Rating – 4 out of 5
In Shrill by Lindy West, has been a writer all of her adult life. She started her career writing about popular media, but as time went on shifted focus to feminist and body positivity issues. This was not just out of interest, but also out of a sense that these issues were not giving the space and coverage that they needed. This exploration of her childhood, life and career to date is funny, insightful and shrill.
“This is the only advice I can offer. Each time something like this happens, take a breath and ask yourself, honestly: Am I dead? Did I die? Is the world different? Has my soul splintered into a thousand shards and scattered to the winds? I think you’ll find, in nearly every case, that you are fine. Life rolls on. No one cares. Very few things—apart from death and crime—have real, irreversible stakes, and when something with real stakes happens, humiliation is the least of your worries.”
– Shrill, Lindy West
Why I liked Shrill by Lindy West
I read Shrill by Lindy West for a book club that I recently joined. I had heard Lindy speak on a Podcast, Dinner Party Download (RIP!) a few months before this book came up for a book club. She was engaging and larger than life on this podcast, so I wanted to know more about her and her work. Then, of course I procrastinated until the last moment and the rest is documented in twitter history!
(Once I finish it….I think I might be bad at book clubs) #oops
— By the Cover Book Review (@ByCoverReview) April 5, 2018
I’m only human, y’all.
Thankfully, I was not the only person who hadn’t finished it by the time we sat down to discuss it. I loved talking about a book that focused on women’s issues with other young women. We were all about to bring out own perspectives to the table and discuss how this book made us feel. I love being able to share these ideas in a female space so that I can better understand the world I live in, both male and female.
That being said, there were parts that were hard for me to read. This was not because they ideas are bad or I disagreed with West, but rather there are a few things about being in a female body is this world that are hard. Discussions on our rights to safety online, to our bodies and our rights around protecting ourselves from sexual assault are hard topics. West wrote very candidly about many of these topics in a way that I liked, even when it was something hard. I can’t say that I agreed with her 100% about some of these issues, but I definitely agreed with the way that she expressed herself and how she brought some of these issues to light. I cannot wait to read more of her work in the future.
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