IWD Profile: Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay, renowned feminist writer and cultural commentator, will be stopping at the University on her first ever UK tour – With One ‘N’.

Gay is best-known for her New York Times bestselling essay collection Bad Feminist (2014), which analysed culture, politics, criticism, and feminism and created an international discussion on what it means to be a feminist. If you want to have a glimpse at the ideas behind Bad Feminist, you can watch her Ted Talk ‘Confessions of a Bad Feminist’ here. Her memoir, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, also received international attention for its depiction of Gay’s relationship with food, mental health, and ‘our shared anxieties over pleasure, consumption, appearance and health.’ Alongside Yona Harvey, Gay was the first black woman to be a lead writer for Marvel with her comics Black Panther: World of Wakanda. Her writing can also be found online – she contributes the “work friend” advice column for The New York Times, and has written pieces for The Guardian US, Gay Mag, The Rumpus and more. Gay has two forthcoming books, How to Be Heard– advice on writing and using your voice – and a YA novel The Year I Learned Everything.

Outside of writing, Gay’s cultural influence can be seen in her two podcasts – The Roxane Gay Agenda and Hear to Slay (with Tressie McMillan Cottom)which host interviews and encourage discussions on race, gender, reality TV and more. In 2019 Gay created a book club with VICE News, which included conversations hosted by Gay with authors, musicians and journalists on books which can be found on VICE News’ YouTube channel. Gay’s newsletter ‘The Audacity’ also has a book club which holds monthly webinars in which allow audiences to join in conversations between Gay and the writer. There are also plans in motion to adapt Gay’s memoir into a film, and her comic book The Banks into a television show.

Co-hosted by UNESCO City of Literature, and co-sponsored by the Student’s Guild, the live conversation between Gay and Exeter alumna Sharifa Milford-Al Hashemy will be followed by a Q&A session. Come along to the Forum Alumni Auditorium at 19:30 on the 14 March. Pay what you can afford and get your tickets here.

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