Shrill: Notes From A Loud Woman by Lindy West

I honestly don’t know how exactly I came to know of Lindy West as a writer but for too long, she was someone I had heard about but never knew more than a few good things. Eventually, I found myself staring at her book Shrill: Notes From A Loud Woman in the local bookstore and I just knew that I had to get it. That decision, like many of the book decisions I’ve made in that same store, was one I’m so glad I made.

This memoir is a collection of essays and notes from a loud and hilarious woman. West writes in such a relatable way about embarrassing, personal, and vulnerable moments, and all the times she’s battled trolls for simply being an outspoken feminist. West flits from important topics to jokes to emotional vulnerability and all back again with such relative ease that reading this book is like reading letters from your best friend.

Like much of her other writing and work, West finds that middle ground of being hilarious and deeply vulnerable and loving. She writes about her own experiences of getting her period or even getting an abortion while also weaving in larger societal norms and lessons about period stigma, fatphobia, and so much more. She also writes about publicly fighting with her then editor, Dan Savage about fatness in the United States, how over the years, people can change, and the time someone used her dead dad to troll her but eventually apologized (a feat unheard of with internet trolls).

Yes, you learn a lot about West in this book but she writes in such a way that you end up seeing the world a little differently at the end. She grapples with larger societal problems that have so deeply affected her own life and constantly walks that line between social commentary and personal exploration.

Lindy West is a loud, hilarious, fat feminist with a whole lot of stuff to say. And this book is an amazingly vulnerable but funny way to learn about her own experiences. It’s one that I wish I had years and years ago while trying to figure out who I was as a shy, fat person prone to crying over the littlest thing.

This book would be a great gift for all those who are comedy nerds and/orfeminists and those who are just finding feminism but also like laughing and crying. West may have a reputation for some as an ‘unfunny bitch dead set on ruining comedy’ but once you read this memoir, you can see both how funny she is and just how much she knows, understands, and loves comedy.

You’ll laugh, cry, and learn more about the world while reading Shrill: Notes From A Loud Woman. It’s a great book for any feminist, comedy nerd, or anyone in between. You can find this book in many bookstores, including Skylight Books in Los Angeles, CA.