Credit © Jay Grabiec

The Author’s Bookshelf: Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay is the author of the novel An Untamed State, which was a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Fiction; the essay collection Bad Feminist; and Ayiti, a multi-genre collection. She is at work on a memoir, Hunger, and a comic book in Marvel’s Black Panther series. Her writing has appeared in Best American Short Stories 2012, the New York Times, the Guardian, and many others. She is a recipient of the PEN Center USA Freedom to Write Award, among other honors. She splits her time between Indiana and Los Angeles. She can be found online at and on Twitter @rgay.

Books By Roxane Gay View All

Bad Feminist: Essays


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An Untamed State


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Roxane Gay’s Bookshelf View All

A Little Life Hanya Yanagihara


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A Little Life

Sometimes, when I read a novel, I want to not only lose myself, I want to be utterly devastated. A Little Life is one of those books that is devastating. There is grief upon grief to be found in these pages but also the joys of a lifelong friendship between four men as they grow up and try to become the men they most want to be. View In Store
NW Zadie Smith


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NW is sprawling and multi-layered and audacious and experimental and a novel I keep coming back to, because it is just so smart and stylish. View In Store

The Age of Innocence (Complete and Unabridged)

Edith Wharton is my favorite writer and her incisive indictments of the wealthy class she was a part of, are endlessly interesting to me. I also love her gorgeous descriptions and any story about unrequited love, and this is very much a story about unrequited love, is right up my alley. View In Store

The Chronology of Water: A Memoir

Yuknavitch upends expectations of what a memoir should look like as she remakes time and language and examines her life, the beauty and ugly and raw and the love and hurt, all of it flowing from one page to the next like water. This is a book to drown in View In Store

Citizen: An American Lyric

Citizen is a book that bears witness to the realities of blackness in America. This is not just poetry, it is testimony and it is necessary. View In Store

Roxane Gay’s Bookshelf:


  • Bad Sex

    By Clancy Martin

    Our Price: $11.50
    • Format: Hardcover
    • ISBN-13: 9780991360802
    • Publisher: Tyrant Books
    • Published: September 2015
  • Difficult Women

    By Roxane Gay

    Our Price: $12.50
    • Format: Hardcover
    • ISBN-13: 9780802125392
    • Publisher: Grove Press
    • Published: January 2017
  • The Glimmering Room

    By Cynthia Cruz

    Our Price: $8.00 - $14.35
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9781884800979
    • Publisher: Four Way
    • Published: October 2012
  • Him, Me, Muhammad Ali

    By Randa Jarrar

    Our Price: $14.36
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9781941411315
    • Publisher: Sarabande Books
    • Published: October 2016
  • The Mothers

    By Brit Bennett

    Our Price: $12.95 - $13.00
    • Format: Hardcover
    • ISBN-13: 9780399184512
    • Publisher: Riverhead Books
    • Published: October 2016
  • Another Brooklyn

    By Jacqueline Woodson

    Our Price: $11.50
    • Format: Hardcover
    • ISBN-13: 9780062359988
    • Publisher: Amistad
    • Published: August 2016
  • Guapa

    By Saleem Haddad

    Our Price: $8.50 - $15.25
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9781590517697
    • Publisher: Other Press
    • Published: March 2016
    In a novel set over the course of 24 hours, Rasa, a gay man living in an unnamed Arab country, is caught in bed with another man by his grandmother, the woman who raised him, and roams the city, trying to carve out a life for himself in the midst of political and social upheaval. Original.
  • Night at the Fiestas

    By Kirstin Valdez Quade

    Our Price: $15.95
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780393352214
    • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
    • Published: March 2016
    Exploring the themes of race, class and coming-of-age, a stunning collection of stories about growing up in a land shaped by love, loss and violence introduces a cast of unforgettable characters who protect, betray, wound, undermine, bolster, define and, ultimately, save each other.
  • A Little Life

    By Hanya Yanagihara

    Our Price: $8.50 - $15.30
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780804172707
    • Publisher: Anchor
    • Published: January 2016
    Moving to New York to pursue creative ambitions, four former classmates share decades marked by love, loss, addiction and haunting elements from a brutal childhood. By the author of The People in the Trees.
  • Delicious Foods

