Taking time out from thinking about personal problems to sit beside an artificial lake, termed lagoon, and read through each of the vibrant, powerful and heart-slamming stories in Roxane Gay’s debut collection, Ayiti was the right thing to do. Ayiti is innovative, traditional and mostly it’s just really, really, really awesome. She taps into characters, wrenches their emotions out with sharp language and delivers each piece in a few short pages that keep killing after you’ve finished those few pages. I’m going to thrust it onto all my friends, probably with a bit too much vigour and aggression, but also with a passionate love and some good humour. No need to scare off potential readers. Because this book bashed back into my brain the notion that other people have problems, that the world is unfair and gorgeous and strange and sometimes just unexplained and painful and reading this kind of amazing writing should be required for anyone who is feeling sorry for herself, or isn’t, or is just near the book.