Not That Bad by Roxane Gay

Not That Bad

Edited and with an introduction by Roxane Gay, the New York Times bestselling and deeply beloved author of Bad Feminist and Hunger, this anthology of first-person essays tackles rape, assault, and harassment head-on.In this valuable and revealing anthology, cultural critic and bestselling author Roxane Gay collects original and previously published pieces that address what it means to live in a world where women have to measure the harassment, vi...

Details Not That Bad

TitleNot That Bad
Release DateMay 1st, 2018
PublisherHarper Perennial
GenreNonfiction, Feminism, Writing, Essays, Anthologies

Reviews Not That Bad

  • Hannah
    Sometimes, when a book speaks deeply to me, I have problems putting into words what my thoughts are. This is one of those cases. Roxane Gay has built an anthology so strong, both in subject matter and in style, that I am feeling inadequate talking about it. I will try though, so bear with me while I work through my feelings.It comes as no surprise that Roxane Gay is my hero. When this anthology arrived on my doorstep (I had preordered it months a...
  • Maggie Wrobel
    Unforgettable, tragic, essential and true. This book is a monumental achievement - a light in the current, ever-present murky darkness. It’s not easy to read, nor should it be, but it offers within it a type of solace through catharsis.Thank you to Roxane and the incredibly brave, strong women who lent their voices to it.
  • Emily May
    Powerful. Raw. Stunning writing. Pretty much everything I would expect from a collection put together by Roxane Gay. What is it like to live in a culture where it often seems like it is a question of when, not if, a woman will encounter some kind of sexual violence? This is book about rape and rape culture. Some of the stories are empowering, some are depressing, but all talk about important aspects of the world we live in. Many of the writers ex...
  • Rebecca
    Thank you to the publisher (via Edelweiss) for an advance e-galley of this book in exchange for an honest review.How could I give this any fewer than full stars, when the writers in this anthology have laid bare their experiences in such honest, vivid essays? This is not easy, enjoyable reading- this is essential, brutal, truthful writing about rape and assault, and the deeply personal ways in which those who experience it are affected- days, wee...
  • xTx xTx
    wow. gay has put together a mass of voices and in their bulk, the truth of their words, the words of their truth, cannot be ignored. in fact, they are overwhelming. All nuance all same all speak as one. Sad all together. sad in small doses. a mirror. a scream. a throat ripped open with both hands.
  • Veronica
    Pre-order this book asap.
  • Jen
    "Sometimes people tell me that something bad happened to me, but I am brave and strong. I don't want to be told that I am brave or strong. I am not right just because he was wrong. I don't want to be made noble. I want someone willing to watch me thrash and crumple because that, too, is the truth, and it needs a witness." This book is a witness to the grip of rape culture on our society. It was devastating. It made me angry. It places a spotlight...
  • Alyssa Foll
    A profound and diverse collection of essays on rape culture. I was blown away by many of the essays and the authors' attempts to make meaning and narrative out of events that so often strip that capacity away. Roxane Gay's introduction is also excellent. I would highly recommend this book for understanding rape culture and sexual violence in the US. I would, however, be aware that there are some graphic descriptions in the book of assault (though...
  • Meghan Bell
    I needed this book. I could not put it down. It brought back a lot of unpleasant memories, some that I had buried so deep I didn't know they were there. But I'm glad I read it. Something about reading other survivor's stories is incredible and fills me with so much anger, so much strength, I feel like I could tear down a city with my bare hands. In a way that's what we need to do. Tear down the culture that creates these stories. I'm inspired by ...
  • Aquietglow
    I don't even know how to rate something like this or to explain what the experience of reading it is like, or why I continue to. This line from Claire Schwartz's story resonated and I want to keep it for myself: "Anisha tells me, 'A good therapist knows you have to live in the house while you remodel.'"
  • Bryan Cebulski
    Obviously hard to go "wow it's so good omg I recommend it" when the subject matter is so personal and so harrowing, but wow are these essays good. Speaking from a range of perspectives and voices, incorporating vastly different approaches to prose style, appealing in wildly different manners to the reader's senses. Just so impressive. I can't even think of any essay in particular that stands out to me only because they're all so excellent across ...
  • Michelle
    3.5. I don’t know what I was expecting. I thought this would be better, but I found it to be a mixed bag and extremely painful to read at times. Some essays were amazing and furthered the discourse, but honestly this was not necessary reading for me.
