before. Whether it's the proliferation or the homogeneity of images of beauty and success that wallpaper our world, we know what a beautiful woman looks like - and we know what a perfect life looks like too. We live in a world that floods us with expectations about everything - from what we should weigh to what we should wear to how often we should be having sex and how much money we should be making. As a consequence, we begin to feel that we need to tick all these boxes in order to have 'the Perfect Life'. When we inevitably fall short, we feel anxious - we feel that we are failing and have the sense we are losing control. As a result, increasing numbers of young women are battling with issues such as anxiety, low self-esteem, bullying, perfectionism, toxic friendships and relationships, pressure to succeed or conform, and poor body image. At an age when life should be exciting, fun and relatively care-free, more and more young women are adrift and struggling. Dr Linda Papadopoulos understands the issues and has the experience to guide and support young women to help get their lives back on track so they can feel happier, more confident, more in control. Unfollow: Living life on your own terms offers valuable insight and practical self-help to empower women to throw off the burden of expectation and start leading the lives they want to lead.

Robinson

The Mammoth Book of Cthulhu

Paula Guran
Authors:
Paula Guran

For more than 80 years H. P. Lovecraft has inspired writers of horror and supernatural fiction with his dark vision of humankind's insignificant place in a vast, uncaring cosmos. At the time of his death in 1937, Lovecraft was virtually unknown, but from early cult status his readership expanded exponentially; his nightmarish visions laying down roots in the collective imagination of his readers. Now this master of the macabre is accepted as part of the literary mainstream, as an American author of note, and the impact of his work on modern popular culture - in literature, film, television, music, the graphic arts, gaming and theatre - has been profound. As Stephen King wrote in Danse Macabre, the shadow of H. P. Lovecraft 'underlies almost all of the important horror fiction that has come since.'Today, Lovecraft's themes of cosmic indifference, the utter insignificance of humankind, minds invaded by the alien, and the horrors of history remain not only viable motifs for modern speculative fiction, but are more relevant than ever as we explore the mysteries of a universe in which our planet is infinitesimal.This outstanding anthology of original stories - from both established award-winning authors and exciting new voices - collects tales of cosmic horror inspired by Lovecraft from authors who do not merely imitate, but reimagine, re-energize, and renew the best of his concepts in ways relevant to today's readers, to create fresh new fiction that explores our modern fears and nightmares. From the depths of R'lyeh to the heights of the Mountains of Madness, some of today's best weird fiction writers traverse terrain created by Lovecraft and create new eldritch geographies to explore . . .With stories by: Laird Barron, Nadia Bulkin, Amanda Downum, Ruthanna Emrys, Richard Gavin, Lois H. Gresh, Lisa L. Hannett, Brian Hodge, Caitlín R. Kiernan, John Langan, Yoon Ha Lee, Usman T. Malik, Helen Marshall, Silvia Moreno, Norman Partridge, W. H. Pugmire, Veronica Schanoes, Michael Shea, John Shirley, Simon Strantzas, Sandra McDonald, Damien Angelica Walters, Don Webb, Michael Wehunt and A.C. Wise Praise for the editor:'For fans of Lovecraftian fiction and well-wrought horror' - Library Journal'Guran smartly selects stories that evoke the spirit of Lovecraft's work without mimicking its style.' - Publishers Weekly'It's a pretty impressive line-up, with nary a clunker to be found. . . . You don't have to be a Lovecraft fan to enjoy this anthology... You'll find alienation, inhumanity, desperation, cruelty, insanity, hopelessness and despair, all set against the backdrop of a vast, unknowable universe filled with vile, indifferent monstrosities. You'll also find beauty, hope, redemption, and the struggle for survival. What more can you ask for?' - Tor.com'I highly recommend this collection... If you have even the slightest interest in contemporary horror fiction, you'll want to try this one on for size!' - BookGuide

Virago

Dancing On the Outskirts

Shena Mackay
Authors:
Shena Mackay

Shena Mackay came to fame aged 20 when she published her first book, written in her teens, with Andre Deutsch. At times darkly surreal and funny, always deft, and highly memorable, her fiction has attracted a legion of fierce admirers ranging from Iris Murdoch to Julie Burchill, Ian Hamilton to Rachel Cooke. She was born in Edinburgh but her family moved often and were living in Blackheath, South East London, when Shena left school at 16. Winning a £25 poetry prize in the (prestigious) Daily Mirror Children's Literary Competition marked the beginning of her writing life. Part of her teens - she got married when she was 20 - were spent in Earls Court and the seedy Soho of the 1960s, and she was privileged to meet many artists, visiting Henry Moore at Much Hadham and drinking whisky from bone china tea cups with David Hockney in Powis Square. In the early 1970s she moved to the country with her husband and three children, and re-emerged as a writer in the 80s with a collection of stories, followed by more works including the Booker Shortlisted The Orchard on Fire.

Corsair

The Barnum Museum

Steven Millhauser
Authors:
Steven Millhauser
Corsair

Foreign Soil

Maxine Beneba Clarke
Authors:
Maxine Beneba Clarke
Corsair

An Untamed State

Roxane Gay
Authors:
Roxane Gay
Virago

Submerged

A.L. Barker
Authors:
A.L. Barker

A.L. Barker dissects the unnerving emotions of everyday life with the sly humour and exquisite feel for language that prompted Auberon Waugh to declare that she 'writes like an angel and I love her'.In this, her tenth collection of stories, she unfolds tales of cunning, fancy, and shifting alliances. Here a young boy fosters grand illusions; a wife faces broken promises; a dutiful committee woman meets a sparky old gentleman; a witch is drowned; an intruder insinuates himself into a lonely woman's holiday; and commonplace superstition mingles effortlessly with submerged desire.

