Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture edited by Roxane Gay [in Library Journal]
“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?” Roxane Gay (Hunger) posits in the introduction to her latest title, a “place for people to give voice to their experiences, a place for people to share how bad this all is, a place for people to identity the ways they have been marked by rape culture.” Gang-raped at 12, Gay’s denial that what happened was “not that bad” finally gave way to recognizing how sexual violence is always “that bad.”
In the 29 entries Gay collected and edited – some solicited, others culled from hundreds of submissions – the experiences are raw, brutal, immediate. But the diverse contributors – women, men, queer, trans, cisgender, famous, not – have all survived: they’re “voices that matter,” Gay emphasizes, “and demand to be heard.” Gay and her courageous cohorts each narrate their individual pieces, adding further can’t-turn-away intimacy.
Verdict: Libraries will want to enforce that silence is not an option by providing this paramount testimony in multiple formats.