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An Untamed State
by Roxane Gay

Published: 2014-05-06
Paperback : 368 pages
1 member reading this now
8 clubs reading this now
3 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 2 of 2 members
?Once you start this book, you will not be able to put it down. An Untamed State is a novel of hope intermingled with fear, a book about possibilities mixed with horror and despair. It is written at a pace that will match your racing heart, and while you find yourself shocked, amazed, ...
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Introduction

?Once you start this book, you will not be able to put it down. An Untamed State is a novel of hope intermingled with fear, a book about possibilities mixed with horror and despair. It is written at a pace that will match your racing heart, and while you find yourself shocked, amazed, devastated, you also dare to hope for the best, for all involved.”?Edwidge Danticat, author of Breath, Eyes, Memory and The Dew Breaker

Roxane Gay is a powerful new literary voice whose short stories and essays have already earned her an enthusiastic audience. In An Untamed State, she delivers an assured debut about a woman kidnapped for ransom, her captivity as her father refuses to pay and her husband fights for her release over thirteen days, and her struggle to come to terms with the ordeal in its aftermath.

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 willful 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.

?From the astonishing first line to the final scene, An Untamed State is magical and dangerous. I could not put it down. Pay attention to Roxane Gay; she's here to stay.”?Tayari Jones, author of Silver Sparrow and Leaving Atlanta

?[Haiti’s] better scribes, among them Edwidge Danticat, Franketienne, Madison Smartt Bell, Lyonel Trouillot, and Marie Vieux Chavet, have produced some of the best literature in the world. . . . Add to their ranks Roxane Gay, a bright and shining star.”?Kyle Minor, author of In the Devil’s Territory, on Ayiti

Editorial Review

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Excerpt

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Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

Mireille believe her father should have ransomed her immediately and not tried to negotiate. What do you think?
The novel is intense and graphic. Too graphic or handled well?
Discuss the various psychological stages Mireille goes through during and after her kidnapping.
by CleoM (see profile) 09/12/14

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

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Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "An Untamed State"by siosue (see profile) 04/09/16

15 book members and only one did not like it. The first half of the book is so powerful, you get a strong sense of what is happening to Miri . The second half of the book the reader will have some kind... (read more)

 
  "An Untamed State"by Circle199 (see profile) 03/13/15

We did a different kind of review for the book. I selected the book and when I did I was unaware of the depth of the story. I knew some of our members would not appreciate the harder parts of the story... (read more)

 
  "Intense, unique novel"by CleoM (see profile) 09/12/14

Searing, heart pounding novel. Well worth reading, but not “enjoyable” in the usual sense. Will not be for everyone. If you can handle the intensity it is well structured with good characterizations.... (read more)

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