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January 6, 2017

Bad Feminist author Roxane Gay believes in the power of female friendships.

In an interview with NPR about Difficult WomenGay’s new collection of short stories that explore issues of gender, race and class — Gay says that she loves writing about how women lift each other up. “I really love my friendships with other women, and I have found so much solace and joy and debauchery with other women,” Gay told NPR. “And so I definitely wanted to put that into the book, that — for me at least, the way I see the world — that women are very good to other women most of the time.”

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Gay said that there’s a popular narrative about how women are often petty and competitive with one another. “I also think that women, when it’s necessary, can come together and will come together and support each other. Because I think we know things about what it’s like to be a woman in the world and that common bond really is a strength,” she said.

By contrast, some of the men in Difficult Women are portrayed as abusive or absent. Why did Gay make that decision? “I do try to put good men into my stories, but there are more bad men than good,” Gay said.

[NPR]

Write to Samantha Cooney at samantha.cooney@time.com.

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