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Writing into the Wound: Understanding trauma, truth, and language

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“Roxane Gay seems to have a knack for fearlessly telling the truth.”—The New York Times From the bestselling author of Hunger and Bad Feminist, an unforgettable, deeply personal look at how trauma has shaped her life and work—and what all of us need to do to come to grips with the collective suffering of the past year. Bestselling author and cultural icon Roxane Gay is no st “Roxane Gay seems to have a knack for fearlessly telling the truth.”—The New York Times From the bestselling author of Hunger and Bad Feminist, an unforgettable, deeply personal look at how trauma has shaped her life and work—and what all of us need to do to come to grips with the collective suffering of the past year. Bestselling author and cultural icon Roxane Gay is no stranger to trauma. As a young girl, she was the victim of a horrifying act of violence that changed her life and would strongly influence her career as a writer. In her 2017 memoir Hunger, she addressed that trauma head-on, writing with bracing honesty about her body and the ways that food can be used both to bury pain and make oneself disappear. The response to Hunger by some critics who seemed to take perverse pleasure in highlighting Gay’s vulnerabilities was itself a fresh wound. By exploring trauma publicly, Gay suffered more of it. In her Scribd Original Writing into the Wound, Gay not only talks openly about trauma in her personal life—from her fraught time as an undergraduate at Yale to the stress of returning there as a visiting professor to the fallout from Hunger—but also about the collective trauma we’ve experienced this past year. COVID-19, racial and economic inequality, political strife, imminent environmental disaster, and more: Gay catalogs it all with her trademark candor and authority. To make sense of our pain, she suggests, we need to explore it fully, even as we’re still in the midst of it. Just as she writes her way through her own traumas and coaches her students to do the same, she urges us to take a long, hard look at the wounds we all share: “The world as we knew it has broken wide open. There is a before and an after, and the world will never again be what it once was. That sounds terrifying, but it is an opportunity.” “To change the world, we need to face what has become of it,” she writes. “To heal from a trauma, we need to understand the extent of it.” Full of wisdom and rage and grace, Writing into the Wound is a remarkable consideration of where we are, and where we need to go, by one of the finest authors and cultural critics of her generation.


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“Roxane Gay seems to have a knack for fearlessly telling the truth.”—The New York Times From the bestselling author of Hunger and Bad Feminist, an unforgettable, deeply personal look at how trauma has shaped her life and work—and what all of us need to do to come to grips with the collective suffering of the past year. Bestselling author and cultural icon Roxane Gay is no st “Roxane Gay seems to have a knack for fearlessly telling the truth.”—The New York Times From the bestselling author of Hunger and Bad Feminist, an unforgettable, deeply personal look at how trauma has shaped her life and work—and what all of us need to do to come to grips with the collective suffering of the past year. Bestselling author and cultural icon Roxane Gay is no stranger to trauma. As a young girl, she was the victim of a horrifying act of violence that changed her life and would strongly influence her career as a writer. In her 2017 memoir Hunger, she addressed that trauma head-on, writing with bracing honesty about her body and the ways that food can be used both to bury pain and make oneself disappear. The response to Hunger by some critics who seemed to take perverse pleasure in highlighting Gay’s vulnerabilities was itself a fresh wound. By exploring trauma publicly, Gay suffered more of it. In her Scribd Original Writing into the Wound, Gay not only talks openly about trauma in her personal life—from her fraught time as an undergraduate at Yale to the stress of returning there as a visiting professor to the fallout from Hunger—but also about the collective trauma we’ve experienced this past year. COVID-19, racial and economic inequality, political strife, imminent environmental disaster, and more: Gay catalogs it all with her trademark candor and authority. To make sense of our pain, she suggests, we need to explore it fully, even as we’re still in the midst of it. Just as she writes her way through her own traumas and coaches her students to do the same, she urges us to take a long, hard look at the wounds we all share: “The world as we knew it has broken wide open. There is a before and an after, and the world will never again be what it once was. That sounds terrifying, but it is an opportunity.” “To change the world, we need to face what has become of it,” she writes. “To heal from a trauma, we need to understand the extent of it.” Full of wisdom and rage and grace, Writing into the Wound is a remarkable consideration of where we are, and where we need to go, by one of the finest authors and cultural critics of her generation.

