IF WE WERE ELECTRIC – Patrick Earl Ryan in conversation with Roxane Gay

IF WE WERE ELECTRIC – Patrick Earl Ryan in conversation with Roxane Gay

Join us on Zoom for a special virtual conversation with author Patrick Earl Ryan and Series Editor Roxane Gaycelebrating the launch of IF WE WERE ELECTRIC, winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction –  marking the first time in the nearly forty year history of the award that it has gone to a native New Orleanian. And it is the first winner selected by Roxane Gay.

Each paid registration admits one to the Zoom event online and includes one copy of the book. You must register to participate, and space is limited – so please act now!

If We Were Electric, the debut short story collection from New Orleans’s native Patrick Earl Ryan is, indeed, fiercely electric. These twelve startling fictions have been crafted by a writer with an assured and absolutely original voice and a remarkable understanding of how place is as much a compelling character in a good story as the people who populate it. There are stories here about unrequited love and youthful yearning, the complexities of desire between men, the beginnings and ends of relationships, deaths both inevitable and untimely, the bitter ache of loneliness, the quiet horrors that unexpectedly befall us, and the magic of the ordinary world. With this outstanding collection, Patrick Ryan makes his mark on Southern literature and how!” – Roxane Gay


Patrick Earl Ryan was born on Octavia Street and raised in New Orleans. His work has appeared in the Ontario Review, Pleiades, Best New American Voices, San Francisco Bay Guardian, Men on Men: Best New Gay Fiction for the Millennium, Cairn, and the James White Review. Founder and editor in chief of Lodestar Quarterly, Ryan has also taught martial arts philosophy and tai chi chuan for many years. He lives in San Francisco, California.




More than seventy short-story collections have appeared in the Flannery O’Connor Award series, which was established to encourage gifted emerging writers by bringing their work to a national readership. The first prize-winning book was published in 1983; the award has since become an important proving ground for writers and a showcase for the talent and promise that have brought about a resurgence in the short story as a genre.


Roxane Gay’s writing appears in Best American Nonrequired Reading 2018, Best American Mystery Stories 2014, Best American Short Stories 2012, Best Sex Writing 2012, Harper’s Bazaar, A Public Space, McSweeney’s, Tin House, Oxford American, American Short Fiction, Virginia Quarterly Review, and many other publications. She is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times, and the author of the books Ayiti, An Untamed State, the New York Times best-selling Bad Feminist, the nationally best-selling Difficult Women, and the New York Times best-selling Hunger: A Memoir of My Body. She is also the author of World of Wakanda for Marvel and the editor of Best American Short Stories 2018. She is currently at work on film and television projects, a book of writing advice, an essay collection about television and culture, and a YA novel entitled The Year I Learned Everything. In 2018, she won a Guggenheim fellowship.

This will be Roxane Gay’s first event with Octavia Books since her memorable visit in 2017 for Hunger.

Event date: 

Tuesday, October 20, 2020 – 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Event address: 

Zoom (please register now)
If We Were Electric: Stories (Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction #115) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780820358079
Availability: Not in stock. Usually arrives in 2-5 Days
Published: University of Georgia Press – September 15th, 2020


If We Were Electric‘s twelve stories celebrate New Orleans in all of its beautiful peculiarities: macabre and magical, muddy and exquisite, sensual and spiritual. The stunning debut collection finds its characters in moments of desire and despair, often stuck on the verge of a great metamorphosis, but burdened by some unreasonable love.

Bad Feminist: Essays Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062282712
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial – August 5th, 2014


From the author of Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, the New York Times Bestseller and Best Book of the Year at NPR, the Boston Globe, Newsweek, and many more

A collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched young cultural observers of her generation, Roxane Gay.


Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062420718
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial – June 12th, 2018


From the New York Times bestselling author of Bad Feminist: a searingly honest memoir of food, weight, self-image, and learning how to feed your hunger while taking care of yourself.


The Sacrifice of Darkness Cover Image
ISBN: 9781684156245
Availability: Coming Soon – Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Archaia – October 27th, 2020

Roxane Gay, Tracy Lynne Oliver, and Rebecca Kirby adapt Gay’s New York Times bestelling short story “We Are the Sacrifice of Darkness” as a full length graphic novel, expanding and further developing the unforgettable world where the sun no longer shines.

“When I was a young girl, my husband’s father flew an air machine into the sun.

Difficult Women Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802127372
Availability: Not in stock. Usually arrives in 2-5 Days
Published: Grove Press – November 14th, 2017

A national bestseller from the “prolific and exceptionally insightful” (Globe and Mail) Roxane Gay, Difficult Women is a collection of stories of rare force that paints a wry, beautiful, haunting vision of modern America.

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