I’ve been a fan of writer Lindy West since her Jezebel.com days. Whether she was writing about pop culture or social issues, I found her writing voice to witty and wise, a welcome relief from tiresome clickbait and lazy listicles.
So it was a thrill to read West’s memoir Shrill: Notes From a Loud woman.
Growing up, West was nerdy, shy and fat, not exactly a recipe for success. Yet, she was able to find success, both professionally and personally, once she became an adult and found her voice.
And though her voice brought her admirers it also brought her haters, mostly obnoxious trolls.
You see West is a woman with an opinion. She’s also fat. How dare she!
Through her feature articles and opinion pieces, West expressed her disdain for rape jokes and the struggles with body shaming. In response, she often faced horrific comments telling her she should be raped and ripped her apart for not being a tiny size two.
West fully describes in Shrill what it was like to be caught up in hail storm of hatred. It was a time of loneliness and tears, vulnerability and anger, but it was also a time where West found support, decency, empathy and a the will to go on as a writer and just person trying to live her life
But in the end West triumphed. She triumphed so much a troll even reached out to her to apologize.
Today, West is having the last laugh. Shrill is gaining lots of praise, including praise from two of my faves, Caitlin Moran and Samantha Irby. Now based in Seattle West now writes for GQ, The Guardian,, and other assorted highly respected publications. She founded the advice blog for teenagers called I Believe You/It’s Not Your Fault. West is also blessed with a loving family and a happy marriage. Hmm, maybe being shrill isn’t such a bad thing.
Though Shrill is West’s story, it’s also the story of every woman with an opinion and one who doesn’t fit into our society’s slender notion on how to behave…and look like. I highly recommend it.