30 review for Writing into the Wound: Understanding trauma, truth, and language

  1. 5 out of 5

    Michelle McGrane

    “The world as we knew it has broken wide open. There is a before and an after, and the world will never again be what it once was. That sounds terrifying, but it is an opportunity.” Bestselling author and cultural critic, Dr Roxane Gay wrote her latest essay after returning to Yale to teach a workshop on writing trauma. Her book, “Hunger”, and much of her other work deals with trauma — not only personal trauma, but collective trauma. Might it be interesting to explore how we write about trauma, a “The world as we knew it has broken wide open. There is a before and an after, and the world will never again be what it once was. That sounds terrifying, but it is an opportunity.” Bestselling author and cultural critic, Dr Roxane Gay wrote her latest essay after returning to Yale to teach a workshop on writing trauma. Her book, “Hunger”, and much of her other work deals with trauma — not only personal trauma, but collective trauma. Might it be interesting to explore how we write about trauma, and how to do it well? Never before has the United States experienced such psychic and physical wounds. Gay considers the resulting trauma of living through a pandemic and wonders how long we will live the way we live now. She writes about her dismay at Donald Trump’s election, then the rising unemployment, police brutality, political violence at the Capitol, and the indifference with which Trump and his administration responded towards the American people when faced with Covid-19 and the country’s rising death rate. When writing about trauma, Dr Gay’s primary advice is to make sure you have a clear sense of purpose and that you have a reason for writing about trauma that’s more than catharsis, that’s more than writing about it because it happened to you. She advises looking outward as much as looking inward, finding ways of connecting personal trauma to the world that we’re living in and the experiences people are having. “There is no pleasure in writing about trauma. It requires opening a wound, looking into the bloody gape of it and cleaning it out one word at a time. And only then might it be possible for that wound to heal.” “Writing into the Wound” is succinct, accessible, interesting and informative. A huge thank you to @NetGalley and @Scribd, who provided me with an advanced copy of “Writing into the Wound” in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tammie

    I picked this up because Hunger was one of my favourite non-fiction reads of last year (and I currently have a free trial on Scribd lol), and this essay is a follow-up/reflection on that. I liked this - I did feel like I'd have liked to go a bit deeper into the topic since it is such a heavy one, but for a short essay, I thought Gay presented her points well. Since I came into this because of Hunger, I appreciated hearing about how writing/promoting the book opened up old wounds, but also helped I picked this up because Hunger was one of my favourite non-fiction reads of last year (and I currently have a free trial on Scribd lol), and this essay is a follow-up/reflection on that. I liked this - I did feel like I'd have liked to go a bit deeper into the topic since it is such a heavy one, but for a short essay, I thought Gay presented her points well. Since I came into this because of Hunger, I appreciated hearing about how writing/promoting the book opened up old wounds, but also helped her work through her trauma. I liked the discussion of what writers need to consider when writing about trauma, whether that be personal trauma or collective trauma, especially the point about finding a balance between the story that the writer needs to tell in order to heal, as well as telling a story that the audience needs to hear. I'm not a writer, but I definitely think this provides a good overview of things to think about when writing about trauma for any writer. A couple of things I wanted to flag - while listing off and describing other works that she finds influential, Gay does use the term "Indian" to describe a First Nations woman. Though it is unclear whether or not this is language borrowed from the source text or not, I personally felt like she could have chosen to use different language, especially considering this essay focuses so heavily on traumatic language/writing. She also recommends Alice Walker in her list of reading, who is notoriously anti-Semitic, which could be a trigger for many people. Overall, I think it's worth the read if you have access to Scribd and are a writer, but otherwise, I wouldn't say this is a must-read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    3.5 rounded up Writing into the Wound is a 30-something page essay on the writing workshop Roxane Gay recently ran at Yale, her alma mater (albeit a school she states that she dropped out of in her junior year, with her return bringing back some less than fond memories of New Haven). This workshop of 15 students - whittled down from 150 applicants - was on the topic of writing about trauma. Gay shares examples of books she set as texts for the course (including Heart Berries, Disgrace and The Ch 3.5 rounded up Writing into the Wound is a 30-something page essay on the writing workshop Roxane Gay recently ran at Yale, her alma mater (albeit a school she states that she dropped out of in her junior year, with her return bringing back some less than fond memories of New Haven). This workshop of 15 students - whittled down from 150 applicants - was on the topic of writing about trauma. Gay shares examples of books she set as texts for the course (including Heart Berries, Disgrace and The Chronology of Water) and talks about how she has learnt to process and share her trauma through her writing, including how this has sometimes been used against her - notably a particularly awful example from when she was on tour in Australia). Thank you Netgalley and Scribd for the advance copy, which was provided in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Len

