Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Burn It Down: Women Writing about Anger” as Want to Read:
Burn It Down: Women Writing about Anger
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Burn It Down: Women Writing about Anger

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  556 ratings  ·  103 reviews
A rich, nuanced exploration of women's anger from a diverse group of writers

Women are angry, and from the #MeToo movement to the record number of women running for political office, they're finally expressing it. But all rage isn't created equal. Who gets to be angry? (If there's now space for cis white women's anger, what about black women? Trans women?) How do women ex
Hardcover, 257 pages
Published October 8th 2019 by Seal Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Burn It Down, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Burn It Down

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  556 ratings  ·  103 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Burn It Down: Women Writing about Anger
When I first found out about this book, it was almost a visceral reaction that I HAD to read it. And I was very happy when I got the ARC.

Anger is something that I was proud of not feeling in my younger days, even more so because I was appreciated for being a well behaved girl. But later on in my life, when I started to show my anger in explosive ways especially during some particular depressive episodes, it was always accompanied by a feeling of shame that I had allowed myself to feel that ange
Lisa Vegan
These pieces are exceptionally well written and I had fun reading them. I had a hard time putting down this book, even though these 22 short essays lend themselves to short reading sessions. Most of the essays are thought provoking, many have humor, virtually all I found relatable to a great or small extent. They come from a diverse group of women and this is a huge additional plus. All of the contributors are writers and they’re superb at their craft. I’ll be seeking out more written work by mo ...more
Easily one of the most important books I’ve ever read. Feminist works are getting me through this wildly difficult time in my personal life and in the world right now and this one especially is and was everything. I have a zillion strips of paper wedges into my copy, marking passages that spoke to me. This is a book that made me want to write, inspired me, made me feel seen, helped me see and understand both myself and the world better.

I cannot praise this collection more highly. It has such a
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways-arcs
Simply an incredible collection made up of diverse voices and strong, relatable stories which both enraged and placated me in so far as I was contented to feel a little less alone in my own daily anger. Each writer here is worth watching. Several were already favorites and I’ve found many more to add to my list. 🙌🏻
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for a preview ARC for an honest review.

This collection of essays was amazing. It spoke to me on so many levels, and from the first essay on I found myself saying “yes, yes, yes!” This felt very timely to me, as my girlfriends and I have been talking about how things have changed for women since we were growing up, but how much the younger generation still has to fight to be heard, to be respected, to be treated fairly and not seen as an object or a caret
Paisley Green
Apr 02, 2020 rated it liked it
The concept is great: 22 women from all different walks of life write about anger in concise essays. As the essays will tell you (over and over again), women’s anger is often diminished, ridiculed, stigmatized, and dismissed, so this was a cool collection for people writing about what makes them angry—abuse, trauma, addiction, Trump.


This collection could get reeeeeaaallly repetitive. Not just in that all of the essays are themed together by a common emotion, but the narrative structure its
Dora Okeyo
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Women Writing about Anger is the book I needed but didn't know I did, not when you are told "stop whining" and "why are you so anti-men?" Or "that's very unlady-like of you," and more so today- there are so many avenues for women to express themselves, but with these avenues also come very patriarchal expectations. You can't help but ask when will women catch a break?
Thanks Netgalley for the eARC, in these 22 women, I did feel home.
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
For more of my book content check out

Essential Reading! I was intrigued by this collection the moment I heard about it. And it did not dissapoint!
In these 22 introspective and sharp essays a diverse selection of female authors explore their rage and the different forms it takes.

This was such a great collection! I found several new authors to add to my growing reading pile. I appreciated the diversity in the authors voices. The different perspectives really offered a l
Dec 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bookclub
I really genuinely enjoyed this book & the only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is because the writing is of somewhat mixed quality. I love, love that this book of essays includes essays written by diverse individuals; the diversity of the topics also makes it interesting to read through, since no one’s experiences with anger are entirely the same.
Warning: Reading this book WILL make you feel angry too.
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Overall really enjoyed this collection. Huge experience of catharsis, seeing the kind of rage experienced and lived with as a woman reflected in each of these writers. Female rage is a shared experience; the voices of women from all walks of life declare it so in an extremely powerful volume. I checked it out from my local library (good on them for having it) but I find myself inclined to purchase it now.

Personal favorites include: Rebel Girl by Melissa Febos; For Women Who Grew Up on Eggshells
Charlotte Lively
Apr 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
Read this during the pandemic and cannot recommend it enough. It's a collection of essays about women's anger. The essays were very short, but poignant. The writers dealt with a wide range of subjects, including sexual assault, sexism, abuse and eating disorders. There were essays by disabled women, women of colour, queer women and transwomen. I really liked this collection, and it was the perfect thing to read right now.
Oct 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-books
Anyone who reads this collection of essays on women's anger is bound to find at least one that resonates with them.

Women are not permitted their anger. It makes them unattractive. It makes them bitchy. It makes them... difficult. Women who are difficult are wrong, but so are women who are easy.

Women are angry because their pain and illness is dismissed. They are angry because if they don't resist rape and assault hard enough, their passivity is deemed consent. But they know that resistance can
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing

First of all I love that this collection of essays exists. In my early life, rage (at the world, at myself, at all of the things) was how I survived. Over the years, I've healed enough to see there was just as much pain (if not more) under all that rage. Nevertheless, rage is an important part of me and I'm grateful it saved me. And I find, as a society, we don't talk about it much.

