Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture by Roxane Gay (Ed.)

Contributors: Ally Sheedy, Gabrielle Union, Amy Jo Burns, Lyz Lenz, Claire Schwartz, Bob Shacochis, Emma Smith-Stevens

In this valuable and timely anthology, cultural critic and bestselling author Roxane Gay collects original and previously published pieces that address what it means to live in a world where women have to measure the harassment, violence and aggression they face, and where sexual-abuse survivors are ‘routinely second-guessed, blown off, discredited, denigrated, besmirched, belittled, patronized, mocked, shamed, gaslit, insulted, bullied’ for speaking out.

Highlighting the stories of well-known actors, writers and experts, as well as new voices being published for the first time, Not That Bad covers a wide range of topics and experiences, from an exploration of the rape epidemic embedded in the refugee crisis to first-person accounts of child molestation and street harrassment.

Often deeply personal and always unflinchingly honest, this provocative collection both reflects the world we live in and offers a call to arms insisting that ‘not that bad’ must no longer be good enough.


This is a powerful, yet raw, collection of individual experiences of rape culture.  It show how easily lives can be ruined at the hands of others – those who don’t even realise they have done anything wrong. 

Sadly, I don’t believe this book will change the world but I do hope it encourages more people to talk about this painful subject which will, in time, bring about a much-needed change to todays world.

I hope the book sends a message of hope for the future and I would recommend everyone should read this, regardless of gender.

I had a personal interest in reading this book as I was sexually assaulted a number of years ago.  Even now, I blame myself for being in that situation.  That event changed my life forever – I will never again go out alone after dark.  

Thank you to Roxane Gay and all contributors for bringing these stories together.

Thank you to NetGalley and Atlantic Books for the opportunity to read and review this anthology prior to publication.

  • TITLE: Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture
  • AUTHOR: Roxane Gay (editor)
  • PUBLISHER: Atlantic Books
  • PUBLICATION DATE: 1 November 2018



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Roxane Gay’s writing appears in Best American Mystery Stories 2014, Best American Short Stories 2012, Best Sex Writing 2012, A Public Space, McSweeney’s, Tin House, Oxford American, American Short Fiction, Virginia Quarterly Review, and many others. She is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times. She is the author of the books Ayiti, An Untamed State, the New York Timesbestselling Bad Feminist, the nationally bestselling Difficult Women and the New York Times bestselling Hunger. She is also the author of World of Wakanda for Marvel. She has several books forthcoming and is also at work on television and film projects.

You can interact with Roxane Gay on her websiteTwitterFacebook and Goodreads







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