Virago

Rainbow in the Cloud

Maya Angelou
Authors:
Maya Angelou

Since the publication of her first autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou has been celebrated as one of America's most important writers and her words are indelibly imprinted on the hearts of millions.Inspired by the woman who has inspired us all, Rainbow in the Cloud offers nearly 300 of Dr Angelou's wonderful quotes, organised in themed sections (including art, love, spirituality, womanhood, and life in the American South) - from sage advice and beautiful stanzas to humorous quips and pointed observations - drawn from each of her published works and from her celebrated (and much shared) social media posts. This collection also features special words of wisdom she shared often with her family, chosen by her son, Guy Johnson.

Corsair

Bad Feminist

Roxane Gay
Authors:
Roxane Gay
Virago

Eleven

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith
Virago

Slowly, Slowly in the Wind

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

'Highsmith neatly dismantles the American suburban idyll, subverting the cliches of domestic bliss - nice neighbours, a child's comforting glass of milk, and the dream of growing radishes - with macabre cruelty' Andrew Wilson, author of, Beautiful Shadow: A Life of Patricia HighsmithSlowly, Slowly in the Wind brilliantly assembles many of Patricia Highsmith's most nuanced and psychologically suspenseful works. Each of these twelve pieces, like all great short fiction, is a crystal-clear snapshot of lives both static and full of chaos. In 'The Pond' Highsmith explores the unforeseen calamities that can unalterably shatter a single woman's life, while 'The Network' finds sinister loneliness and joy in the mundane yet engrossing friendships of a small community of urban dwellers. In this enduring and disturbing collection, Highsmith evokes the gravity and horror of her characters' surroundings with evenhanded prose and a detailed imagination.

Virago

The Black House

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

'A border zone of the macabre, the disturbing, the not-quite accidental' New York Times Book ReviewThe Black House eerily evokes the warm familiarities of suburban life: the manicured lawns, the white picket fences, and the local pubs, each providing the setting for Highsmith's chilling portraits.Some neighbours are playing scrabble one evening when their cat drags into their house not a bird, or some other catch, but human fingers; a guest arrives at a dinner party where he is not welcome, and his hosts conspire to find and attack his Achilles heel; the crew of the Emma C rescue a beautiful girl floating unconscious in the sea and tension explodes between the men on board; a childless thirty-something couple decide to invite two elderly folk to live with them, but have they been too generous? In this collection of Patricia Highsmith's wonderfully unsettling short stories, people's motives are frequently twisted and no occurrence is without a sinister underlying meaning.

Virago

Nothing that Meets the Eye

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

'These tales should not be glanced at by those with even the slightest history of poor mental health . . . Highsmith's dark humour oozes through this new collection like a particularly delicious poison' Andrew Wilson, Independent on SundayThis volume of stories spans almost fifty years of Highsmith's career, allowing us to see how she evolved from a struggling freelance writer in New York to one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. The stories assembled in Nothing That Meets the Eye, written between 1938 and 1982, are vintage Highsmith: a gigolo-like psychopath preys on unfulfilled career women; a lonely spinster's fragile hold on reality is tethered to the bottle; an estranged postal worker invents homicidal fantasies about his coworkers. While some stories anticipate the diabolical narratives of the Ripley novels, others possess a sweetness that forces us to see the author in a new light.These are suspenseful, playful, taut and psychologically gripping stories, evidence of an extraordinary talent.

Virago

The Animal Lover's Book of Beastly Murder

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith
Virago

Tales of Natural and Unnatural Catastrophes

Patricia Highsmith
Authors:
Patricia Highsmith

'Master storyteller Highsmith offers an eerily up-to-date collection of modern horror tales' Publishers WeeklyPatricia Highsmith, an American who lived most of her life in Europe, was the author of such bestselling crime novels as Strangers on a Train, and The Talented Mr. Ripley. The stories collected here are classic Highsmith - eerie, prescient and chilling, catastrophes caused by human error and dark motives. Whether evoking the White House under siege by the homeless or a 190-year-old woman perpetually near death and dimly glowing, each tale refuses to release you from its tense grip.

Virago

The Daylight And The Dust: Selected Short Stories

Janet Frame
Authors:
Janet Frame

I'm a short story addict, both reading and writing them, and I always keep hoping for the perfect story.' (Janet Frame to Tim Curnow, January 1984)THE DAYLIGHT AND THE DUST is the most comprehensive selection of Janet Frame's stories ever published, taken from the four different collections released during her lifetime and featuring many of her best stories. Written over four decades, they come from her classic prize-winning collection THE LAGOON AND OTHER STORIES, first published in 1952, right up to the volume YOU ARE NOW ENTERING THE HUMAN HEART, published in the 1980s. This new selection also includes five works that have not been collected before. Janet Frame's versatility dazzles. Her themes range from childhood to old age to death and beyond. Within the pages of one book the reader is transported from small town New Zealand to inner-city London, and from realism to fantasy. This volume offers the most comprehensive collection of Janet Frame's unique and powerful writing.