I found a lot to love in this collection of essays. I appreciated the diversity of voices and the essays by trans
Amy Layton
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: feminism, essays
Surprisingly, I didn't find this book to be all that angry.  But perhaps that's because even when given permission, even in non-verbal language, we still hold ourselves back.  But still, that being said, I was nearly at the end of the book when I read my first "fuck".  What I will say, however, is that there is a lot to be angry about, and Dancyger didn't choose women who were only cis, only white, and only able-bodied.  There's a huge array of women being represented, and a huge array of reason ...more
Samantha (The Biblophage)
This book is probably the most cathartic and healing thing I've ever read.

Each essay packs a punch, shedding light on women of every walk of life and how they contend with anger. Anger is a natural emotion that women have been forced to ignore based on generations of societal conditioning. But these women featured in this collection bravely share their experiences. They discuss navigating anger, how they've reconciled and repurposed rage to challenge themselves, heal, fuel their careers, and al
Sep 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: feminism, anthologies
Burn It Down is an apologetic collection of essays from women who learned to release their anger despite everything they have been taught about keeping it in. They share their voices of rage and anger in a way that screams "no more!" The reasons for their anger is diverse and this covers a lot of different reasons for anger including assault, race, family matters and so many more. Each woman who has shared their story in this collection has added their voice to make a powerful impact on what it ...more
Ann Douglas
Jul 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
If you've been reading a lot of "political" books about anger, you already know the theory -- the fact that many interlocking structural factors have been fuelling the embers of anger in the lives of many women into a full-blown fire of rage. This collection rounds out that theory with a collection of very personal essays about how anger plays out in the lives of ordinary women. The editor clearly worked hard to ensure that the voices of a diverse group of women found their way into the collecti ...more
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I don't usually care for books of essays, but the title drew me in. Throughout my life, and particularly in the last few years, I have often felt the urge to "Burn It Down"--to set the world on fire with my rage and see it reduced to ash. Reading these women's stories reminded me that it's okay to be mad, and that anger can be used to fuel progress. Would recommend to those who are furious with the world and want to help change it for the better.
Mar 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
There's so much to be angry about. 22 women writers have their say about what triggers and fuels their rage. This inclusive group of writers give a broad range of perspectives. I hope they feel better after writing about their anger. It certainly validated my own anger to read about theirs. I wish all the angry people would just do some writing instead of doing physical harm to others....
Katie Bruell
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was really great, with lots to think about. Some of the essays were 5s for me (esp Evette Dionne's and Melissa Febos's). All of the essays were important and contained something that needed to be said.
Deirdre Sugiuchi
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fabulous essay collection edited by the great Lilly Dancyger. Highly recommended!
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I bought this book to give to my daughter for Christmas but I wanted to read it before I passed it on. I thought it was a good collection, it had a cohesive theme but enough variation to make it really interesting. I hope my daughter likes it as much as I did.
Rachel Morrison
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Good collection of essays! I liked the diversity of experience, especially the inclusion of trans narratives.
May 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
About half the essays were great, about quarter were good and the rest were okay.
Carla Jean
Jun 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: readin2020
As with most multi-author essay collections, some pieces are stronger than others and there’s some repetition. But it reminded me, over and over, that my anger is valid and OK.
Jul 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this. I’d read 3 more volumes if I could. 🙌
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
great collection of essays, we need to allow and recognize anger.
Katy Nimmons
May 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, feminism
These essays address women‘s anger in a range of voices, tones, and perspectives. I would get worked up while reading but took comfort in the fact that so many of these talented and inspired women are fighting the good fight.
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant concept full of intensely personal stories! This book is not for the faint of heart. I found it incredibly helpful in understanding my relationship with anger.
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Pretty Bitches: On Being Called Crazy, Angry, Bossy, Frumpy, Feisty, and All the Other Words That Are Used to Undermine Women
  • This Is My Body: A Memoir of Religious and Romantic Obsession
  • The Crying Book
  • Strung Out: One Last Hit and Other Lies That Nearly Killed Me
  • In the Dream House: A Memoir
  • Verge: Stories
  • The Witches Are Coming
  • For Small Creatures Such as We: Rituals for Finding Meaning in Our Unlikely World
  • By Any Means Necessary
  • Believe Me: How Trusting Women Can Change the World
  • Christmas Shopaholic
  • It Is Wood, It Is Stone
  • Homesick
  • Are You Listening?
  • How We Fight For Our Lives
  • Too Much: How Victorian Constraints Still Bind Women Today
  • Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life
  • Children of the Land
See similar books…

Related Articles

  Historian Alexis Coe's new book, You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington, arrived in U.S. bookstores in February. Coe i...
138 likes · 30 comments
“Everything I've learned from the time I was born is essentially some form of control. Basic lessons: how to control my hands, my body. Advanced lessons: how to control my volume, my appearance. Having control over myself allows me to choose. I can present myself as loudly or as softly, as boldly or as meekly, as wildly or as calmly as you wish.” 1 likes
“The truth is, if the pain wasn’t as severe as it was, I may have just cowered and ignored my instincts. I may have just accepted that I was being paranoid, hysterical, overly sensitive. Why does it take so much to make them see?” 1 likes
More quotes…