I hesitate to throw around words like "digital age" and "millennials" because they are so often obnoxious, but I can think of no better way to say this: Shrill is The Feminine Mystique for the digital age/millennials/feminists-who-are-angry-but-hopeful, etc! I love this book so much, it's almost violent. I wanted to underline every word, but I settled for constantly mentioning it to everyone I came in contact with. Lindy West has a razor-sharp intelligence and wit that comes through on every page, as does her humor and compassion. I'm basically drooling all over this staff rec, so I'll finish with this: read this book, it'll be the best thing you put in your face all year!— Lauren
Most books are bad. Just go on [redacted] and take a look at how many books are selling for a penny. A lot of books are good. These books make us smile, entertain us (important note: we carry many of them here). Some books are great. These books are taught, stand the test of time, remain in print for hundreds of years, make great dinner conversation in more than one country, get translated into 60 languages. Few books are personally transformative. These books make you think, "whoa, my life is different for having read this." Even fewer are permanently transformative. These are the books that come back to you in misty visions on your death bed (see: the Waves, by Virginia Woolf). And the rarest books are the ones that have the power to be lastingly transformative to cultural masses. These books have the power to change how we live and how we treat people in the actual world, which in turn changes how other people live and how they treat people in the actual world. Shrill, by Lindy West, lives among the rarest category of book: the life-altering, life-improving (without being new-age, proselytizing self-help bullcrap), literary-political. You'll literally be a fuller, louder, better human being for reading it.— Joel
This is the book you're looking for. Shrill is an absolutely essential read. The way Lindy West writes about feminism, and grief, and love, and comedy, and family is so human and so relatable it feels like one of those 2am existentialist conversations that leaves you exhausted and energized, melancholy but hopeful all at once. I am insisting that everyone I know read this book.— Heather
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY:
NPR, ESQUIRE, The LA Times, and NEWSWEEK WINNER OF THE STRANGER GENIUS AWARD Shrill is an uproarious memoir, a feminist rallying cry in a world that thinks gender politics are tedious and that women, especially feminists, can't be funny. Coming of age in a culture that demands women be as small, quiet, and compliant as possible--like a porcelain dove that will also have sex with you--writer and humorist Lindy West quickly discovered that she was anything but. From a painfully shy childhood in which she tried, unsuccessfully, to hide her big body and even bigger opinions; to her public war with stand-up comedians over rape jokes; to her struggle to convince herself, and then the world, that fat people have value; to her accidental activism and never-ending battle royale with Internet trolls, Lindy narrates her life with a blend of humor and pathos that manages to make a trip to the abortion clinic funny and wring tears out of a story about diarrhea. With inimitable good humor, vulnerability, and boundless charm, Lindy boldly shares how to survive in a world where not all stories are created equal and not all bodies are treated with equal respect, and how to weather hatred, loneliness, harassment, and loss, and walk away laughing. Shrill provocatively dissects what it means to become self-aware the hard way, to go from wanting to be silent and invisible to earning a living defending the silenced in all caps.
About the Author
Lindy West is a Seattle-based writer, editor, and performer whose work focuses on pop culture, social justice, humor, and body image. She's currently a culture writer for GQ magazine and GQ.com and a weekly columnist at The Guardian, as well as the founder and editor of I Believe You - It's Not Your Fault, an advice blog for teens. In 2015 she wrote and recorded a story for This American Life about confronting an Internet troll who impersonated her dead father. She also was listed as "Internet's Most Fascinating of 2015" by Cosmopolitan.com, and helped launch the viral #ShoutYourAbortion hashtag in defense of women's reproductive rights.