Roxane Gay lives and writes in the Midwest. Her first book, Ayiti (Artistically Declined Press), is out now.
what are you reading now
I read multiple books at the same time. I'm reading Karaoke Culture by Dubravka Ugresic, Brand New Cherry Flavor by Todd Grimson, Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron, The Fallback Plan by Leigh Stein, Circus in Winter by Cathy Day, Cream City Review 35.1, application letters for a poetry position my department is trying to fill, PANK submissions, Bluestem submissions, etc etc etc.
classic you’ve been meaning to read
So damn many. I feel woefully under read and so many of the classics are just missing from my book vocabulary. At the top of the list, I'd start with the Russians.
last book you finished in a single sitting
When She Woke by Hillary Jordan
book you borrowed and never returned
American Normal by Lawrence Osborne
favorite book from childhood
Little House on the Prairie, all of them, and they remain my favorites.
most treasured book in your collection
Must I choose just one? The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton.
book you’ve planted on a coffee table to impress someone
I don't think that far in advance. My coffee table always has a shocking pile of books on it anyway but they're just what I'm currently working through or have received in the mail.
if you could subscribe to only one literary journal
This is a very difficult question. I want to say the magazine I edit but that would be cheating. I'm going to go with Hobart. I am never disappointed.
best thing you’ve read online recently
"Assault on the Minibar" by Dubravka Ugresic on The Paris Review blog.
most anticipated upcoming release
I'm looking forward to Wild by Cheryl Strayed, Lidia Yuknavitch's new novel, Threats by Amelia Gray, and The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus.
recommended reading list:
Books I Insist You Read Immediately Because They Are Scorchingly Good
- Play As It Lays by Joan Didion
- Green Girl by Kate Zambreno
- The Chronology of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch
- Game of Secrets by Dawn Tripp
- Circling the Drain by Amanda Davis
- Zazen by Vanessa Veselka
- Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones
- Once Upon a River by Bonnie Jo Campbell