Humanities Alumnus Roxane Gay’s book listed in Financial Times’ 2018 best fiction

Edzordzi Agbozo, Lode Writer

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The Financial Times has listed “Ayiti” by Michigan Tech alumnus Roxane Gay in its 2018 best fiction list. The list consisted of twenty titles selected by the newspaper’s deputy books editor, Rebecca Rose and was published on Nov. 23.

First published in 2011, Ayiti Gay’s debut collection of short stories. The Financial Times stated that the book was unique. “Drawing on her own experience, Gay’s emotionally powerful stories examine the complexities of Haitian identity, and what it means to be a Haitian in America. The US was once a yearned-for destination, but the reality of life there often doesn’t live up to expectations, as we see through the perspectives of a bullied 14-year-old, a student mocked about voodoo, and a man trying to make it in Miami,” the paper stated.

Ethel Rohan, author of “Cut Through the Bone” said the stories in this book “are powerful stories written with verve and there’s this great sense at the collection’s close that nothing will stop the Haitian people, the human spirit or Roxane Gay.” According to the National Post, Canada, “Ayiti” epitomizes the raw talent that made Gay “one of the voices of our age”.

“The themes explored in Gay’s nonfiction, such as the transactional nature of violence and the ways in which stereotypes of poverty add another layer of dehumanization, are just as potent here.

Even her more lyrical mode is filtered through a keen sense of the lost promise of one country and the blinkered privilege of the other. It’s Gay’s unflinching directness—the sense that her characters are in the room with you, telling it like it is—that makes her irresistible,” Vogue magazine stated.

Gay received her PhD in Rhetoric and Technical Communication from the Department of Humanities at Michigan Tech in 2010. Her dissertation was titled Subverting the Subject Position: Toward a New Discourse About Students as Writers and Engineering Students as Technical Communicators and was directed by Ann Brady, retired professor of scientific and technical communication.