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. "As a writer, my job is to make sense of the state of the world; I hardly know where to begin." One thing that resonated with me in this essay is how much it reminded me of the conversation between Hannah Gadsby and Sue Perkins on Perkin's podcast An Hour or so with... (https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast...) It does not escape my notice that all these women are queer. Both women spoke about how fans - not critics, came up to them after a public reciting of their trauma and shared their own sto "As a writer, my job is to make sense of the state of the world; I hardly know where to begin." One thing that resonated with me in this essay is how much it reminded me of the conversation between Hannah Gadsby and Sue Perkins on Perkin's podcast An Hour or so with... (https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast...) It does not escape my notice that all these women are queer. Both women spoke about how fans - not critics, came up to them after a public reciting of their trauma and shared their own stories. "I realised that when writing about trauma, you have to be prepared to handle not only your own trauma but being exposed to the trauma of others." Gadsby and Gay have both made thoughtful and important art from retelling their trauma. Sharing this trauma resulted in the sharing of more trauma. People felt safe, more than that, people felt compelled to share their own trauma when confronted with Gay's and Gadsby's. Gay touches on it a little when she says "there can be solace in unburdening."

  5. 4 out of 5

    Laurel L. Perez

    Gay has a way with words and I can't stop reading her work. Because not only is the language beautiful, a content is inquisitive and heartbreaking, and completely honest. In this particular collection Gay asks how we can write about trauma while not harming ourselves, exploiting others, or triggering other readers. As well as a syllabus that's well worth peeking it. Gay has a way with words and I can't stop reading her work. Because not only is the language beautiful, a content is inquisitive and heartbreaking, and completely honest. In this particular collection Gay asks how we can write about trauma while not harming ourselves, exploiting others, or triggering other readers. As well as a syllabus that's well worth peeking it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    Excellent essay by Roxane Gay. She also offers her syllabus for a writing class she recently taught at Yale which is a list of must read books/authors.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cathryn

    Wonderful. Beautifully written and read. Content like this makes me very pleased with my Scribd subscription.

  8. 5 out of 5

    e l s a

    ”Trauma shapes all of our lives, in so many ways. We are walking wounds, but I am not sure any of us know quite how to talk about it.” deeply personal, insightful and moving. loved it!

