Books to Read over a Long Winter Weekend
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Gay’s stories are more strident, if no less troubling. They are about the ways society hurts women, how women hurt themselves, and their restless attempts to find healing. In the opener, “I Will Follow You,” we meet two adult sisters who refuse to be apart after having been abducted and molested together in their youth. And whether it’s Natasha, the bereaved mother of “Break All the Way Down,” or the best friends who are members of an all-girl fight club in the brief and enthralling “Baby Arm,” or the young woman in “Strange Gods” reflecting on the numerous violations to her body, many of the characters in Difficult Women find sex a complicated locus of pain and a means of exorcising it.