Burn It Down: Women Writing About Anger

Seal Pr. Oct. 2019. 272p. ed. by ed. by Lilly Dancyger. ISBN 9781580058933. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781580058940. SOC SCI
Journalist and editor Dancyger’s collection comprises essays that address subsets of female anger, including what it means to be hangry, the minimization of black women’s anger by labeling it as “attitude,” and the anger of women within religious contexts. What unites them are the incredible personal reflections within each essay, which reflect Dancyger’s goal of showing anger as and for itself, rather than suggesting it is a means to an end, a political catalyst, or an emotion that—to be valid—must be linked to a larger purpose. Contributors include novelist and essayist Leslie Jamison; Melissa Febos, (Lambda Literary Award–winning memoirist, Abandon Me); and Evette Dionne, editor in chief, Bitch Media. Dancyger wants her readers to understand that anger is justified and/or not in need of justification because of the patriarchal structures that have shaped women’s lives, voices, and sense of self.
VERDICT These powerful essays strike a balance between memoir and theory and will be useful in courses on feminist theory as they provide highly individualized accounts of women’s experiences
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