  9. 4 out of 5

    {erika}

    Nothing I won't read by Gay. Exceptional. Timely. Heartbreaking. Raw. Important. As always, impactful. Reflecting on so many kinds of trauma here, including collective trauma. Some of my absolute favorite quotes: "But as a writer, I see how the collective trauma of living through a pandemic while an indifferent president and his administration allowed us to die magnified with each passing day. Millions of people have been infected with COVID-19. There were no coherent guidelines for how we shoul Nothing I won't read by Gay. Exceptional. Timely. Heartbreaking. Raw. Important. As always, impactful. Reflecting on so many kinds of trauma here, including collective trauma. Some of my absolute favorite quotes: "But as a writer, I see how the collective trauma of living through a pandemic while an indifferent president and his administration allowed us to die magnified with each passing day. Millions of people have been infected with COVID-19. There were no coherent guidelines for how we should live or how we should be. As the school year commenced, every K–12 school district had a different plan. Every university had a different plan. Most of those plans were woefully inadequate and predicated on getting back to a normal that was well out of reach." "When I write about collective trauma, I am trying to make sense of the world we’re living in, even though the world so rarely makes sense. Sometimes, in writing about collective trauma, everything seems terribly hopeless. The things we are up against, the things the most vulnerable people are up against, are immovable, intractable. Writing about them feels futile. It feels unreal. It is sometimes painful. It is sometimes numbing." "Joe Biden won the presidential election, and even as Trump’s tenure as president came to a violent, pathetic end, he openly tried to steal the presidency he believed was rightfully his because of vanity and hubris. I wish I were being hyperbolic, but I am simply detailing what America has been through in the past four years as plainly as I know how. The atrocities of the Trump administration are so excessive. that there is no easy way to convey the extent of the rot. I keep reaching for words and feeling like I will always fall short.Nothing is safe. Nowhere is safe. It all feels kind of apocalyptic, and that’s for people who are relatively well off. For the poor and the working class, for the essential workers and the people on the front lines of the pandemic, the crisis has been magnified. The economy is struggling along, begging for a stimulus that has been shamefully slow in coming. A housing crisis is looming. A debt crisis is looming. A student loan debt crisis is looming. A healthcarecrisis is already upon us. A climate crisis is looming. This is a terrible story. This is a profoundly traumatic story. Forgive me: I hate telling this story. And still, it needs to be told. To change the world, we need to face what has become of it. To heal from a trauma, we need to understand the extent of it." "Hope has never been my ministry, mostly because I am more a realist than an optimist. But something is happening. The world as we knew it has broken wide open. There is a before and an after, and the world will never again be what it once was. That sounds terrifying, but it is an opportunity. I have never seen anything like the protests we have seen this past year."

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tracy

    I was so intrigued to read this new work from Roxane Gay. I am a huge fan of her work, mostly because she doesn’t pull any punches. The first half or so of this (short) book offers a synopsis of Roxane’s early life, and the traumas she suffered. It was interesting, maybe even disturbing, to read that her readers get frustrated when she doesn’t provide details of these traumas: as if they aren’t valid unless we hear all of the gory details. The story then turned to Roxane’s recent job teaching cr I was so intrigued to read this new work from Roxane Gay. I am a huge fan of her work, mostly because she doesn’t pull any punches. The first half or so of this (short) book offers a synopsis of Roxane’s early life, and the traumas she suffered. It was interesting, maybe even disturbing, to read that her readers get frustrated when she doesn’t provide details of these traumas: as if they aren’t valid unless we hear all of the gory details. The story then turned to Roxane’s recent job teaching creative writing which focused on trauma. She realizes the challenges in writing trauma well: ‘You want to convey the depth of the terrible, but you don’t want to do it so artfully that the trauma is minimized or overlooked’. Can you imagine being lucky enough to be in a writing class taught by her? I think I must be clueless, because what this all eventually led to was an examination of the last year of our lives. Not just COVID, but life under Trump. And the rise of racism. And all of the shit, and yes, trauma, we have suffered. She says it’s somehow a relief to write about traumas other than her own, but questions whether she has a something to say other than what has already been said. Of course she does. We need to speak about these collective traumas, especially as they impact marginalized groups, otherwise we’ll never learn, or heal. Thanks to Netgalley for this ARC. #netgalley

  11. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    Gay is becoming one of my favorite writers. She truly is fearless. Her thoughts here are interesting. I just wanted more. This is so brief and she’s only able to skim the surface of some really HUGE issues. I love what she says at the end, “There is no pleasure to be had in writing about trauma. It requires opening a wound, looking into the bloody gape of it, and cleaning it out, one word at a time. Only then might it be possible for that wound to heal.” And I just wish there was more of an exam Gay is becoming one of my favorite writers. She truly is fearless. Her thoughts here are interesting. I just wanted more. This is so brief and she’s only able to skim the surface of some really HUGE issues. I love what she says at the end, “There is no pleasure to be had in writing about trauma. It requires opening a wound, looking into the bloody gape of it, and cleaning it out, one word at a time. Only then might it be possible for that wound to heal.” And I just wish there was more of an examination of that process. But what we do get is informative for a writer. She spoke about how much of the trauma of writing about a trauma occurs after the fact. She brought up two media interviews that were particularly painful, one being with Terry Gross. I have not liked Gross for a long time because I feel her interviews are self serving and needlessly pointed at times and it made me sad to hear that Gay was on the receiving end of one of Gross’s painful interviews. It made me even more aware of how importance it is for people to write their stories and how important it is for people to listen and try to understand. Ending on one other thing she said, “We are walking wounds, but I am not sure any of us know quite how to talk about it.” I’m grateful she and so many others (she gives a whole reading list) are trying to figure that out so we might all be able to close our wounds.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bailey Musselman

