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An Untamed State by Roxane Gay

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A very good book, not a nice one but certainly an excellent one. Told mostly from Mireille’s perspective it tells of her kidnapping in Haiti and her mental and physical torture as her father refuses to pay the ransom. We get before and how she met her husband, her relationship with her family, but the centre of the story is her days in captivity. At times turning inward to forget her life, at times fighting, she becomes two different people. It is the mental picture that is so compelling. A powerful read with the bottom line, under any circumstances, don’t go to Haiti! ~ Sarah Broadhurst

If you like Roxane Gay you might also like to read books by Kazuo Ishiguro, Chris Cleeve and Emma Donoghue.


An Untamed State by Roxane Gay

Mireille Duval Jameson is living a fairy tale. The strong-willed youngest daughter of one of Haiti's richest sons, she has an adoring husband, a precocious infant son, by all appearances a perfect life. The fairy tale ends one day when Mireille is kidnapped in broad daylight by a gang of heavily armed men, in front of her father's Port au Prince estate. Held captive by a man who calls himself The Commander, Mireille waits for her father to pay her ransom. As it becomes clear her father intends to resist the kidnappers, Mireille must endure the torments of a man who resents everything she represents. An Untamed State is a novel of privilege in the face of crushing poverty, and of the lawless anger that corrupt governments produce. It is the story of a wilful woman attempting to find her way back to the person she once was, and of how redemption is found in the most unexpected of places. An Untamed State establishes Roxane Gay as a writer of prodigious, arresting talent.


About the Author

Roxane Gay's writing has appeared in Best American Short Stories 2012, Best Sex Writing 2012, American Short Fiction, the New York Times Book Review, the Guardian, the Rumpus, Salon, The Wall Street Journal , and many others including her Tumblr, She is the co-editor of PANK and essays editor for the Rumpus. She teaches writing at Eastern Illinois University. She tweets at @rgay.

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd July 2015


Roxane Gay

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Corsair an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group


384 pages


Family Drama
Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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