The authors on my radar for Auckland Writer's FestivalRoxane Gay and Rupi Kaur are heading to New Zealand this year, in about a month, to take part in the Auckland Writer's Festival and I couldn't be more chuffed to be attending their events. Regardless of where you live, read on to hear what I think about their books.
Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
Andrews McMeel Publishing, 8 July 2016
This book certainly got some hype at the end of last year. At first, I wasn't that interested in reading it because I'm not really into poetry, but this might be the book that will have me converted. I've seen a few of the pages from Milk and Honey dotted around Tumblr and such, but reading the actual book cover to cover was such a nice experience. For me, some of the topics she touched on, such as sexual abuse, love, relationships, heart break, feminism, etc - although not all relatable to me, really hit home. It is a powerful thing when reading one short poem can make you well up, but that's the beauty of poetry I suppose, that I've never really embraced. If you want to give poetry a go, I would highly recommend this one - it's a quick read but Rupi's words are so powerful and touch a nerve.
Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
Harper Perennial, 27 February 2015
Another one I've recently finished, Bad Feminist, is the second book I've read of Roxane Gay's, alongside Difficult Women. I'd say if you haven't read up about intersectional feminism yet, this could be a good book to start with. Race is strongly interwoven with commentary on gender. This book is part memoir, part academic critique on films, tv shows, books, etc. While there were certainly chapters I didn't love as much as others, there are a few aspects that stood out for me that I loved. I was particularly moved by a few chapters, such as when Roxane talks about rape culture and sexual assault, reproductive freedom; when she talked about the idea of 'women's fiction', and most overarching, the idea that we can be 'bad feminists', and there are many different types of feminism for all kinds of people. This book had its moment a couple of years ago, but it's still relevant and worth picking up.
I also read Difficult Women by Roxane Gay* a few months ago - you can see my review here.