Book thoughts

Let’s get weird

I’m was unsure of what I wanted to write about, so I started a post about Difficult Women by Roxane Gay and how the stories that she wrote were weird. They’re like really weird, but in a good way. I like weird.

Like the one story about the baby arm. Or the other story about the lady who got an abusive boyfriend after she and her husband (who she is still married to and in love with) lost their son. Or the one about the glass woman, but like an actual woman made of glass.

Her metaphors are really interesting. Her ideas break so many molds. This is the first time I’ve read any fiction by her. I think she’s pretty good and I would love to read a full-length fiction novel by her.

I’ve never been too into short stories like that; they were literally too short and left me unsatisfied (it’s not the size of the boat; it’s the motion of the ocean). I read a few in the past. I couldn’t even get into this book like that at first. But these stories were just so weird that I couldn’t help but to like them.

I will admit that some of them that left me disappointed. Like the ones that just sound like boring white women doing predictable boring white women things. Aren’t there enough stories about them? I thought Roxane Gay was better than that.

But maybe she is. Maybe she is extending her creative writer’s muscles to pull from a perspective she doesn’t know anything about. I know most of these stories are racially ambiguous, but they seem to fall within the default of white, and that, to me, is disappointing.

And Roxane shouldn’t have to always write about people of color or their experiences or even her own experiences. Being able to create a voice from the perspective of someone so different from you is a gift and a talent. Like I said before, not being able to relate to people’s experiences that are different from mine isn’t the problem; I’m just not as entertained by stories that are always being told in one fashion or another.

These stories aren’t completely the same. Like I said, they are weird. I just think it would add extra layers if they were characters of color. Just a lil bit of flavor other than vanilla. I mean, there are 150 varieties of vanilla, but we always seem to get basic.

But who am I to critique her writing and who she should write in her stories? I obviously know nothing about writing, especially creative writing, and I doubt my ability all the time. Please don’t ask me to write a short story. I can barely keep my attention long enough for a blog post.

Roxane, you are still one of my writing heroes (heroine? Heroin? I actually know how to spell it. I was just trying to do a little word play). You can still take my money for your books.

Who knows? Maybe this book will be my gateway drug (heroin?) into more books with short stories. The weirder, the better.

Give me some short story recommendations in the comments! Let’s get weird!

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