Born on October 15, 1974 in Omaha, Nebraska, and from Haitian ancestors, Roxane Gay is an American writer, professor and editor. After completing high school in New Hampshire, Gay started her college studies at Yale University. However, after few semesters she decided to drop out school to pursue a relationship in Arizona. Later on, she resumed her studies and got her degree at Norwich University (Hunger).
In 2010, Gay received a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Technical Communication from Michigan Technological University. After completing her studies, she started her professional career as a professor of English at Eastern Illinois University. In fact, besides her teaching career, Roxane worked as an editor for Bluestem magazine and this is what gave her the opportunity to publish her writings.
Roxane Gay is mainly known for her feminist writings. Being a pure feminist and activist, Roxane’s writings are truly devoted for the feminine issue. Her novels explore the themes of race, gender, sexual violence, trauma, and diaspora.
Her artistic career started with the publication of her short story collection entitled Ayiti in 2011. Then, she proceeded with two books in 2014, An Untamed State and the essay collection Bad Feminist.
In 2017, Roxane publishes a compelling novel entitled Hunger: A Memoir of My Body, which is an auto-biography. In this novel, the writer assumes her obesity and mainly her skin-color. According to her, this book was the most agonizing and challenging task in her writing career (2). In this way, she states: “This is a book about my body, about my hunger, and ultimately, this is a book about disappearing and being lost and wanting so very much, wanting to be seen and understood” (Ibid).
Being an overweight and black woman wasn’t that easy for Roxane, mainly during her adolescence. When she was 12 and still an innocent girl, with few knowledge about sexuality, Roxane was raped by a group of teenage boys at school. At this age, Roxane didn’t tell her parents. Indeed, because she wasn’t aware about the impact of this assault. She believed that it was all her fault, hence she asserts: “I wish I had known I could talk to my parents and get help, and turn to something other than food. I wish I had known that my violation was not my fault” (6).
This outrageous experience had a great impact on Roxane’s life. After her rape, she started to hate herself and body, and food became her new shelter. In her book entitled Hunger, she states: “Those boys treated me like nothing so I became nothing” (11)