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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 reminiscent of Merritt Tierce, Jamie Quatro, and Miranda July.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Anna H on 07-31-17
Solid good writing, but not a great collection
Roxane Gay obviously has an excellent command of prose/storytelling, but as a short story collection, for me this fell short -- largely because so many of the stories and voices felt so similar (unhappy heterosexual marriages; women being hurt by men). I came into this collection with pretty high expectations -- with a name like "Difficult Women" I guess I was hoping for some badass female characters & more queer representation. The many scenes of rape/abuse are pretty hard to listen to (**trigger warning**) though I do understand that that's coming from Gay's lived experiences, and it's totally valid for her to incorporate those into fiction. Overall, 3/5. Audio quality & reading on this was fine.
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