    By James Hannaham

    Our Price: $8.00 - $14.39
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780316284936
    • Publisher: Back Bay Books
    • Published: January 2016
    A young widow with an addiction is lured away to a remote farm by a shady company called Delicious Foods, where she is held captive and forced into hard labor while she struggles to become reunited with her young son. 20,000 first printing.
  • Voyage of the Sable Venus and Other Poems

    By Robin Coste Lewis

    Our Price: $23.40
    • Format: Hardcover
    • ISBN-13: 9781101875438
    • Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
    • Published: September 2015
    A stunning poetry debut: this meditation on the black female figure through time introduces us to a brave and penetrating new voice.Robin Coste Lewis's electrifying collection is a triptych that begins and ends with lyric poems meditating on the roles desire and race play in the construction of the self. In the center of the collection is the title poem, "Voyage of the Sable Venus," an amazing narrative made up entirely of titles of artworks from ancient times to the present--titles that feature or in some way comment on the black female figure in Western art. Bracketed by Lewis's own autobiographical poems, "Voyage" is a tender and shocking meditation on the fragmentary mysteries of stereotype, juxtaposing our names for things with what we actually see and know. A new understanding of biography and the self, this collection questions just where, historically, do ideas about the black female figure truly begin--five hundred years ago, five thousand, or even longer? And what role did art play in this ancient, often heinous story? Here we meet a poet who adores her culture and the beauty to be found within it. Yet she is also a cultural critic alert to the nuances of race and desire--how they define us all, including her own sometimes painful history. Lewis's book is a thrilling aesthetic anthem to the complexity of race--a full embrace of its pleasure and horror, in equal parts.
  • Everything I Never Told You

    By Celeste Ng

    Our Price: $8.00 - $14.40
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780143127550
    • Publisher: Penguin Books
    • Published: May 2015
    “Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.” So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos. A profoundly moving story of family, secrets, and longing, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another. 320p.
  • How to Be Drawn

    By Terrance Hayes

    Our Price: $7.95
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780143126881
    • Publisher: Penguin Books
    • Published: March 2015
    A dazzling new collection of poetry by Terrance Hayes, the National Book Awardwinning author ofLightheadIn How to Be Drawn, his daring fifth collection, Terrance Hayes explores how we see and are seen. While many of these poems bear the clearest imprint yet of Hayes’s background as a visual artist, they do not strive to describe art so much as inhabit it. Thus, one poem contemplates theprinciple of blind contour drawing while others are inspired by maps, graphs, and assorted artists. The formal and emotional versatilities that distinguish Hayes’s award-winning poetry are unified by existential focus. Simultaneously complex and transparent, urgent and composed, How to Be Drawn is a mesmerizing achievement.
  • Men We Reaped: A Memoir

    By Jesmyn Ward

    Our Price: $15.30
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9781608197651
    • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
    • Published: September 2014
  • The New Testament

    By Jericho Brown

    Our Price: $15.30
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9781556594571
    • Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
    • Published: September 2014
    ""Erotic and grief-stricken, ministerial and playful, Brown offers his reader a journey unlike any other in contemporary poetry."-Rain Taxi"To read Jericho Brown's poems is to encounter devastating genius."-Claudia RankineIn the world of Jericho Brown's second book, disease runs through the body, violence runs through the neighborhood, memories run through the mind, trauma runs through generations. Almost eerily quiet in even the bluntest of poems, Brown gives us the ache of a throat that has yet to say the hardest thing-and the truth is coming on fast.Fairy TaleSay the shame I see inching like steam Along the streets will never seep Beneath the doors of this bedroom, And if it does, if we dare to breathe, Tell me that though the world ends us, Lover, itcannot end our love Of narrative. Don't you have a story For me?-like the one you tell With fingers over my lips to keep me From sighing when-before the queen Is kidnapped-the prince bows To the enemy, handing over the horn Of his favorite unicorn like those men Brought, bought, and whipped until They accepted their masters' names. Jericho Brown worked as the speechwriter for the mayor of New Orleans before earning his PhD in creative writing and literature from the University of Houston. His first book, PLEASE (New Issues), won the American Book Award. He currently teaches at Emory University and lives in Atlanta, Georgia. "--