REVIEW: “Shrill” is unafraid, loud and proud

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Author Lindy West speaks through stories in her 2016 book “Shril: Notes from a Loud Woman.” She talks through her experiences as a loud woman through her own personal opinions and reflections. These stories range from her time in high school to her beliefs as an adult in American society.

West takes charge from page one and demands attention. She isn’t backing down from her opinions as a feminist. West’s stories are the backbone of this book, and they give her a chance to talk through her own life and share what she has learned throughout her lifetime.

West takes on sex, body image and self-esteem through her book, and she leaves the audience with an understanding of her own ideas. This gives readers a chance to learn more about issues that they haven’t experienced themselves.

“Shrill” isn’t afraid of taking charge, and her book isn’t for everyone. If you aren’t open to ideas of feminism, this may not be the book for you.

West is upfront and clear about her own ideas. At times, this approach presents opinions as facts. Her tone can either captivate or isolate the reader.

However, West is unafraid of potentially isolating her readers. When she speaks on issues such as body image, esteem issues and finding herself, she comes across as both inspiring and condescending.

Therefore, the title, “Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman,” seems very appropriate because it’s unapologetic in tone. Lindy is saying her own truth, and I think that is important to understand.

Although this book is categorized as a comedy, the humor didn’t always hit well. What did hit well was the call to action that Lindy proposes in each chapter.

For example, in the chapter “Hello, I am Fat,” Lindy states, “I reject the notion that thinness is the goal, that thin = better—that I am unfinished thing and that my life can really start when I lose weight.”

This quotation shows West’s unapologetic tone, her call to action and her fierce words when dealing with self-Image.

Overall, I think this book will fill some people with hope and new perspective, and for others it might spark a heated argument with the author. This book isn’t written for everyone. West understands that, and she’s using that to brand herself as as a loud woman.

“Shrill” is for the reader looking into feminism, a good storyteller or someone who is struggling with weight and how they see themselves.

Abigail Compton is a sophomore in fine arts. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to