  • Melissa
    Sometimes reading this book felt like my heart was being torn out and stomped on, but it was still a very good book.
  • Emma Saks
    one of the most difficult books i have read, yet couldn’t stop reading. the insights were poignant, the stories were powerful, and all the amazing people that contributed to this book have left me with a lot to think about. it is definitely a must read, if you are able to.
  • Laura
    I cannot describe everything these essays made me feel, oh my god.
  • Sonaksha
    There are some books that I just do not understand how to speak about or rate on a scale. They are beyond that. And this one definitely falls into that category.It left me weeping, thinking and haunted. I wanted to read it in one sitting but I just could not. I had to take breaks. What an incredible anthology. Each story could stand on its own, that's how powerful it was. It was so heartbreaking to see how we minimise our experiences - "What happ...
  • Amy
    It's not very often that I have a hard time articulating what I'm thinking or feeling. I'm bad at a lot of things but I am great at saying what I mean. This book brought up a lot of complicated thoughts and emotions in a way that is difficult to put into words. While I was reading it, I caught myself having physical reactions--I was shaking mad, I was tearing up, I caught myself holding my breath a few times. Every story is relatable, which is wh...
  • Morninglight Mama
    I don't feel that there's any way to actually "review" this book, because how would one judge the worthiness of individual, highly personal testimonies on the broad topic of rape culture? Each essay was unique, yet they all were woven together with similarities and common themes, especially the titled reference to questioning if one's trauma/assault/rape was "bad enough" to warrant a story/sympathy/legal action. This was fucking hard to read. For...
  • Anu Kaur
    It took me along time to get through this book. Not because it wasn’t worth reading but because it is it written with such honesty and raw emotion that I needed to take breaks to just recuperate. Every story is unique but they all share a common thread of loss, pain, and confusion that stems from of sexual violence. This collection of personal essays creates the foundation of community of men and women who are not alone. It is the voices in thi...
  • Sydney McGhie
    This is mandatory reading for everyone living in 2018. It is poetic, honest, heart wrenching and unbelievably powerful. The stories range from small forms of assault to horrific stories but the importance of the books is that there is no spectrum of rape and assault, there is no my story is "not that bad" it is ALL BAD. It is all horrific. And it happens to so many people in varying stages of their life and it is something we must talk about. Rox...
  • Linda Shepherd
    Rape is not the only way a woman (or man) can be violated. The trauma can last for years. Rape culture creates an army of the walking wounded. These are the people who need mental health services but are not always likely to seek it out. Not That Bad shines a light on a crisis that needs to be talked about, discussed everywhere, in schools, in Congress, at kitchen table discussions and family meetings.
  • Jeimy
    This is a heartbreaking read, but if you are not aware of of how pervasive rape culture is or what seemingly innocuous actions make women feel violated, you should read this book. I highly recommend the audiobook as the authors give life to their very personal tales and give it an additional sense of intimacy.
  • WriterLadyNYC
    I just. I don't know exactly what I'm feeling. I could have probably finished this collection of essays in a day, if I hadn't had to take breaks. I'm overwhelmed. I'm gutted. I'm crying on a bus. I needed this book and didn't know.Roxane Gay is an amazing curator of art. The transition of one essay to the next was seamless and was a rollercoaster. So impactful.
  • Emily
    This book is one of the most difficult I’ve ever read. It’s heartbreaking and raw and real, and I’m so grateful for the honesty in every essay. The viewpoints are diverse, which is a testimony of the editor. It’s challenging, but in a way that makes me feel like I’m not alone. It’s hard to accurately review this book, but I recommend it as a slow read.
  • Leona
    I devoured this book. Each story is raw, deeply personal and moving. Brought together in this book. they give an manifold overview of rape culture and the consequences for all people (and people of all genders).
  • Jay Miraldi
    Hearing these women's stories made me mad. And they should, they should piss you off. There are too many stories like this and it is crystal clear that something is fundamentally wrong with the culture of our society. It has to stop. Period.
  • V Smith Smith
    Roxane Gay has brought together a prolific set of essays that speak to the cultural acceptance of sexualizing and sexually marginalizing women.This book should mandatory reading for middle grades on.