April 2019: Why An Untamed State by Roxane Gay

An Untamed State by Roxane Gay is the fourth book we will be reading for BookofCinz Book Club. I read this book back in January 2016 and I remember finishing the book and feeling so raw. The book is set in Haiti and explores the kidnapping of the protagonist. There are so many themes that is looked at in-depth and it will make for a great book club selection.

We will be meeting on a weekly basis to discuss the book via Instagram. This weekly discussion is for the persons who can’t make the in person meet up happening on Wednesday April 24th, 2019 in Trinidad and Tobago.

Here are the four reasons why An Untamed State by Roxane Gay was selected as the fourth BookOfCinz Bookclub book.

 

  1. It is a debut novel

An Untamed State is Roxane Gay’s first book, since this publication Gay went on to write and take part in other ground-breaking literature. There is something about a debut novel that brings a refreshing look into an otherwise old topic and that is exactly what Gay did with An Untamed State. The book covers the kidnapping of Mireille Duval Jameson who is the youngest daughter of one of Haiti’s richest sons.  Mireille is kidnapped in broad daylight by a group of armed men, she is held captive while her father is asked to pay a ransom. During this time of captivity Mireille is endures a lot, will she be strong enough to overcome?

 

 

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  1. The Book is Written by a Woman

I wanted to ensure that we continue the momentum of reading books written by women and more specifically Caribbean women of colour, which is why we are going with Roxane Gay. Gay is from Haitian heritage and in her debt novel- An Untamed State she writes about the country that bears her heritage. Since Gay’s debut novel went on to have major success in the literary world with her famous book Bad Feminist and Hunger: A Memior of (My) Body.  We get to read her first work and see how much her writing has evolved with age.

 

 

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  1. The Plot Offers A Lot To Discuss

A bit of a hefty book with 368 pages I blew through this book, mainly because the writing is really engaging. The main character is going through a crisis that we all want her to pull through from.  A lot of themes are brought to light in this book, specifically poverty, family dynamics, justice and depression. The plot and characters will leave you talking for months mainly because people will be divided on how they feel, this will make for great discussion.

 

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  1. The Book is set in Haiti

As a Caribbean based book club I do want to pick books that are set in the Caribbean. We have so much to gain by reading about our neighboring islands and reading from authors from the Caribbean. I’ve always been fascinated with Haiti, a country rich with history and culture so I am looking forward to seeing how Gay writes about the country, history and its people. While the circumstances explored in the book are bleak I do know Gay did a great job of showcasing Haiti in a great light.

 

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There you have it, An Untamed State by Roxane Gay, the forth book we will be reading for BookOfCinz Book Club in April 2019. If you will be reading along, please contact me at bookofcinz@outlook.com or follow me on Instagram @bookofcinz

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