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In author/​activist Roxane Gay’s new short story collection “Difficult Women,” she writes that “silence is the cruelest of cruelties.” With that in mind, Ms. Gay’s work in these stories aims to end that silence by giving voices to women who are experiencing various struggles of their own.

“Difficult Women” explores not only why some women may be considered difficult, but also what makes simply being a woman difficult. Full of despair and deception, yet sprinkled with hope and strength, the author has created stories that, while not light-hearted, ultimately affirm to readers that whatever their personal experiences, they are not alone.

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