'Women are told, from birth, that it's our job to be small: physically small, small in our presence, and small in our impact on the world. We're supposed to spend our lives passive, quiet and hungry. I want to obliterate that expectation...'
Guardian columnist Lindy West wasn't always loud. It's difficult to believe she was once a nerdy, overweight teen who wanted nothing more than to be invisible. Fortunately for women everywhere, along the road she found her voice - and how she found it! That cripplingly shy girl who refused to make a sound, somehow grew up to be one of the loudest, shrillest, most fearless feminazis on the internet, making a living standing up for what's right instead of what's cool.
In Shrill, Lindy recounts how she went from being the butt of people's jokes, to telling her own brand of jokes - ones that carry with them with a serious message and aren't at someone else's expense. She reveals the obstacles and stereotyping she's had to overcome to make herself heard, in a society that doesn't think women (especially fat women and feminists) are or can be funny.
She also tackles some of the most burning issues of popular culture today, taking a frank and provocative look at racism, oppression, fat-shaming, twitter-trolling and even rape culture, unpicking the b******t and calling out unpalatable truths with conviction, intelligence and a large dose of her trademark black humour.
'Lindy West is an essential (and hilarious) voice for women. Her talent and bravery have made the Internet a place I actually want to be.' Lena Dunham
West, a GQ culture writer and former staff writer for Jezebel, balances humor with a rare honesty and introspection in her debut. Over the course of the book, West details finding her voice as a writer and a feminist through stories about her family, her weight, having an abortion, and the emotional toil of being harassed online. West's chronicle of the series of highly personal online attacks and of how much Internet conversations have changed in the past decade marks this book as required reading. Always entertaining and relatable, West writes openly and with clear eyes about embarrassing moments and self-esteem issues, and has a remarkable ability to move among lightheartedness, heavy hitting topics, and what it means to be a good person. By reading about West's thought-provoking responses to online rape jokes, gender-specific attacks, and being trolled about a family tragedy, readers learn by example how to navigate the Internet's sometimes soul-sucking terrain with dignity and retain a sense of adventure.