PositiveThe Star TribuneSagal is brilliant and accomplished, but he’s also self-deprecating and funny. He presents himself as a balding, stocky everyman struggling to keep the weight off ... Sagal is full of irreverence, and he never lets the book get too heavy of heart ... Sagal is not here to make you faster, but he’ll make you smile, reflect and perhaps take the holiest of actions: those first scary steps out the door.
MixedMinneapolis Star Tribune\"The best parts were the details of the lives of all involved, where they came from, their personal lives, how they interacted, where they landed. There were moments of compassion and ultimately surprises in the fates of the characters ... This is no tale, however, of triumph over adversity. The lives of the gangsters had a grinding aimlessness in a cycle of drug dealing, violence and prison. At times, I wished for a stronger narrative pull or a strand of hope to get me through the book. As hard as it was to keep moving forward, knowing the ending would be harsh, I ultimately wondered how it must have felt to live that way.\
Edited by Roxane Gay
RaveThe Star TribuneGay’s got no time for wimpy words and soggy sentiment. In her own work, she slices deep to the core of difficult topics—rape, gender, weight. And so do the essay writers of the Gay-edited Not That Bad: Dispatches From Rape Culture ... From street scenes to a daughter’s rape by her father, the writers describe the aftermath of verbal and physical attacks. Together these women’s stories make up more than the sum of their unsettling parts. The title comes from something at least one of the victims was told: that her rape was \'not that bad\' because, after all, she survived. Fresh from reading this compelling collection, I would argue that’s the diminution women have received over and over in all sorts of ways.
PositiveMinneapolis Star Tribune...the guessing game is on from the start ... While the sense of place in this novel is astonishing, the pacing of the narrative is extraordinary. The story feels like it should be languid but it’s captivating, swift and spooky.