Roxane Gay shot to fame with her bestselling collection of essays Bad Feminist. Roxane has applied her razor-sharp literary talent to a new collection of short stories, Difficult Women. She joins Durga Chew-Bose for an unforgettable conversation about what constitutes a difficult woman and what inspires the darkness in her work. Amid the current political and social turmoil, Roxane’s deadeye wit and immeasurable courage may be what we need. Supported by UNSW Arts & Social Sciences.
There’s something cool, even implicative and spooky about being named after a girl in a movie. Something sort of unforced, like a quirk I get to keep but was uninvolved in forming. It’s as though my love of film predates me, is beyond my control, and here I am, the product not just of my parents but also of their taste. Because the Durga I’m named after is the Durga in Pather Panchali (1955)—the first installment in Satyajit Ray’s Apu Trilogy, and one of the greatest films ever made.
She entered quietly, without fanfare, the soles of her black boots tapping the ground. The writer Durga Chew-Bose had been invited to the packed lower level of the McNally Jackson bookstore to talk about her new book, Too Much and Not the Mood, an essay collection whose title is borrowed from an entry in Virginia Woolf's diary in which she bemoans the writerly duty to appease readers — the very thing we'd all eagerly gathered to watch Chew-Bose do.