Inciting Joy: Essays Audiobook, by Ross Gay Play Audiobook Sample

Inciting Joy: Essays Audiobook

Inciting Joy: Essays Audiobook, by Ross Gay Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Ross Gay Publisher: Algonquin Books Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 5.50 hours at 1.5x Speed 4.13 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: October 2022 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9781649041326

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

72:49 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

28 seconds

Average Chapter Length:

27:50 minutes

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Publisher Description

An intimate and electrifying new book of essays on joy by the New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Delights.

Ross Gay has made delight and joy his signature subject, and in Inciting Joy he expands on his ongoing study. For Gay, the knowledge of our demise is always a part of our joy, and that is the subtext of many of these essays—these two sides of our existence, and the way we come together, the way it’s necessary to come together, to address this paradox. 

He writes about his father's illness, which is also about the joy of family and how death can bring us closer, and about having asthma as a kid (not fun) but how his body is also a source of joy (very fun). In an essay about losing his phone, Gay has to get to the airport in his rental car without GPS—horrors!—and must stop multiple times to ask for directions, which gives him the opportunity to connect with a lot of interesting folks. His essay about playing football in college and coming to hate it, becomes a meditation on masculinity and the brutally competitive aspect of team sports. But sports—such as Gay’s beloved freewheeling basketball pick-up games—are also beautiful and meaningful. A piece on skateboarding becomes a celebration of the joys of transgressing together with friends. There are essays on the responses Gay receives as a Black man talking about joy (shouldn't he be focusing on fixing what's wrong?), the rewards of teaching and, of course, always, the natural world, which for Gay is a never ending source of joy.

This brilliant collection of essays reminds us that we are all connected, to each other and to the world at large. 

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"Ross Gay captures beautifully the way joy often exists on the little sandbar between seas of sorrow. His work (here about joy, and in other places about delight and gratitude) does not patronize the reader or gloss over suffering or struggle. Instead, he models the practices of curiosity and care in the midst of whatever else is going on. His work is lovely on its own, but to hear it read in his own warm voice is a treasure, too. "

— LFR (5 out of 5 stars)


  • “Ross Gay is as insightful and lyrical as an essayist as he is as a poet. His essays are as trenchant as they are moving, finding in the minutiae of life the grand themes of human existence.”

    — Chris Hedges, Pulitzer Prize–winning author
  • “Considers joy—how we incite it, how we can expand it and most importantly, how we experience it by caring for others.”

    — USA Today
  • “These essays…offer a new, thought-provoking way to view our society and future.”

    — San Francisco Book Review
  • “Gay reads his book in a comforting, softly gravelly voice, inviting us to consider not only joy but also every emotion around it, including sorrow and rage.”

    — BookPage (starred audio review)
  • “Stunning…Gay’s curiosity is present on every page and his precise yet playful prose sparkles…This resonant, vivid meditation shouldn’t be missed.”

    — Publishers Weekly (starred review)


  • An Amazon Editor’s Top Pick
  • An BookPage Top Pick of 2022's Best Audiobooks
  • A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
  • A Rumpus Pick of November Book Club Books

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About Ross Gay

Ross Gay is the author of The Book of Delights: Essays and three books of poetry. Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude won the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and was a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in Poetry, the Ohioana Book Award, the Balcones Poetry Prize, and the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award, and it was nominated for an NAACP Image Award. He is a founding board member of the Bloomington Community Orchard, a non-profit, free-fruit-for-all food justice and joy project. He has received fellowships from Cave Canem, the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He teaches at Indiana University.