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Roxane Gay's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Roxane Gay recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Roxane Gay's favorite book recommendations of all time.

The touching, triumphant story of a young black man's journey from violence and despair to one of the world's most elite artistic institutions, as if The Blind Side were set in the world of opera.
Ryan Speedo Green had a tough upbringing in southeastern Virginia: his family lived in a trailer park and later a bullet-riddled house across the street from drug dealers. His father was absent; his mother was volatile and abusive.
At the age of twelve, Ryan was sent to Virginia's juvenile facility of last resort. He was placed in solitary...
Recommended by Roxane Gay, and 1 others.

Roxane GayIn Sing For Your Life, Daniel Bergner beautifully tells the story of what it means for a young man to, quite literally, find his voice. In this chronicle of the life of Ryan Speedo Green, we see how a young black man can rise, and hold onto hope, despite all the forces working against him. We see how a young black man can sing for his life and find triumph in the most unexpected of places. (Source)

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After decades of silence, Robyn Crawford, close friend, collaborator, and confidante of Whitney Houston, shares her story.

Whitney Houston is as big a superstar as the music business has ever known. She exploded on the scene in 1985 with her debut album and spent the next two decades dominating the charts and capturing the hearts of fans around the world. One person was there by her side through it all--her best friend, Robyn Crawford.

Since Whitney's death in 2012, Robyn has stayed out of the limelight and held the great joys, wild adventures, and hard truths of...
Recommended by Roxane Gay, and 1 others.

Roxane GayPreordered this book. I don’t believe for a second that their physical relationship ended like a decade before they broke up. It’s sad that Crawford needs to say this to speak about their love publicly. (Source)

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Very Nice

A brilliantly funny novel of money, sex, race, and bad behavior in the post-Obama era, featuring a wealthy Connecticut divorcée, her college-age daughter, and the famous American novelist who is seduced by them both.

Rachel Klein never meant to kiss her creative writing professor, but with his long eyelashes, his silky hair, and the sad, beautiful life he laid bare on Twitter, she does, and the kiss is very nice. Zahid Azzam never planned to become a houseguest in his student's sprawling Connecticut home, but with the sparkling swimming pool, the endless supply of Whole...
Recommended by Roxane Gay, and 1 others.

Roxane GayHappy publication day to @mdermansky and her book Very Nice which I will read imminently. She wrote one of the best novels ever, Bad Marie, so check that out too. (Source)

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