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 express their anger? And what will they do with it-individually and collectively?

In Burn It Down, a diverse group of women authors explore their rage-from the personal to the systemic, the unacknowledged to the public. One woman describes her rage at her own body when she becomes ill with no explanation. Another writes of the anger she inherits from her father. One Pakistani American writes, “To openly express my anger would be too American,” and explains why. Broad-ranging and cathartic, Burn It Down is essential reading for any woman who has burned with rage but questioned if she is entitled to express it.

Order Burn It Down from Barnes & Noble, Bookshop.org, Indiebound, Amazon, or wherever you get your books!


"I’m Furious That It Took Almost a Decade to Diagnose My Chronic Pain" by Lisa Marie Basile (SELF)

The first time my body rages against itself, it’s 2009. I’m just out of college, and I have awoken to what feels like an explosion inside my skull. Oh god, it’s my eye, I realize. My little studio’s two windows become my enemies, pouring intense white light into the room. The light is a dagger. I can’t open my eyes, I can’t think, I can’t do anything but scream, literally.

"On Transfeminine Anger" by Samantha Riedel (Salon)

Contrary to TERFs’ assertions that trans women pose a threat to cis women and their spaces, I believe we have much to teach one another. Imagine radically inclusive spaces where inquisitive minds explore both cis and trans femininities, where we can each open ourselves to new possibilities of the self and take the next steps toward our collective liberation. When we fill in the gaps in one another’s experiences, what possibilities could we discover?

"Bikini Kill — and My Bunkmates — Taught Me How to Unleash My Anger" by Melissa Febos (Longreads)

Until I heard my own voice ricocheting off the tiled walls of that bathroom — what have you taught me, you’ve taught me fucking nothing — I hadn’t exactly known that I was angry. But those lyrics spewed from me like steam that had finally found an opening. I was furious. At my parents for getting divorced, at my father for reading my diary, at the boys who used my body and the girls who punished me for it, at myself for my own miserable innocence.

"Why We Cry When We’re Angry" by Marissa Korbel (Guernica)

There is a tremor in my upper lip. It quivers, small shifting, plates adjusting. The top lip shimmering, moving my face in uncontrolled waves, unless I clamp my mouth shut, or press my lips together, smiling. An earthquake (also known as a quake, tremor, or temblor) is the shaking of the surface of the earth, resulting from the sudden release of energy in the lithosphere that creates seismic waves.

Praise for Burn It Down

"Burn It Down is a potent literary offering--a revolution born within the collective rage--expressed, unleashed, sublimated, and capsuled to honor our feminist legacy. Scorched earth speaks through these brilliant women who teach us that vulnerability and ire writ large will save those who have been shamed and condemned. Glorious, punk as hell, and utterly necessary."—Sophia Shalmiyev, award-winning author of Mother Winter
"Burn It Down is deeply affirming for any woman who has struggled with anger in this difficult world. There is no judgement here; only alchemy." —Kelly Sundberg, author of Goodbye, Sweet Girl
"The twenty-two essays collected in Burn It Down are a gift of sanity and clear-eyed moral vision in an increasingly degraded moral world. This book galvanizes women’s collective and individual rage, even as it redefines how we could and should understand that anger — and ourselves."—Lacy M. Johnson, author of The Reckonings and The Other Side
"A powerful book" (Chicago Review of Books)
"An impressive collection of essays" (LA Review of Books)
"An extraordinary collection of talent" (NPR)
"This book doesn’t splash water onto female rage, it stands back in awe at the immensity of the flames." (The Washington Post)
"Required reading" (Literary Hub October preview)
The Millions "Most Anticipated" list for October
"It’s the literary equivalent of screaming into a pillow, and reading it will make you feel so much less alone." (Yahoo! October preview)
"Make room on your shelf next to Eloquent Rage, Good and Mad and Rage Becomes Her" (BookPage review)
"Burn It Down legit changed my brain. I found myself thinking about anger in general and women’s anger in particular in a whole new way, and seeing how reigning in and policing our anger has been sustaining patriarchal structures for centuries. Read this beautiful book and feel your beautiful rage." (The Rumpus "What to Read When the Patriarchy's Got You Down" list)
"Burn It Down is both educational and cathartic. It infuriates and simultaneously relieves." (Bust fall preview list)
One of the most recommended books of the season (Literary Hub)
"Essay after essay of bold and powerful writing." (The Brooklyn Rail review)
"More necessary than ever." (Bustle fall preview list)
"Twenty-two writers [...] speak up and speak out in this practically hot-to-the-touch collection of essays about rage, power and how to take the last straw and turn it into kindling." (BookPage fall preview list)
"While anger is often weaponized against women to delegitimize them, this book gives powerful voice to women's rage in all its glory." (Pacific Standard fall preview list)
"Bracing and powerful" (Publishers Weekly review)
"Cathartic and incendiary" (O the Oprah Magazine 2019 LGBTQ books list)
"Every word was like water as I read—and I didn’t realize how parched I’d become." (Book Riot recommended anthologies list)
"Powerful and provocative, this collection is an instructive read for anyone seeking to understand the many faces—and pains—of womanhood in 21st-century America." (Kirkus Review)