Roxane Gay is the gift that keeps on giving. The author released her riveting first novel, An Untamed State, back in May, and she already has a new book out: an entertaining and thought-provoking essay collection called Bad Feminist. In it, she covers of range topics from pop culture to politics, from Fifty Shades of Grey and Sweet Valley High to Wendy Davis’ filibuster and the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Oscar Grant.
Bad Feminist, she explains, is about reconciling contradictions — how to ask tough questions about the world and feminism while still “admitting to our humanity and enjoying sometimes inappropriate things.” Gay talked to TIME about Beyoncé, how to define feminism and writing about trauma on the Internet.
TIME: You wrote these essays between 2010 and 2013, but some of them feel especially of the moment — I was reading your essay about privilege while…
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