An Amazon Best Book of the Month, August 2014: "These essays are political and they are personal," Roxanne Gay announces in the introduction of Bad Feminist. "They are, like feminism, flawed, but they come from a genuine place." This place, as displayed throughout the course of her excellent essay collection, is also one of daring intelligence, imagination, and empathy. Gay leads by example. To combat the demeaning stereotype that feminists are humorless, Gay imbues her essays with levity. One of the best pieces comes early in the book when Gay competes in a Scrabble tournament and her success as a beginner angers her male opponents. It's smart and laugh-out-loud funny essay, and in a humbling turn, Gay herself finds a similar unwarranted frustration toward competitors when she begins losing. Bad Feminist represents Gay's body of personal essays and critical work over the past several years, and if the book has a slight misstep, it's that it sometimes feels like these are articles that have been published elsewhere. (For example, Gay's takedown of The Help is extraordinary, but the same arguments return repeatedly in pieces about other films.) Still, this is such a small complaint in a rare collection where each and every piece is vital and the book as a whole feels important. --Kevin Nguyen
''Smart readers cannot afford to miss these essays, which range from socially significant art (Girls, Django in Chains) and feminist issues (abortion) to politics (Chris Brown) and why Gay likes pink.'' --Library Journal
''With prodigious bravery and eviscerating humor, Roxane Gay takes on culture and politics in Bad Feminist -- and gets it right, time and time again. We should all be lucky enough to be such a bad feminist.'' --Ayelet Waldman, author of Love and Treasure and Bad Mother
''Roxane Gay is so great at weaving the intimate and personal with what is most bewildering and upsetting at this moment in culture. She is always looking, always thinking, always passionate, always careful, always right there.'' --Sheila Heti, author of How Should a Person Be?
''Gay's essays are consistently smart and provocative…Her essay collection will give you dinner-party conversation through September.'' --USA Today
''A trenchant collection…Whatever her topic, Gay's provocative essays stand out for their bravery, wit, and emotional honesty.'' --Publishers Weekly (starred review)
''A strikingly fresh cultural critic.'' --Washington Post