The Masters Review Blog

Feb 2

Our Favorite Links // Roxane Gay

We couldn’t be more thrilled to work with Roxane Gay, who will select ten emerging writers for volume six of our anthology, a showcase of today’s best emerging writers. (Full submission details here!) Because of our judge’s extraordinary work as a fiction writer, essayist, activist, and thinker, we chose some of our favorite Roxane Gay moments, via links, for you to absorb the greatness that is our Volume VI guest judge. Enjoy!


TED Talk

Confessions of a Bad Feminist // You’ll love this funny and critical take on feminism and how Roxane Gay embraces the term. It is a clear example of what a fantastic person, thinker, and communicator our newest judge is. “I’d rather be a Bad Feminist than no feminist at all.”

In The News

Most recently, Roxane Gay pulled her forthcoming book How to be Heard from a Simon and Schuster imprint after learning the publisher signed a six-figure deal with right-wing writer Milo Yiannopoulos. She says, “I can’t in good conscience let them publish it while they also publish Milo. So I told my agent over the weekend to pull the project.” Read all about it, here.


One of Gay’s most recent interviews. In this discussion with NYTimes Book Review she talks about the books, stories, and writers she loves: “I read books I aspire toward in my own writing and books that capture the tenor of what I’m going for in a given project.” She also makes a reading recommendation for President Trump.


“Not Here to Make Friends” // A quote oft heard on the bachelor or in other reality television shows where women declare they’re here to win, not to be nice. Gay uses the notion to discuss likeable female characters in literature… and life. “They are freeing themselves from the burden of likability or they are, perhaps, freeing us from the burden of guilt for the dislike and eventual contempt we might hold for them.”

“My Body Is Undisciplined and I Deny Myself Nearly Everything I Desire” // Roxane Gay tackles body image in a widely read essay after the 2014 season of The Biggest Loser where the winning contestant lost what many feel was an unhealthy amount of weight. “This is not a show about people becoming empowered through fitness, though on the surface, the show’s slick marketing would have you believe that.”

“Nate Parker and The Limits of Empathy” // Nate Parker is the director, producer, and star of Birth of A Nation, a film that examines the life of Nat Turner and the slave rebellion he led in 1831. Gay writes: “Today, I am struggling to have empathy for Nate Parker, a man experiencing the height of his career while being forced to reckon with his past.” Parker was accused of rape when he was a student at Penn State in 1999. Gay questions how long a person should be forced to pay for their crimes, as well as how art holds up against the personal life of the artist. “We’ve long had to face that bad men can create good art. Some people have no problem separating the creation from the creator. I am not one of those people, nor do I want to be.”


“Things I Know About Fairy Tales” // If you’ve read Roxane Gay’s novel, An Untamed State, the characters and themes in this short story will be familiar. A beautiful example of Gay’s powerful fiction.

You can read Roxane Gay’s books by following their links, and you can visit her website, here.

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  • The Masters Review | 2017 Submissions Calendar February 6th, 2017 6:41 am

    […] could not be more thrilled to have the wonderful Roxane Gay as our judge for The Masters Review Volume VI. Each year, we pair with a guest judge to select the […]