    TW: trauma, sexual assault, police brutality I was hoping I would get the chance to heal from the previous year by reading Roxane Gay's words about our shared trauma: a global pandemic and a sickening presidency. As someone who one day hopes to be a nonfiction writer, I was captivated. This perceivably short yet seemingly infinite essay discusses Gay's writing process when managing her trauma in her work. I was heartbroken at the realistic aftermath of navigating those vulnerabilities in intervie TW: trauma, sexual assault, police brutality I was hoping I would get the chance to heal from the previous year by reading Roxane Gay's words about our shared trauma: a global pandemic and a sickening presidency. As someone who one day hopes to be a nonfiction writer, I was captivated. This perceivably short yet seemingly infinite essay discusses Gay's writing process when managing her trauma in her work. I was heartbroken at the realistic aftermath of navigating those vulnerabilities in interviews and press. She notes that writing trauma is ten-fold, as you don't want to traumatize the reader or re-traumatize yourself. Other topics include BLM protests, climate change, a class at Yale about writing trauma, her anxieties surrounding Bad Feminist and Hunger, her elopement and it's COVID safety precautions, her writing, her fear, her learning, her understanding, her misunderstanding. I highly recommend taking a moment to listen to this one hour long essay. You can find the audiobook on Scribd with a 60-day free trial using this link: https://try.scribd.com/roxanegay60/ - read by Ms. Gay herself.

  13. 4 out of 5

    LaChelle

    Temper your expectations because this is quite a short book that briefly touches on a loaded topic. I listened to this entire audiobook during a long walk. Gay gives what feels like a real time assessment of the collective trauma we’ve endured in the Trump-era and the COVID-19 pandemic. She also talks about her experience of writing about her trauma in her memoir “Hunger” (which I loved) and the residual effects of publishing a story about her trauma. She offers some advice on how to write about Temper your expectations because this is quite a short book that briefly touches on a loaded topic. I listened to this entire audiobook during a long walk. Gay gives what feels like a real time assessment of the collective trauma we’ve endured in the Trump-era and the COVID-19 pandemic. She also talks about her experience of writing about her trauma in her memoir “Hunger” (which I loved) and the residual effects of publishing a story about her trauma. She offers some advice on how to write about trauma but mostly recalls her experience with writing and promoting Hunger as well as teaching a workshop at Yale on writing trauma. The biggest takeaway from this book was a sample of the reading list she provided her students and how there’s truly no perfect or easy way to write about trauma—it is up to the artist to determine how much of their trauma to divulge and the best creative writing methods to use when doing so.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Gerilyn Hayes

    Writing Into The Wound, by Roxane Gay is at once a book for writers who want to learn how to write about trauma and a healing salve for those of us left brokenhearted by the collectively traumatic experience of the Coronavirus pandemic. And now that the reading is done, I want, I need more. More! More Roxane Gay, please! My hands can't grab her books fast enough. My mind cannot process her words deeply enough. My ears cannot receive her audiobook recordings quickly enough. Quite simply, I am awestr Writing Into The Wound, by Roxane Gay is at once a book for writers who want to learn how to write about trauma and a healing salve for those of us left brokenhearted by the collectively traumatic experience of the Coronavirus pandemic. And now that the reading is done, I want, I need more. More! More Roxane Gay, please! My hands can't grab her books fast enough. My mind cannot process her words deeply enough. My ears cannot receive her audiobook recordings quickly enough. Quite simply, I am awestruck by Gay's ability to give clarity to each thought she chooses to imprint upon her readers. Hers are the masterpieces my bookshelves have been missing. This read is perfect for writers, those who have experienced trauma and have a desire to give voice to it, and curious minds that handle fragile contents with great care.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Brian Larson

