The Audacity is a newsletter from Roxane Gay, debuting on January 11, 2021.
Newsletters are over.
I’ve been thinking about blogs lately because I miss them. I am very attached to things that fade into obsolescence. For years, I wrote an obscure little blog few people read and that was mostly fine because I could share my thoughts with myself and three or four other people. Though I didn’t realize it at the time, I was also growing as a writer, thinking more about how to tell a story, how to get readers to care about the story. But I was also an avid blog reader. Every day I looked forward to opening my Google Reader (RIP) and reading about the lives of complete strangers who seemed so compelling. A mother in Utah, a designer in the Bay Area, a foster parent in NYC, a baker in St. Louis, a budding filmmaker in Los Angeles. It didn’t matter how different the bloggers were. What mattered is how they made me want to understand the world from their perspective.
People curate what they put from their lives into the public sphere but a good writer makes what they curate one hell of a story. That’s what I hope to do with this newsletter—tell one hell of a story about the world we’re living in, the culture we consume, the things that bring me joy, the things that infuriate me, the things I think we should talk about.
I am also going to use this space to feature the work of others. Every two weeks, I will publish an essay from an emerging writer, someone with three or fewer publications) and share a brief interview with them about their work, who they are, who they hope to become. Yes, they will be paid a good and fair wage for their work.
And I’m going to host a book club, where we read books by underrepresented American writers, talk about those books, and, when we’re lucky, talk to the writers of those books. Everything starts January 11th.
Subscribe to get full access to the newsletter and website. You’ll also have exclusive access to weekly discussions, exclusive book club features, and subscriber-only content like the recipes for the food I’m always posting on Instagram. All content will be free for the first month and most of the essays I share here will be in front of the paywall for the duration. Let’s see how this goes.
The Audacious Book Club.
The Audacious Book Club part of The Audacity. Every month we’ll read a book and have online discussions. Paid subscribers will, when the authors are willing and able to join us, have the opportunity to join me in a live Zoom conversation with that writer. And because there are so many amazing books being published every month, I will also be featuring other recommended reading.
Please purchase the books from your favorite independent bookstore or check them out from your local library. Gibson’s Bookstore has kindly assembled an order page featuring all the titles we’ll be reading. If other independent bookstores do this, you can also find those links here.
The Audacious Books:
January: Black Futures, edited by Jenna Wortham and Kimberly Drew (Week of 1/25)
February: Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters (Week of 2/22)
March: The Removed by Brandon Hobson (Week of 3/22)
April: Milk, Blood, Heat by Dantiel W. Moniz (Week of 4/26)
May: Libertie by Kaitlyn Greenridge (Week of 5/24)
June: Of Women and Salt by Gabriela Garcia (Week of 6/21)
July: The Five Wounds by Kirstin Valdez Quade (Week of 7/26)
August: Somebody’s Daughter by Ashley C. Ford (Week of 8/23)
September: The Renunciations by Donika Kelly (Week of 9/20)
October: The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang (Week of 10/25)
November: Sometimes I Trip on How Happy We Could Be by Nichole Perkins (Week of 11/22)
December: Afterparties by Anthony Veasna So (Week of 12/13)
Some shout outs.
The Audacity’s logo was designed by the one and only Chip Kidd.
My co-director for the book club is Kaitlyn Adams, an avid reader and all around wonderful person.
This newsletter’s editor is TBD very soon as I am still reading through applications. Stay tuned.
I am a writer, editor, cultural critic and I even have a podcast, Hear to Slay, that I co-host with the one and only Tressie McMillan Cottom. I am from Omaha, Nebraska and currently split my time between Los Angeles and New York. I have lived most of my life in the Midwest and many of those years were spent in very rural places. I am the daughter of Haitian immigrants. I have written a great many things in publications like Harper’s Bazaar, McSweeney’s, Virginia Quarterly Review, Town & Country, Black Warrior Review, A Public Space and I won’t bore you with it all. I write books, some of which are New York Times bestsellers—Ayiti, An Untamed State, Bad Feminist, Difficult Women, and Hunger. I edited Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture and The Selected Works of Audre Lorde. I co-wrote the graphic novel The Sacrifice of Darkness. I am a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times where I also write the “Work Friend” column. I edited Best American Short Stories 2018. I was the first black woman to lead a Marvel comic when I wrote World of Wakanda. I now write comics for TKO Studios. First, The Banks, and up next, The Ends. This one time, I was on the L Word: Generation Q. I am working on some film & television projects and I have a couple other secret projects in the works that you will hear about here as they unfold. Sometimes, I am an academic. I only make men call me Dr. Gay. That’s self-explanatory.
Live your life a quarter mile at a time.
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To learn more about my work, visit my website at www.roxanegay.com. To find out more about the company that provides the publishing platform for this newsletter, visit Substack.com. If you need to get in touch with me for a very serious, emergency-level reason, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions about your account, subscription, or anything customer service related, go here.