Author Roxane Gay on how unnecessary purchases help her regain control in an uncertain climate

A small shopping cart and red computer mouse on pink background, symbolizing online shopping.

After nearly eight months of relative isolation, I have succumbed to Instagram ads which have, over the past while, become increasingly ludicrous. Or my inability to resist them has become increasingly ludicrous. It all started with an ad for a Lume Cube, a small LED light for better lighting on…

The fear of traveling in my body made the world seem small, until I did it anyway

Rear view of a fat Black woman sitting on a towel on the beach, watching the ocean.

I’m a workaholic. Until recently, I had never taken a vacation as an adult. During graduate school and the first few years of teaching, I couldn’t afford a vacation. I had no one to go on a vacation with. And then it seemed like an unnecessary extravagance when there was…

‘I am getting to know so much about her and, fortunately, I delight in each new thing’

For the entirety of our relationship, my fiancée Debbie and I have been long distance. Or, we were long distance. She is based in New York City and I am based in Los Angeles and we are both stubborn about changing our geographies. For the first six months of our…

When beautiful lies reveal ugly truths

A closeup photo of Stacey Abrams speaking at an event.

Politicians are not auditioning to be my friend. Every election cycle, I remind myself of this as I consider which candidates to support. I do not need to believe they are the best people in the world. I need to find them capable of the important work they will be…

Grappling with the uncertainties of the way we are living now

1.

It is nearly impossible to avoid thinking about power during an election year. Politicians with varying degrees of talent engage in years of pageantry as they try to convince the most people that they are the best candidate to assume the American presidency. They try to convince us that they…

Roxane Gay’s year of reading

This was a year where I felt like I didn’t get anything done. I didn’t write much and when I did I wasn’t very happy with what I wrote. I didn’t read much. I travelled too much. Toni Morrison died and I reflected on her legacy. I wrote a comic…

The distortions of black and brown lives in the white imagination

The new West Side Story revival attempts to reinterpret the classical music for a contemporary audience in a fraught political climate. It is Romeo and Juliet, but with tattoos and ripped clothing and barely suppressed rage rolling beneath the skin of every character. It is a story of old immigrants…

Roxane Gay

I write. I want a tiny baby elephant. If you clap, I clap back. Books.: Ayiti, Untamed State, Bad Feminist. Difficult Women, World of Wakanda 1–5, Hunger.

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