    Wow- Gay never disappoints in exposing unvarnished, universal, and, at times, brutal truisms. This novella could be viewed as a follow up to Gay’s ‘Hunger.’ She discuses her quixotic & sometimes trauma-compounding book tour for ‘Hunger’ and class teaching on the writing of trauma at Yale. Gay elaborates on her role as an author writing about her trauma and to make such trauma fit within the greater “collective trauma” of the world. Gay ties this “collective trauma” to today’s pandemic and the gr Wow- Gay never disappoints in exposing unvarnished, universal, and, at times, brutal truisms. This novella could be viewed as a follow up to Gay’s ‘Hunger.’ She discuses her quixotic & sometimes trauma-compounding book tour for ‘Hunger’ and class teaching on the writing of trauma at Yale. Gay elaborates on her role as an author writing about her trauma and to make such trauma fit within the greater “collective trauma” of the world. Gay ties this “collective trauma” to today’s pandemic and the gross inequalities COVID-19 exposed both in our healthcare system and in the ways in which the 99% live their daily lives. Oh- and she holds no punches against President 45. She’s not hyperbolic or disingenuous- Gay gives readers the truth.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Gabrielle Matthews

    This was such an important an affirming read for me. The discussion of how, as an author, one goes about unpacking and communicating their trauma through writing was so relevant to me as a debut author. Gay discusses the importance of not using literature as a roadmap for trauma or thinking that explaining your trauma is merely enough of a reason to write for an audience. The relationship she defines between author and audience is so clear and respectful of the journey that each take to arrive a This was such an important an affirming read for me. The discussion of how, as an author, one goes about unpacking and communicating their trauma through writing was so relevant to me as a debut author. Gay discusses the importance of not using literature as a roadmap for trauma or thinking that explaining your trauma is merely enough of a reason to write for an audience. The relationship she defines between author and audience is so clear and respectful of the journey that each take to arrive at the work and I really appreciated this outlook. I wish it was a bit longer because I think there was more to explore - it also ended rather abruptly - but one of my most valuable reads this year. I'll be thinking about this one for a while.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kate Schiffman

    Writing into the Wound by Roxane Gay is a short book about one of the hardest topics tangential to Gay's work - writing about trauma. As she points out, writing about trauma is writing about your experiences as a human. At less than 50 pages, this book covers many experiences that Gay has had in the process of writing about the things that have hurt her without delving into the details of the trauma. While this is not a step by step guide nor a full memoir, there is power in what she is writing Writing into the Wound by Roxane Gay is a short book about one of the hardest topics tangential to Gay's work - writing about trauma. As she points out, writing about trauma is writing about your experiences as a human. At less than 50 pages, this book covers many experiences that Gay has had in the process of writing about the things that have hurt her without delving into the details of the trauma. While this is not a step by step guide nor a full memoir, there is power in what she is writing here. There. is still much to be explored in the arena of writing about painful personal experiences and this draws back the curtain for us to see just a little of Gay's inner thoughts on the subject. As someone who strives to better contextualize and express the point of view I have because of my experiences, I found some of the ideas she explored and the questions she asked here to be helpful. I'd recommend this book to anyone who was grappling with those ideas themselves.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Stevie

