When Roxane Gay published her debut novel, An Untamed State, the New York Times called it “striking and complex.” The newspaper praised the novel, which details the kidnapping of the daughter of a wealthy construction magnate in Haiti, for its use of metaphor to describe the world’s culture of enabling sexual violence.
“There are plenty of witnesses,” the 2014 review says of the main character’s kidnapping. “Neighbors and passers-by cluster around but do nothing. This hopelessness and silent complicity also defines the reaction of Mireille’s family. Even the reader is made complicit as the ordeal stretches into nearly a fortnight.”
Roxane Gay brings care and attention to the subject of sexual harassment and assault, and the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center is thrilled to have her speak at this year’s annual Champions for Change Gala and Auction. The prolific author has infused the national conversation around the culture of sexual violence with biting humor and unflinching commentary. She is a trailblazer, and we’re fortunate that her contributions to the literary world will help shape the future of ending sexual violence.
The New York Times best-selling author advocates for cultural sensitivity and awareness of sexual harassment and assault. She writes of her own experiences in Hunger and lifts up the storytelling of other survivors in the anthology she edited, Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture. As she write in the introduction of Not That Bad:
“As of this writing, something in this deeply fractured culture is, I hope, changing. More people are beginning to realize just how bad things really are. . . . [People] are coming forward and naming sexual harassers or worse in publishing, journalism, and the tech world. Women and men are saying, ‘This is how bad it actually is.’ This is a moment that will, hopefully, become a movement. These essays will, hopefully, contribute to that movement in a meaningful way. The voices shared here are voices that matter and demand to be heard.”
We look forward to honoring Roxane Gay’s journey and our vision for a future without sexual violence at the Champions for Change Gala and Auction.
Join us on November 9 for the Champions for Change Gala and Auction, or make a donation today.