Author: Lindy West
Overall Rating: 4/5
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.
I wasn’t really sure what this book was about going in. It was a listed as a popular book and the title seemed interesting so I figured why not.
What I got was a feminist memoir book with a comedic twist. This is a story about herself but also very much about her beliefs. She talks about everything you can think of from views on feminism to body image, to her experiences and learning how to love herself to rape jokes.
To be honest I’d never heard of Lindy West until this book, which I feel like shouldn’t be possible. She’s a local (Seattle), she wrote for The Stranger and she has very strong opinions and overall sounds like somebody I’d like.
I think this is the first audiobook or even book that I’ve read that when I’d get home I’d continue listening, or I’d pause it while driving it because I’d want to look into an article she mentions she wrote or a conversation she had that was on youtube or even a video she made to stand up against some of the harassment she got from speaking up.
I do think I may have listened to this too fast and I expect I’ll buy a physical copy of the book and re-read it to make sure I didn’t miss anything.
Have you read this book? What did you think?