    Thank you to NetGalley and Scribd for an advanced copy of this book. This was kind of a strange essay. It didn’t have much to say, but it was still worth it to read. It mainly focuses on what Roxane Gay after she published Hunger and how she began her teaching career. It also talked about the collective trauma the Trump Administration and violence against Black bodies. To be honest, it was a little disjoined. I think this would have worked better as an essay collection (kind of like Mindy Kailin Thank you to NetGalley and Scribd for an advanced copy of this book. This was kind of a strange essay. It didn’t have much to say, but it was still worth it to read. It mainly focuses on what Roxane Gay after she published Hunger and how she began her teaching career. It also talked about the collective trauma the Trump Administration and violence against Black bodies. To be honest, it was a little disjoined. I think this would have worked better as an essay collection (kind of like Mindy Kailing’s Nothing Like I Imagined (Except for Sometimes) series). Everything was surface level that could have been expounded upon.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I’ve never gotten around to reading any of Roxanne Gay’s work until now and I’m so glad I changed that. Even from this short essay it’s clear to me that Gay is a writer who conscious of her audience and cares about the subject matter at hand. Personally, I appreciated this essay on several levels because it was clear and detailed with every point it made. The essay also worked as a reflection on how Gay felt about the responses she received to her memoir which detailed her own trauma while also I’ve never gotten around to reading any of Roxanne Gay’s work until now and I’m so glad I changed that. Even from this short essay it’s clear to me that Gay is a writer who conscious of her audience and cares about the subject matter at hand. Personally, I appreciated this essay on several levels because it was clear and detailed with every point it made. The essay also worked as a reflection on how Gay felt about the responses she received to her memoir which detailed her own trauma while also providing a few different ways we can write trauma. This whole thing really made me want to reevaluate my own writing, especially the way I write trauma.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sonja

    A very useful short book about writing about trauma. Most people have some trauma in their lives. The best way to process and get over the trauma (maybe one can never get over it) is to write. There is also therapy— emdr therapy being the best. Roxane Gay, who has written a number of books about individual and collective trauma gives some good pointers and suggestions about this kind of writing, including a short list of memoirs and fiction to read. I appreciate her plea to write in a different, A very useful short book about writing about trauma. Most people have some trauma in their lives. The best way to process and get over the trauma (maybe one can never get over it) is to write. There is also therapy— emdr therapy being the best. Roxane Gay, who has written a number of books about individual and collective trauma gives some good pointers and suggestions about this kind of writing, including a short list of memoirs and fiction to read. I appreciate her plea to write in a different, creative, transformative way about trauma. It is available on Scribd if you subscribe.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lecy Beth

    Several months ago on Twitter, Gay mentioned working on a project that focused on writing about trauma, and ever since then, I've been waiting for an update. Now that I've been able to read it, I am thrilled. She shares many helpful tips about how a person can write about their most painful moments without doing themselves more harm or scaring their audience away. For such a short contribution, it's packed with a lot of meat. *Advance copy provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest revi Several months ago on Twitter, Gay mentioned working on a project that focused on writing about trauma, and ever since then, I've been waiting for an update. Now that I've been able to read it, I am thrilled. She shares many helpful tips about how a person can write about their most painful moments without doing themselves more harm or scaring their audience away. For such a short contribution, it's packed with a lot of meat. *Advance copy provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Angie

    This didn’t really SAY anything. Or at least not enough to warrant much of a review. If this wasn’t written by Roxane Gay it wouldn’t have been published. It’s essentially an essay that touches on her experiences after publishing Hunger, the start of her teaching career, and the collective trauma of 2020. I was left wondering what the overall point was and what the audience is supposed to take from it, other than “writing about trauma is hard and personal,” which is kind of a given. It was...fin This didn’t really SAY anything. Or at least not enough to warrant much of a review. If this wasn’t written by Roxane Gay it wouldn’t have been published. It’s essentially an essay that touches on her experiences after publishing Hunger, the start of her teaching career, and the collective trauma of 2020. I was left wondering what the overall point was and what the audience is supposed to take from it, other than “writing about trauma is hard and personal,” which is kind of a given. It was...fine. Just fine. You can knock it out in an hour so at least there’s that.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Anna Kristina

    This book is a wonderful exploration into the art of writing trauma, the painfully inadequate societal responses to other people's traumatic experiences, the many ways and techniques to approach writing of personal vulnerabilities without losing boundaries. Ms. Gay uses the expression of her own painful experiences to apply to the investigation of traumas and healings in the world, one that will never be the same post-pandemic and post-Trump. This book is a wonderful exploration into the art of writing trauma, the painfully inadequate societal responses to other people's traumatic experiences, the many ways and techniques to approach writing of personal vulnerabilities without losing boundaries. Ms. Gay uses the expression of her own painful experiences to apply to the investigation of traumas and healings in the world, one that will never be the same post-pandemic and post-Trump.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Niya

