Difficult Women by Roxane Gay
Published by Grove Press
The short stories in this collection are about women that society may call “difficult” but that word, in this collection, translates more accurately to a variety of words that make up any woman’s experiences in life. The thing about this collection, though, is that most of the women Gay writes about have a much more difficult situation than your “average” woman.
There is no avoiding the fact that these stories are dark. They are emotional. They are, at times, very tough to get through. The women in this collection are experiencing some of the most tragic and emotionally wrecking things that can happen to women, or people in general, in life. There is abuse of all kinds. There is poverty. There is death of parents, friends, children. And much more. But despite their circumstances, the women in these stories are persevering, trying to get though the difficult things in life and come out on the other side better than before. Some of them succeed. Some of them, sadly, do not.
What I found so remarkable about this collection is Gay’s writing and her ability to bring these characters to life in such short amounts of time. In a matter of five to ten pages, she can bring the reader deeply into a character’s existence and truly make the reader know about and care about that character. It’s amazing. I absolutely loved her writing. And although the book was not the easiest to get through, I really loved this collection.