The Witches Are Coming

Lindy West

The Witches Are Coming
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The Witches Are Coming

Lindy West

From the moment powerful men started falling to the #MeToo movement, the lamentations began: this is feminism gone too far, this is injustice, this is a witch hunt. In The Witches Are Coming, firebrand author of the New York Times bestselling memoir and now critically acclaimed Hulu TV series Shrill, Lindy West, turns that refrain on its head. You think this is a witch hunt? Fine. You’ve got one.

In a laugh-out-loud, incisive cultural critique, West unpacks the complicated, and sometimes tragic, politics of not being a white man in the twenty-first century. She tracks the misogyny and propaganda hidden (or not so hidden) in the media that she and her peers devoured growing up, a buffet of distortions, delusions, prejudice and outright bullsh*t that has allowed white male mediocrity to maintain a death grip on our culture and our politics - and that delivered us to this precarious, disorienting moment in history.

We cannot understand how we got here - how the land of the free became Trump’s America - without examining the chasm between who we are and who we think we are, without fact-checking the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves and about each other. The truth can transform us; there is witchcraft in it. Lindy West turns on the light.

Review

Lindy West’s is the voice we need in 2019 – she’s snarky, sensible, accessible, inclusive and aware, and above all, hilarious. In The Witches are Coming, West takes her reader on a journey through pop culture, visiting Adam Sandler movies (are they actually good?), internet-famous cats (are their owners monsters?), the GOOP wellness convention (will Gwyneth Paltrow’s next step be selling her own literal shit?) and much more. But this is also a very political book – West is constantly asking how one might make change in the world to improve it for marginalised people and future generations.

I think the energy of this book can be summarised pretty neatly with the following quote: ‘Whatever your sphere is, however big or small, you get to make choices within it, and if you care about healing the wounds of the world I hope you become a real demon bitch about diversity and never let anyone sleep.’ Amazing. West’s writing is equally delightful whether she’s putting out a call to arms like she does in this quote, discussing the finer points of internet culture, or comparing what politically right-wing men consider to be a witch hunt to what a witch hunt actually was (spoiler alert: being reprimanded on Twitter is quite different to being burnt at the stake).

This book is firmly situated within the author’s own cultural context, so if you eschew U.S. politics and culture, this might not be the best choice for you. But anyone who calls the internet home will fit right in within these pages. These essays will make you laugh, but they’ll also harness your rage, make you think about how things might be changed or improved, consider why we ridicule what we do, and what impact that has. Lindy West is a force to be reckoned with, and she’ll make you cackle like the witch you surely are.


Ellen Cregan is the marketing and events coordinator.

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