BKMT READING GUIDES

Shrill
by Lindy West

Published: 2017-02-28
Paperback : 272 pages
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY:
NPR,
ESQUIRE, The LA Times, and NEWSWEEK

WINNER OF THE STRANGER GENIUS AWARD

Shrill is an uproarious memoir, a feminist rallying cry in a world that thinks gender politics are tedious and that women, especially feminists, can't be ...
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Introduction

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY:
NPR,
ESQUIRE, The LA Times, and NEWSWEEK

WINNER OF THE STRANGER GENIUS AWARD

Shrill is an uproarious memoir, a feminist rallying cry in a world that thinks gender politics are tedious and that women, especially feminists, can't be funny.

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.

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Discussion Questions

1) What does it mean to be SHRILL? How has the meaning of this word, or words like it, changed for you?

2) On page 165 Lindy writes "Comedy doesn't just reflect the world, it shapes it." Do you agree? How did your perception of what funny really means change when you read this chapter?

3) Who is the person in your life who most needs to read SHRILL?

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