Roxane Gay encourages women to embrace being difficult

Writer Roxane Gay discusses her latest book of fiction, Difficult Women.
Author Roxane Gay in Coleman hall on the campus of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois on January 31, 2014. (Jay Grabiec)

Women are given a lot of judgemental labels: crazy, frigid, loose, difficult. Roxane Gay's latest book, Difficult Women (out now), urges us to challenge every single one of them. 

Difficult Women, a collection of fictional stories, finds Gay exploring the lives of different women, with the ultimate goal to "encourage women to embrace being difficult and, really, just embrace being human." 

"We have this idea that, as women, that we're supposed to make nice and play nice," Gay points out. "And I really want women to feel permission to be themselves and that includes a range of emotions." 

Today, Gay joins Tom Power to discuss her book, writing fiction and the depiction of sexual violence in her writing. Gay will be appearing at the Bram & Bluma Appel Salon at the Toronto Reference Library on March 16. (The event is sold out.) 

Roxane Gay's new book, Difficult Women, is out now. (Publishers Group Canada)

— Produced by Cora Nijhawan


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