author, writer, professor.


published 2/7/2019


Roxane Gay is an American writer, professor, editor, and commentator. She is the author of the books Ayiti, An Untamed State, the New York Times bestselling Bad Feminist, the nationally bestselling Difficult Women and the New York Times bestselling Hunger. She has taught at Eastern Illinois University, Purdue University, and will be serving as a visiting professor at Yale University in 2019. 

describe a typical day in your life. 

It depends on the day. When I'm at home, I get up, check email and social media, and waste time until it's time to go to the gym. Three times a week, I work out with a personal trainer. On the other four days I work out on my own. I hate every minute of working out and procrastinate. Then I generally have meetings, media interviews, podcast appearances, or more email or work or wasting time. Sometimes I steal away for lunch with my person. At night, I either cook, or go out to dinner with friends or my person. I work some more, and eventually go to bed. When I'm traveling, my schedule is wildly consistent but there is a lot of walking in airports, dealing with surly drivers, and doing events which is the fun part. 


What is the most enjoyable part of your job?

I love writing, even though I've been creatively blocked for a while now. I love telling stories and sharing how I see the world.

What has been the toughest moment in your career and/or life, and how did you overcome it? 

The toughest moment was the difficulty I faced in selling my first book. I really began to lose faith but I had someone in my corner who always told me I would have my moment. And I also remembered that writing and publishing are two different things so I also just kept writing and hoping. 

What made you decide to go into teaching, and how has being a professor affected your life? 

I went into teaching because I felt like I had something to offer in the classroom and I needed a job and I loved the flexibility of teaching. It's as much work, if not more, than a traditional 9-5 job but I get so much freedom in terms of my schedule and curriculum and I love that.


Working with rising writers is a pleasure and a privilege.

Where do you find your inspiration for the essays and writings that you produce? 

it depends but I pay attention to the goings on of the world and sometimes, I feel compelled to respond. 

"I dedicate my successes to myself and the people who have supported me through thick and thin--friends, family, a loved one."

"The biggest honor of my career has been the unwavering and ongoing support of my fanbase." 

 If you could go back and do anything differently with your life, what would you do? 

I would be kinder to my younger self. I would try to believe in myself more. 

What is your advice for girls who aspire to become writers? 

I advise girls to be relentless and to believe in their right to use their voice.

Where do you see yourself in 15 years? The world in relation to gender equality and promoting women in the workplace in 15 years? 

I see myself writing and mentoring and trying new things--I'd love to write a musical. I hope that the world will be much better to women, in all ways, in fifteen years and that includes the workplace. ​