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An untamed state
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Her perfect life is shattered when Mireille is kidnapped by armed men in front of her father's estate in Haiti and she must endure the horrors and torments of her captors while her father inexplicably resists paying for her ransom. - (Baker & Taylor)

Mireille's perfect life is shattered when she is kidnapped by armed men in front of her father's estate in Haiti and must endure the horrors and torments of her captors while her father inexplicably resists paying for her ransom. - (Baker & Taylor)

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 ofBreath, 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. InAn 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 ofSilver 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
- (Perseus Publishing)

Author Biography

Roxane Gay’s writing has appeared in Best American Short Stories 2012,Best Sex Writing 2012, Oxford American, American Short Fiction,Virginia Quarterly Review, NOON, The New York Times Book Review, The Rumpus, Salon,The Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy culture blog, and many others including her Tumblr, She is the co-editor ofPANK and essays editor for The Rumpus. She teaches writing at Eastern Illinois University. She tweets at @rgay.
- (Perseus Publishing)

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Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* While we give merely cursory thought to what the kidnappings of the wealthy in impoverished nations might entail, rising star Gay exposes the full horror of this intimate crime and stealthy weapon of social decimation in her superbly written and excoriating first tale of terror and suspense. Set in Haiti, where Gay, the child of Haitian immigrants, spent her summers, the novel opens with Miami-based attorney Mirelle visiting her rich and influential parents with Michael, her white Nebraskan husband, and their baby son. The family is heading to the beach when they're ambushed by men with machine guns, who drag Mirelle away. Sharp-tongued and aggressive under normal circumstances, Mirelle is furious, though she believes this "business transaction" will be quickly completed. Instead, her proud and ruthless father refuses to pay the ransom, and she stubbornly refuses to beg. Her enraged captors retaliate with an endless siege of rape and torture. Gay contrasts the brutality of the present with the romantic past as traumatized yet stoic Mirelle remembers her and Michael's rocky courtship, unlikely love, and the reactions of their very different families. Gay is a daring and transfixing storyteller, depicting with valor and deep intent hellishly intrusive violence, shocking betrayal, and psychological devastation, the poison fruits of prejudice, injustice, greed, and desperation. Ferocious, gripping, and unforgettable. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Library Journal Reviews

In her debut novel, prolific Internet essayist, editor, and fiction writer Gay tells the story of Mireille Duval Jameson, a rich and self-assured Haitian woman kidnapped by a gang of heavily armed men who intend to hold her until her unwilling father pays up.

[Page 105]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Library Journal Reviews

What happens after you have been kidnapped, beaten, raped, and humiliated by a gang of armed men while your extremely wealthy father holds on to his "principles" and refuses to pay the ransom to ensure your swift release? That is the subject of this much-anticipated debut novel from Gay, already celebrated for her short stories. Mireille Jameson endures this horrific situation when she visits her impoverished homeland of Haiti with her American husband, Michael, and their young son. Led by the Commander, the kidnappers torment Mireille for her privileged life as she tries to remain unbroken. It is not until she returns to Miami that the experience truly haunts her. She becomes erratic, preferring instability over home and family. As Michael pulls away, Mireille's mother-in-law offers her comfort through a recovery fraught with insecurity, guilt, and uncertainty. VERDICT Gay brilliantly writes of the story's external events while skillfully capturing Mireille's internal anguish. Not since Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper has an author so effectively captured the descent into mental instability. This novel is recommended for lovers of literary and Caribbean fiction. [See Prepub Alert, 11/22/13.]—Ashanti White, Yelm, WA

[Page 62]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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