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  • Difficult Women

  • Written by: Roxane Gay
  • Narrated by: Robin Miles
  • Length: 8 hrs and 54 mins
  • 3.9 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)
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Difficult Women

Written by: Roxane Gay
Narrated by: Robin Miles
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Publisher's Summary

Award-winning author and powerhouse talent Roxane Gay burst onto the scene with An Untamed State and the New York Times best-selling essay collection Bad Feminist (Harper Perennial). Gay returns with Difficult Women, a collection of stories of rare force and beauty, of hardscrabble lives, passionate loves, and quirky and vexed human connection.

The women in these stories live lives of privilege and of poverty, are in marriages both loving and haunted by past crimes or emotional blackmail. A pair of sisters, grown now, have been inseparable ever since they were abducted together as children and must negotiate the elder sister's marriage. A woman married to a twin pretends not to realize when her husband and his brother impersonate each other. A stripper putting herself through college fends off the advances of an overzealous customer. A black engineer moves to Upper Michigan for a job and faces the malign curiosity of her colleagues and the difficulty of leaving her past behind. From a girls' fight club to a wealthy subdivision in Florida where neighbors conform, compete, and spy on each other, Gay delivers a wry, beautiful, haunting vision of modern America reminiscent of Merritt Tierce, Jamie Quatro, and Miranda July.

©2017 Roxane Gay. Produced by arrangement with Grove Atlantic (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Difficult Women

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anna H
  • 2017-07-31

Solid good writing, but not a great collection

Roxane Gay obviously has an excellent command of prose/storytelling, but as a short story collection, for me this fell short -- largely because so many of the stories and voices felt so similar (unhappy heterosexual marriages; women being hurt by men). I came into this collection with pretty high expectations -- with a name like "Difficult Women" I guess I was hoping for some badass female characters & more queer representation. The many scenes of rape/abuse are pretty hard to listen to (**trigger warning**) though I do understand that that's coming from Gay's lived experiences, and it's totally valid for her to incorporate those into fiction. Overall, 3/5. Audio quality & reading on this was fine.

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24 people found this helpful

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  • Chloe
  • 2017-07-20

Devastatingly beautiful

Any additional comments?

This book is a must-listen for all women, and I hope that men and other genderfluid individuals read as well (especially men--it eloquently demonstrates through fiction many things that are too emotionally draining for us to tackle in our day-to-day lives). The stories are short and often devastatingly beautiful, and often depict parts of our feminine lives that are too emotionally difficult to share or explain. I was slightly hesitant to listen to this because Roxanne Gaye's "Bad Feminist" is more academic (and also fantastic, just not what I was looking for), but these short stories are illustrative fiction rather than essays. I was also somewhat surprised that many stories depict women in rural areas, which I appreciated as a rural woman myself. Perfect to listen too when feeling alone, misunderstood, or just introspective, and may leave you crying in catharsis. Thank you Roxanne Gaye for this amazing and raw collection of women's stories, struggles, and resilience.

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8 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-09-14

This was liquid sadness, immortalized in a book.

My chest was heavy by the second story, by the fifth my anxiety was spiking beyond control. I had to return it.
This is unbearable 😢😢

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6 people found this helpful

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  • Belle Reads Nietszche
  • 2019-02-03

Incredible collection of short stories...

...of emotionally unpretty, "difficult" women. Difficult, and not for the faint of heart, but stunning and powerful. My first foray into the writing of Roxane Gay and it will certainly not be the last. The audio format worked remarkably well but I found it best to listen to one story and then take a rest for a day or so so they did not all bleed together. My only complaint about the audiobook version is that it lacks some additional stories and an author interview present in the paperback edition of this book.

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6 people found this helpful

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  • Akilah M.
  • 2021-10-21

This Moved me beyond words.

I can't say enough for this book. Love listening so much I had to actually buy the paperback. I am so touched by the sincerity in each story. I found myself being able to come to terms with a lot just reading this. And Robin Miles your narration was perfect for this.

Harsh, beautiful, striking, raw, and just.... amazing.

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3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2017-06-04

Heart wrenching stories

Each story is so different but they all tie you in with their beautiful and difficult truth.

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  • BikeVON
  • 2017-05-05

My bad

I should hot have purchased a novel with is comprised of short stories. A few were quite good.To good to be short and short enough my interest was piqued and then let down. That is my problem and I know it is my issue with short stories.

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3 people found this helpful

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  • Susan Perry Manson
  • 2021-01-05

Challenging and powerful

Trigger warning: there are many uncomfortable topics explored but ultimately you come away with a new perspective on the definition of a difficult woman.

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  • allielens
  • 2020-12-11

More like Disappointed Women

I guess I didn't read the summary/description before starting this, but I really thought it was going to be an inspiring book about difficult women who push through and break glass ceilings and have feminist awakenings. In reality it's just a bunch of stories about women with terrible partners and/or who have awful things happen to them with no resolution at all. Definitely not a pick-me-up.

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  • Bri Sherman
  • 2017-05-09

These stories stick with you

I loved these stories so much, I would go back and relished to chapters, jaw agape.
I cried, out loud, several times.
It's beautiful, it's sad, its strong, it's comforting

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