Shrill - Book Review
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.
Every so often you come across a book that speaks to you - and that is what Lindy West's Shrill did to me. I have always appreciated a good memoir. One filled with painful memories but also some laughs. For me, memoirs are human - so real - and I enjoy learning about people's stories. Shrill was more than that though because I connected to the author on topics I seemingly couldn't relate to as many I never experienced personally - but I related to her feelings.
Feminism. There is absolutely a negative connotation associated with this word. However, more and more I realize I am a feminist and most woman probably are. As a young female, I constantly strive to be taken more seriously - as if my gender, age and small stature have any bearing on my intelligence and ability to contribute to the world. Lindy West is an outspoken feminist who I wasn't familiar with before reading this book. It is written in a series of essays covering topics from body acceptance to pregnancy to rape jokes to close family death and beyond. She has written this book with honesty, humor (background in comedy!) and an unforgiving passion for what she believes in. She was unwavering in her opinions and allowed me to see the world through her eyes. Not only are the topics incredibly important to discuss but the way she wrote about them was brilliant - truly. She is one of the most intelligent sounding writers I have read in a long time.
I would highly, highly recommend this book if you are in the market for a book that tears the cover off of reality. It will challenge your thoughts on topics such as abortion and rape culture. Truly, I found this book to be one that made me think truly and deeply about my own opinions - all while appreciating Lindy's innate ability to story tell in the best way possible. I experienced moments of sheer laughter, tears of hurt and much head shaking in agreement - Lindy made me feel something - all of the things.
I am giving away a copy of this incredible book. To enter, please leave a comment below with your email address. The winner will be chosen at random on Sunday July 16th. One entry per email address. Open to US and CA residents only. Good luck!