Difficult Women Summary & Study Guide

Roxane Gay
This Study Guide consists of approximately 55 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Difficult Women.
This section contains 519 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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Difficult Women Summary & Study Guide Description

Difficult Women Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on Difficult Women by Roxane Gay.

The following version of this book was used to create the guide: Gay, Roxane. Difficult Women. Grove Press, 2017.

Roxane Gay’s novel is a collection of short stories divided into 21 chapters. Each chapter reveals a different short story centered around troubled, unconventional women with eerie depth. Many of these women are misunderstood, having experienced irreversible trauma that shaped the course of their lives and personalities.

“I Will Follow You” is a short story about a set of sisters who were kidnapped and raped by a pedophile for six weeks. “Water, All Its Weight” is centered around a girl named Bianca, cursed with her ability to bring mold and decay to her surroundings and must find the strength to adapt to her strange condition. “The Mark of Cain” is a story about a young woman’s troubled marriage with a twin who frequently switches places with his brother.

“Difficult Women” is a short story that corresponds to the title of the book – it is divided into sections explaining the depth behind loose women, frigid women, crazy women, mothers, and dead girls. “Florida” centers around multiple women living in Palmetto Valley, an opulent community in Florida. Each woman in the story comes from a wildly different background but must adjust to their materialistic community. “La Negra Blanca” is centered around a strip dancer who balances two jobs to pay for school and is targeted by a wealthy sexual predator.

“Baby Arm” is a short story about a woman who is in love with her best friend but believes that she may be falling in love with a man who works at the local department store. “North Country” tells the story of a young civil engineer learning to cope with her growing emotions for a good man while adapting to her new home as the only woman in her engineering department. “How” is a short story about the Ikonen twins and their plot to escape their drunkard father’s burden.

The short story “Requiem for a Glass Heart” is centered around a stone thrower and his glass family. The man is falls in love with a woman made of glass, symbolic for female fragility and mental illness. “In the Event of My Father’s Death” is a short story about a young girl who loses her father and observes the impact his death had on both his wife and mistress. “Break All the Way Down” documents a mother’s emotional recovery following the untimely death of her 14-month-old son.

“Bad Priest” is a story centered around the perspective of Father Mickey, a priest who is having an affair with a girl named Rebekah. “Open Marriage” is a short story about a couple’s discussion to see other people. “A Pat” is a short story about a woman who Gay implies to be mentally challenged, and the way she approaches her friendships. “Best Features” is a short story about a self-proclaimed fat girl, Milly, and her difficulties with self-esteem and fulfilling relationships. “Bone Density” is a short story centered around a writer, her husband David, and their extramarital affairs.

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This section contains 519 words
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