Roxane Gay’s New Essay Collection ‘Not That Bad’ Kicks Rape Culture Right in the Nuts

Kevin Nance

Actress Gabrielle Union, Electric Literature's Brandon Taylor and others are contributing first-person accounts.

On Friday (November 3), bestselling author and literary favorite Roxane Gay tweeted that her newest book will be a group of essays called Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture. As its name suggests, the anthology will confront the wide-spread epidemic of rape through familiar first-person accounts of violence, harassment, and mistreatment.

As it is defined, rape culture is a sociological concept informed by a setting in which societal attitudes about sexuality and gender perpetuate and normalize rape.

In connection with the announcement, which unveiled the cover art for Gay’s self-edited collection, she also released the Table of Contents (below) which enlists both women and men for written benefactions to the compilation, including Being Mary Jane star Gabrielle Union and Breakfast Club alum Ally Sheedy to Electric Literature‘s Brandon Taylor and Cinderland memoirist Amy Jo Burns.

Gay’s new book will take form next summer in May 2018, and follows the author’s staggering autobiography, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, in which Gay spoke on how being sexually assaulted during her youth transformed the relationship she shares with food even to this day.

Described as a “valuable and revealing anthology,” Not That Bad will tackle the “routinely second-guessed, blown off, discredited, denigrated, besmirched, belittled, patronized, mocked, shamed, gaslit, insulted, bullied” for speaking out on the issue of rape that still stands undiscussed today.

While the essay collection won’t be available for another six months, the topic of rape and the sexual abuse and mistreatment seems more prevalent now than ever. In light of the myriad allegations of sexual harassment emerging every day, everyone from celebrities and even well-known authors is stepping forward to unbury America’s often rug-swept tradition of rape and abuse within and outside the workplace.

Not That Bad is due to release May 1, 2018, in the United States.

What do you think of Gay’s newest work, Not That Bad?

Are you as excited to read as I am? Let me know in the comments!


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the authorParis Close
Editor-in-chief at Paperback Paris. Saving myself for Andy Cohen. Give me Gillian Flynn, or give me death.