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Best Selling Author Roxane Gay Talks About Writing, Body Shaming & Diversity in Publishing at the 2016 PEN World Voices



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If you’re a writer, or interested in writing then I have a gift for you! So, this year, best selling author, Roxane Gay delivered the Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture – the 2016 PEN World Voices Festival’s grand finale. You don’t know who Roxane Gay is? Don’t worry, I’ll tell ya! {Or you can check out her website here}

Roxane Gay is a professor of English, a writer, social commentator and the author of An Untamed State and Bad Feminist. She is also one of my absolutely favourite follows on Twitter

Anyway, so back to the lecture, {which you absolutely have to watch, because it’s VERY INTERESTING} Roxane delivers an inspiring and emotional lecture about body shaming, being a woman of colour in the publishing world, and her upcoming memoir, Hunger.

After the lecture, she sits with Saeed Jones {Writer, Poet & Editor of Buzzfeed Culture} and they talk about more issues of diversity – where Roxane says she’s actually tired of panels where all they do is talk about the absence of colour in a predominantly white industry. Less talking and more doing!

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Okay, enough talking. I’ll leave you guys to watch. A little heads up, though… the video is a little over an hour long, but it’s totally worth it.

P.S: there’s a lot of references to Beyonce‘s Lemonade so if you’re a BeyHiver… *wink*

Here goes:

You probably wanna read a fancy bio? But first things first! Atoke published a book titled, +234 - An Awkward Guide to Being Nigerian. It's available on Amazon. ;)  Also available at Roving Heights bookstore. Okay, let's go on to the bio: With a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Swansea University, Atoke hopes to be known as more than just a retired foodie and a FitFam adherent. She can be reached for speechwriting, copywriting, letter writing, script writing, ghost writing  and book reviews by email – [email protected]. She tweets with the handle @atoke_ | Check out her Instagram page @atoke_ and visit her website for more information.


  1. Weezy

    May 18, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    Her novel “an untamed state” haunted my dreams for days. So shocking yet engrossing.

    I’m torn about ‘body positivity’ because it can be a cover for obesity, as in her case. I guess her point is, how is it your business? But one can’t help but wonder, how did she get this way.

  2. Weezy

    May 18, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    My new mantra – “by the power of Beyonce”

  3. Ikido

    May 19, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    Why is it only Fat women that champion the ‘Body Shaming’ cause?

  4. Wahala

    June 30, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    And then you find out it was all staged. Na wah. People sef. Keep believing the hype. Bleh!!

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