Cover image for Not that bad : dispatches from rape culture / edited by Roxane Gay.
Not that bad : dispatches from rape culture / edited by Roxane Gay.

First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, New York : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2018.

Physical Description:
xii, 350 pages ; 24 cm
Added Author:


Library Branch
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
1 Bob Harkins Branch 305.42 NOT Book Adult General Collection
1 Nechako Branch 305.42 NOT Book Adult General Collection

On Order



Edited and with an introduction by Roxane Gay, the New York Times bestselling and deeply beloved author of Bad Feminist and Hunger, this anthology of first-person essays tackles rape, assault, and harassment head-on.

Vogue, "10 of the Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2018" * Harper's Bazaar, "10 New Books to Add to Your Reading List in 2018" * Elle, "21 Books We're Most Excited to Read in 2018" * Boston Globe, "25 books we can't wait to read in 2018" * Huffington Post, "60 Books We Can't Wait to Read in 2018" * Hello Giggles, "19 Books We Can't Wait to Read in 2018" * Buzzfeed, "33 Most Exciting New Books of 2018"

In this valuable and revealing anthology, cultural critic and bestselling author Roxane Gay collects original and previously published pieces that address what it means to live in a world where women have to measure the harassment, violence, and aggression they face, and where they are "routinely second-guessed, blown off, discredited, denigrated, besmirched, belittled, patronized, mocked, shamed, gaslit, insulted, bullied" for speaking out. Contributions include essays from established and up-and-coming writers, performers, and critics, including actors Ally Sheedy and Gabrielle Union and writers Amy Jo Burns, Lyz Lenz, and Claire Schwartz. Covering a wide range of topics and experiences, from an exploration of the rape epidemic embedded in the refugee crisis to first-person accounts of child molestation, this collection is often deeply personal and is always unflinchingly honest. Like Rebecca Solnit's Men Explain Things to Me, Not That Bad will resonate with every reader, saying "something in totality that we cannot say alone."

Searing and heartbreakingly candid, this provocative collection both reflects the world we live in and offers a call to arms insisting that "not that bad" must no longer be good enough.

Author Notes

Roxane Gay is the New York Times bestselling author of Bad Feminist: Essays, the novel An Untamed State, the story collection Ayiti, and her memoir, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body. Her work has also appeared in Glamour, Best American Short Stories, and the New York Times Book Review. She won the PEN Center USA's 2015 Freedom to Write Award. The annual award is presented to individuals or organisations for 'producing notable work in the face of extreme adversity' or showing 'exceptional courage in the defense of free expression. In 2018, she was presented the Trustee Award for Excellence in Literature by the Lambda Literery Awards. She also won the Bisexual Nonfiction award for her memoir Hunger.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

New York Review of Books Review

TO END A PRESIDENCY By Laurence Tribe and Joshua Matz. (Basic, $28.) Should a president be impeached? And if so, how do you go about it? Tribe and Matz, both highly respected legal scholars, play out various scenarios, bringing to bear a sense of history and a deep knowledge of constitutional law. when life gives you LULULEMONS By Lauren Weisberger. (Simon & Schuster, $26.99.) From the author of "The Devil Wears Prada" comes a sequel featuring Emily Charlton, ex-assistant to the fashion editor Miranda Priestly. Charlton is now living in the Connecticut suburbs and her career as a Hollywood image consultant has suffered a number of blows, ft's time for an uplifting comeback. the origins of cool in postwar America By Joel Dinerstein. (University of Chicago, $40.) Exploring the intersection of all those midcentury markers of hipness - from film noir to jazz to existential literature - Dinerstein maps out a grand unified theory of "cool," as the concept that came to define the postwar era. not that bad Edited by Roxane Gay. (Harper Perennial, paper, $16.99.) What does it mean to live in a world in which women are, as one essay in this collection puts it, "routinely secondguessed, blown off, discredited, denigrated, besmirched, belittled, patronized, mocked" simply for speaking their minds? Gay gathers a group of feminist writers who offer answers, ruthless tide By Al Roker. (William Morrow/HarperCollins, $28.99.) The "Today" show co-host and weatherman writes a narrative history of the 1889 Johnstown flood, the deadliest in American history, immersing himself, for a change, in the weather of the past. & Noteworthy "En route to my 20 th college reunion, 1 started reading Elif Batuman's the idiot. Its clever, awkward, insecure protagonist, Selin, is an unforgettable character. Selin, the daughter of Turkish immigrants, is a lovelorn Slavicist entering Harvard in 1995, when email was becoming ubiquitous but smartphones were far in the future. The novel is a terrific satire, because it comes from a sympathetic place, (ft even helped relieve my anxiety about the reunion, which turned out to be fun.) One memorable nonfiction book 1 just finished is Lauren Hilgers's patriot number one, a richly reported account of a Chinese dissident who settles in Flushing, Queens, the neighborhood where 1 grew up. ft's the second book I've read about Flushing lately - the other is Atticus Lish's debut novel, preparation for the next life. From radically different narrative perspectives, both books offer compelling portraits of the hopes and disappointments that exist in one of New York's fastest-growing immigrant communities." -SEWELL CHAN, INTERNATIONAL NEWS EDITOR, ON WHAT HE'S READING.

Library Journal Review

"What is it like to live in a culture where it often seems like it is a question of when, not if, a woman will encounter some kind of sexual violence?" Gay (Hunger) posits in the introduction to her latest title, a "place for people to give voice to their experiences, a place for people to share how bad this all is, a place for people to identity the ways they have been marked by rape culture." Gang-raped at 12, Gay's denial that what happened was "not that bad" finally gave way to recognizing how sexual violence is always "that bad." In the 29 entries Gay collected and edited-some solicited, others culled from hundreds of submissions-the experiences are raw, brutal, immediate. But the diverse contributors-women, men, queer, trans, cisgender, famous, not-have all survived: they're "voices that matter," Gay emphasizes, "and demand to be heard." Gay and her courageous cohorts each narrate their individual pieces, adding further can't-turn-away intimacy. VERDICT Libraries will want to enforce that silence is not an option by providing this paramount testimony in multiple formats.-Terry Hong, -Smithsonian -BookDragon, Washington, DC © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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