Roxane Gay Reading and Discussion

April 23, 2021

The Marygrove Conservancy proudly presents feminist cultural critic Roxane Gay as the thirty-second guest in the Contemporary American Authors Lecture Series. Dr. Gay will deliver the Bauder Lecture via Facebook at 7:00 pm on Friday, April 23, 2021. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and host of Detroit Public TV’s American Black Journal, and contributor to DPTV’s One Detroit series, Stephen Henderson, will provide introductory and closing remarks as part of this free, virtual event.

Roxane Gay’s fiction and nonfiction reflect “passionate opinions” and offer “willful provocations” about race, gender, and the human body.  She is the author of two books of short stories, Ayiti (2011) and Difficult Women (2017); a novel, An Untamed State (2014); The New York Times best-selling essay collection, Bad Feminist (2014); and the provocative memoir, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body (2017). In a collaboration with poet Yona Harvey, Gay produced the Marvel comic book, Black Panther: World of Wakanda (2016).  Dr. Gay is also the editor of Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture (2018) and The Best American Short Stories, 2018 (2018). Her stories and essays have appeared in A Public Space, McSweeney’s, Tin House, Oxford American, American Short Fiction, Virginia Quarterly Review, Oxford American, Prairie Schooner, and The Nation, and in Best American Mystery Stories 2014, Best American Short Stories 2012, and Best Sex Writing 2012.  She is a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times and from 2015 to 2018 was a columnist for Guardian US.

Katy Waldman in Slate says that Gay “filters every observation through her deep sense of the world as fractured, beautiful, and complex.” Publishers Weekly asserts, “Whatever her topic, Gay’s provocative essays stand out for their bravery, wit, and emotional honesty.” Writing in The New York Times, Carina Chocano regards Hunger as “an intellectually rigorous and deeply moving exploration of the ways in which trauma, stories, desire, language and metaphor shape our experiences and construct our reality.” In the New Republic, Rafia Zakaria calls Hunger “A work of staggering honesty” that is “poignantly told.”  And in The Seattle Times, Moira Macdonald describes it as “a memoir that’s so brave, so raw it feels as if she’s entrusting you with her soul.”

Gay has received the 2015 Pen Center USA Freedom to Write Award, a 2018 Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts, a 2018 Eisner Award, and two 2018 Lambda Literary awards. Born in Omaha, she attended high school in New Hampshire at Phillips Exeter Academy and then studied at Yale University, Vermont College of Norwich University, and the University of Nebraska, Lincoln before completing a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Technical Communication at Michigan Technological University. She has held faculty positions at Eastern Illinois, Purdue, and Yale Universities.

Roxane Gay – Creatives in a Time of Crisis

Stephen Henderson moderated a virtual discussion with the author, Roxane Gay
October 22, 2020

The Marygrove Conservancy Department of Arts & Culture presented Roxane Gay as the 32nd guest author of Contemporary American Authors Lecture Series (CAALS), through a virtual discussion, moderated by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and host of Detroit Public TV’s American Black Journal, and contributor to DPTV’s One Detroit series, Stephen Henderson.

One of the country’s most perceptive cultural critics, Roxane Gay, recently spoke about what she calls “the age of inelasticity”: “Things are not getting better. The reality is we come together for these special events…but how do we sustain the energy to keep working on issues?” Now, as our city, nation and world confront an unprecedented series of crises, these discussions are important: to sustain us, to activate us, and to hold us accountable. Join us to do the hard work of finding a path forward.