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:


  • A Little Life

    By Hanya Yanagihara

    Our Price: $15.30
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780804172707
    • Publisher: Anchor Books
    • 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.
  • An Untamed State

    By Roxane Gay

    Our Price: $8.00 - $14.40
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780802122513
    • Publisher: Black Cat
    • Published: May 2014
    Her perfect life is shattered when Mireille is kidnapped by armed men in front of her father's estate in Haiti and she must endure the horrors and torments of her captors while her father inexplicably resists paying for her ransom.
  • Another Brooklyn

    By Jacqueline Woodson

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

    By Roxane Gay

    Our Price: $14.39
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780062282712
    • Publisher: Harper Perennial
    • Published: August 2014
    A collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched young cultural observers of her generation, Roxane Gay.“Pink is my favorite color. I used to say my favorite color was black to be cool, but it is pink—all shades of pink. If I have an accessory, it is probably pink. I read Vogue, and I’m not doing it ironically, though it might seem that way. I once live-tweeted the September issue.”In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman (Sweet Valley High) of color (The Help) while also taking readers on a ride through culture of the last few years (Girls, Django in Chains) and commenting on the state of feminism today (abortion, Chris Brown). The portrait that emerges is not only one of an incredibly insightful woman continually growing to understand herself and our society, but also one of our culture.Bad Feminist is a sharp, funny, and spot-on look at the ways in which the culture we consume becomes who we are, and an inspiring call-to-arms of all the ways we still need to do better.
  • Bad Marie

    By Marcy Dermansky

    Our Price: $15.99
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780061914713
    • Publisher: Harper Perennial
    • Published: July 2010
    After her release from prison, Marie finds work as a nanny for her childhood best friend, Ellen, and begins an affair with Ellen's husband that takes her to France.
  • Bad Sex

    By Clancy Martin

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

    By Claire Vaye Watkins

    Our Price: $17.00
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9781594631450
    • Publisher: Riverhead Trade
    • Published: August 2013
    A debut collection of 10 short stories reimagines the mythology of the American West through the experiences of protagonists who endure hardship and violence in the face of such challenges as a foreigner's erotic changes at a prostitution ranch, a hermit's attempt to rescue an abused teen and a woman's role in a friend's degrading Vegas encounter. 25,000 first printing.
  • Bel Canto

    By Ann Patchett

    Our Price: $9.50 - $16.95
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780061565311
    • Publisher: HarperPerennial
    • Published: June 2008
    When terrorists seize hostages at an embassy party, an unlikely assortment of people is thrown together, including American opera star Roxane Coss, and Mr. Hosokawa, a Japanese CEO and her biggest fan. Reissue. 50,000 first printing.
  • Beloved

    By Toni Morrison

    Our Price: $14.40
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9781400033416
    • Publisher: Vintage International
    • Published: June 2004
    Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, Morrison's spellbinding novel transforms history into a story on a biblical scale as well as a lullaby. Sethe, the protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. There are too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things occurred. Her new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Morrison is the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. The New York Times Book Review Fiction Survey finds Beloved 'the single best work of American fiction published in the last 25 years.' 324p.
  • Break Any Woman Down: Stories (Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction Ser.)

    By Dana Johnson

    Our Price: $19.95
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780820344492
    • Publisher: University of Georgia Press
    • Published: October 2012
    In Break Any Woman Down, Dana Johnson explores race, identity, and alienation with unflinching honesty and vibrant language. Hip and seductive, her stories often feature women discovering their identities through sexual and emotional intimacy with the men in their lives.In the title story, La Donna is a black stripper whose white boyfriend, an actor in adult movies, insists that she stop stripping. In "Melvin in the Sixth Grade," eleven-year-old Avery has a crush on a white boy from Oklahoma who, like Avery, is an outsider in their suburban Los Angeles school. "Markers" is as much about a woman's relationship with her mother as it is about the dissolution of her relationship with an older Italian man.Dana Johnson has an intuitive sense of character and a gift for creating authentic voices. She effortlessly captures the rhythmic vernaculars of Los Angeles, the American South, and various immigrant communities as she brings to life the sometimes heavyhearted, but always persevering, souls who live there.
  • Citizen: An American Lyric

    By Claudia Rankine

    Our Price: $17.95
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9781555976903
    • Publisher: Graywolf Press
    • Published: October 2014
    A provocative meditation on race, Claudia Rankine’s long-awaited follow up to her groundbreaking book Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American LyricClaudia Rankine’s bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV—everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person’s ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named “post-race” society.
  • Dare Me

    By Megan Abbott

    Our Price: $13.50
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780316097789
    • Publisher: Reagan Arthur / Back Bay Books
    • Published: August 2013
    After a suspicious suicide, the members of a high school cheerleading squad, along with their new, perfectly cool coach, Colette French, are drawn into the investigation.
  • 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.
  • Don't Kiss Me: Stories

    By Lindsay Hunter

    Our Price: $7.00
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780374533854
    • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
    • Published: July 2013
    Candid stories follow a colorful cast of characters, including a waitress who works the late shift at Perkin's and an Afrin-addled detective, as they, seemingly driven by desperation, get the last laugh.
  • Everything I Never Told You

    By Celeste Ng

    Our Price: $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.