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
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 humoristLindy 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 contributing opinion writer for the New York Times. She is the bestselling author of Shrill, a memoir which has been adapted into a Hulu series starring Aidy Bryant, and a forthcoming book entitled The Witches Are Coming. She lives in Seattle.
"Lindy West's memoir is a witty and cathartic take on toxic misogyny and fat shaming. She comes to accept her body just as Internet trolls congregate en masse to try to rip this new confidence from her, but she's rearing to fight back...In Shrill, West is our fat, ferocious, and funny avenging angel."—NPR, Best Books of 2016
humor...With patience, humor and a wildly generous attitude toward her
audience [West] meets readers at their point of prejudice so that she
may, with little visible effort, shepherd them toward a more humane
point of view."
West is funny. That's the first thing you should know about her essay
collection on feminism, fat acceptance, and Internet harassment....Lindy has
faced so many intolerable and enraging situations as a fat woman who is
outspoken in her writing and on social media, but she always frames her
negative experiences with humor and perspective. With her clear-eyed insights
into modern culture and her confidence in her own intelligence and personal
worth, West appeals to the humanity of even the most parents' basement-dwelling,
misogynistic and casually hateful of trolls."
"There's a reason Lindy West is such a beloved writer: she gets to the heart of impossible issues with humor and grace. West will have you cringing, laughing and crying, all within one page. Shrill is a must-read for all women."—Jessica Valenti, author of Why Have Kids and Full Frontal Feminism
"In Shrill...West is utterly candid and totally hilarious....She's also quite moving...In an age in which Internet umbrage is almost as rampant as Internet trolling, West, as funny as she is incisive, distinguishes herself as a writer who cuts to the heart of the matter. Shrill is no exception."—Vogue.com
"Lindy West did not set out to be a feminist warrior against the forces that wish to silence and hurt women for doing things that men take for granted...Someone has to fight the misogynists, after all, and West is well-situated for the front lines, lacing her blunt sense of humor with a surprising amount of nuanced empathy, even for those out there who are the ugliest to women."—Salon
"From her early stories to the hot-off-the-press pages of Shrill, there is one ever-present, never exhausted hallmark of West's writing, and that is its unwavering heart. Whether she's writing about being fat-shamed by a stranger or confronting the troll who posed online as her recently deceased father, West has a way of wringing empathy and catharsis out of even the most deplorable circumstances. Reading her book is like taking a master class in inclusivity and cultural criticism, as taught by one of the funniest feminists alive today."—Refinery29
"Uproariously funny...Readers will delight in West's biting clarity....Despite its serious subject, West's ribald jokes, hilarious tirades, and raucous confessions keep her memoir skipping merrily along as she jumps from painful confession to powerful epiphany. Sure to be a boon for anyone who has struggled with body image, Shrill is a triumphant, exacting, absorbing memoir that will lay new groundwork for the way we talk about the taboo of being too large."—Booklist (Starred Review)
West stares defiantly into the eyes of anyone who reaches to pick it up and
dares them not to shed any sexism they might harbor, whether conscious or
not...Her writing is sharp, smart, hilarious, relatable, insightful and
memorable. She tackles serious and personal subjects-like being fat, getting an
abortion, feeling lonely or dealing with harassment online-and is just as
capable of eliciting tears as laughter. The combination is part of what makes
her voice so effective and absorbing....I dare you to pick up a copy."
place is to appreciate her range. She can eviscerate the status quo
with raunchy humor....She can attack entrenched sexism with skilled
polemic....And she can leave both of those modes behind to write
poignantly about growing up, losing her father, and falling in
love....West is propulsively entertaining."
"Lindy West's debut book, Shrill, is an emotional rollercoaster. One moment you're snorting from laughter, trying to avoid all the weird looks you're getting on the train. The next you're silently absorbing a larger truth neatly packaged into the perfect sentence you didn't expect to read."—Mother Jones
"In her incredible and insightful new book Shrill....West gets unflinchingly real about growing up fat and the harmful impact that the media (and its disdain for fat women) can have on young girls....what West ultimately strives for is to incrementally make those small changes that can lead to something so much bigger and better for us all."—Amy Poehler's Smart Girls
"This is who Lindy West is: A constantly harangued feminist writer ready to transmute your BS into comedy....you need to read [Shrill]. It's hilarious, biting and wise."—The Huffington Post
feminist speaking out against fat-shaming--publicly addressing her
colleague at the Stranger, Dan Savage--and writing about periods and
rape jokes at Jezebel the Guardian....[reveals] how vital it is for young women to raise their voices."
West is one of the Great Ladies of the Feminist Internet, her writing style
alone setting a regal standard for many of us coming of age in these wild
online times....250 pages of pure hilariousness...West writes
about both the trap of living in a body and identity that is marginalized, but
also the power we have to reclaim these identities by being wholly,
indefatigably, and - wait for it - shrilly ourselves."
writing, or you can end up in total despair, thinking, 'This is what I wanted
to say, only she got there first and said it better.'"
"Read West's ferociously funny book and you'll be shouting her praises."
"Lindy West's name may already be familiar to readers of Jezebel or to anyone who listened to her fascinating, brutal piece on internet trolls for This American Life. Her collection of essays takes on stereotypes, gender politics, beauty standards and other topics she attacks with her thoughtful, clever, cutting and inspiring commentary."—Minnesota Public Radio, Best Books of 2016
"Fearless and funny."