Look, Book: Roxane Gay at BookCourt

(Image credit: @IsaacFitzgerald)

Welcome to Look, Book, our weekly (or so) column on the literary happenings of Brooklyn.

What was it?

Roxane Gay was at BookCourt on Sunday evening, as the awe-inspiring cherry atop the Brooklyn Book Festival sundae. Earlier in the day, she also participated in a Brooklyn Book Fest panel, alongside Leslie Jamison and Elissa Schappell. Gay has published two books this year: An Untamed State, a novel, and Bad Feminist, an essay collection. At BookCourt, she was in conversation with Anna Holmes, founder of Jezebel.

Who was there?

As one attendee put it, the “white female misandrist crowd,” which a second agreed is by now a thriving Brooklyn neighborhood. One notable Bad Feminists(TM) in attendance was New Yorker television critic Emily Nussbaum, but equally notable and equally Bad were the few hundred Roxane-stans that packed the room.

What was the best thing that happened?

At Anna’s request, Roxane revealed the stories behind a few of the textual subtweets in Bad Feminist. Pages 17-18 were of particular interest:

We tend to believe that accusations of privilege imply we have it easy, which we resent because life is hard for nearly everyone… Look at white men when they are accused of having privilege. They tend to be immediately defensive…instead of simply accepting that, in this regard, yes, they benefit from certain privileges others do not… Surrendering to the acceptance of privilege is difficult but it is really all that is expected.

Roxane also explained her love of Barefoot Contessa, complete with a pretty spot-on Ina Garten.

What was the best thing someone said?

Roxane Gay, on the power of Katniss Everdeen in the Hunger Games series: “She shows you can be bold, even when you’re broken.”

Follow John Sherman on Twitter @_john_shermanGot a tip for Look, Book? Email john@northsidemedia.com.

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