Thursday, May 19, 2016


I reckon I'm, in some way, one of Lindy West's first trolls, back before she took on personal and social issues, and was just reviewing movies for The Stranger. I took issue with some of the writing at the time and wrote about it here.

I amused myself over the idea of her being my arch-nemesis. I'm not sure even then I liked the idea as much as I liked saying it. It's hard to say. Even saying I'd like a an arch-nemesis doesn't seem like much fun to me now.

Of course, I quickly soured on it, because it turns out she's fucking brilliant. Not, mind you, because I'd be intimidated coming up against a brilliant writer, but because it was just so hard to keep coming up with ways to criticize her writing. It's just so damn good. In fact, now I can't bring myself to read the reviews I made fun of, because I'm certain it will just prove I was totally wrong in the first place. I kind of like the idea that I had some kind of point and she was still finding her voice as a writer in those reviews, so there's some room there, but I'm skeptical of myself on this one.

Since then, she's become kind of an icon, including, of course, for her having to deal with jackasses trolling her, and I've continued following her. Mostly quietly, I suppose, but that's only because I've been quieter about most things for a while now.

I just read her book, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman, though, and felt the need to say how wonderful it is. It's a funny and charming memoir of the issues she's become famous for, fat acceptance, rape jokes and comedy and internet trolls, all woven through a very thoughtful view of her own life and how it affected her stands, as well as how the stands affected her. It manages to take the voice she's built in her writing and made it fully human.

I just finished it, so I certainly don't have an extensive review to offer. I just wanted to take this opportunity to offer a great big kudos to her for this very smart, funny, touching book.

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