    A quick read on embracing your trauma, be it personal or collective trauma as in the 2020 pandemic. RG mentions how writing the book 'Hunger' reopened the childhood trauma that she still holds to date, her tiff with the Australian NPR host who stated how a 'lot of planning went in before hosting such a big woman' and the support she received. She briefly writes about how she conducts her creative writing workshops and classes at Yale encouraging students to discuss topics close to home. A quick read on embracing your trauma, be it personal or collective trauma as in the 2020 pandemic. RG mentions how writing the book 'Hunger' reopened the childhood trauma that she still holds to date, her tiff with the Australian NPR host who stated how a 'lot of planning went in before hosting such a big woman' and the support she received. She briefly writes about how she conducts her creative writing workshops and classes at Yale encouraging students to discuss topics close to home.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Hissa

    A beautifully written essay about trauma and language. Gay poses thought provoking questions about trauma and literature. “writing trauma, with a focus on not only why to write about trauma but also how to go about it in the most ethical and effective ways.” I have enjoyed this short essay and I look forward to reading more of Gay’s work. Based on this alone, I can tell she is an amazing and HONEST writer.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ramona Mead

    I listened to the audiobook read by the author. I love Roxane's work and this was a compelling listen. As a writer myself, I was hoping I would learn techniques from this book. Instead it more of her commentary on writing about trauma from what she teaches on the subject. She did recommend several books she considers well written about trauma, so that's good to have. This is a very short audiobook so I plan to listen to it again soon for it to fully sink in. I listened to the audiobook read by the author. I love Roxane's work and this was a compelling listen. As a writer myself, I was hoping I would learn techniques from this book. Instead it more of her commentary on writing about trauma from what she teaches on the subject. She did recommend several books she considers well written about trauma, so that's good to have. This is a very short audiobook so I plan to listen to it again soon for it to fully sink in.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Falon Willow

    3.5 Of course, since it's Roxane Gay, this is a stunningly and fiercely written essay. Gay writes about the collective trauma of last year briefly but in better words than I've ever heard. The only thing about this is that I wish it was longer, maybe fifty pages more. I thought this was going to go far more in depth about the actual writing process; it wasn't what I expected but I still was moved by what I got. 3.5 Of course, since it's Roxane Gay, this is a stunningly and fiercely written essay. Gay writes about the collective trauma of last year briefly but in better words than I've ever heard. The only thing about this is that I wish it was longer, maybe fifty pages more. I thought this was going to go far more in depth about the actual writing process; it wasn't what I expected but I still was moved by what I got.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kyle Feuerbach

    What a fantastic way to spend an hour. Dr. Gay writes with a powerful grace that is gripping. “Writing Into The Wound” tackles trauma head on, but with compassion and care. It is about healing and overcoming. Not from the ridiculous, “everything happens for a reason” standpoint. Rather, from the realization that traumas occur and they are difficult, but they don’t have to be defining and absolute. That is of course, unless we make them so.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Gwendolyn Kensinger

    Briefly touches on a loaded topic. This felt like a real time assessment of her time teaching a workshop at Yale on how to write about trauma, but also her experience with writing and promoting Hunger. It's a super quick audio listen and it poses some good questions. The end however veered off topic and felt different than the beginning, leading it more towards a general conversation about everything that happened in 2020: COVID, BLM, the presidency, etc. Briefly touches on a loaded topic. This felt like a real time assessment of her time teaching a workshop at Yale on how to write about trauma, but also her experience with writing and promoting Hunger. It's a super quick audio listen and it poses some good questions. The end however veered off topic and felt different than the beginning, leading it more towards a general conversation about everything that happened in 2020: COVID, BLM, the presidency, etc.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Yuu Sasih

    A short essay talking about how writing our trauma for healing process and writing our trauma for public consumption is different, and how the later, if not done right, could potentially harm the one with the trauma. There's some book references about biography about trauma that she thought are good, but this essay is mostly her pondering what's the best way to respectfully write our trauma for public. A short essay talking about how writing our trauma for healing process and writing our trauma for public consumption is different, and how the later, if not done right, could potentially harm the one with the trauma. There's some book references about biography about trauma that she thought are good, but this essay is mostly her pondering what's the best way to respectfully write our trauma for public.

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