ADULT BRACES will provide exercises, thought experiments, and prescriptions that will help her reader map the fears that prevent her from becoming the attentive, active navigator of her own life.
A Self-Help Book from a Self-in-Progress, or, How You Can Go from Being a Mess to Being a Way Happier Mess
by Lindy West
Hachette US, 2024
(via David Black Literary)
Through SHRILL, the book and then the Hulu series, Lindy West became an inspiration. To this day she is stopped on the street and told she is a beacon of empowerment by women who felt they couldn’t conform to the categories deemed acceptable—thin, straight, compliant—and felt bad about it. To them she modeled someone who had achieved self-actualization.
But what if casting off society’s pre-conceived notions was only the first part of the journey? What if it all the progress that culminated in SHRILL—the actualized self—turned out not to be a destination but an overnight stay on the way to somewhere else even more fulfilling?
Modeled on the sturdy breed of self-esteem-builders like the Sinceros, Mansons, Hollises, and even The Artist’s Way (which Lindy loves), ADULT BRACES uses Lindy’s own, post-SHRILL emotional implosion to chart her way back to an evolving, non-static happiness, and to the realization that the roads to self-actualization are infinite, unpredictable, and endlessly gratifying—and long as you don’t pull over.
ADULT BRACES takes Lindy back to SHRILL yet leaps ahead to something entirely new. She is providing a guide out of indolence and fear. For her, as has been made quite public, it led to a complete reinvention of her marriage. It doesn’t have to be precisely that for every reader, but that is the bold standard she sets. Whatever the particulars, she wants to help readers find what she has, a map to more love, more sex, more trust, more openness. And the courage to keep driving.
Lindy West is a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times and a contributor to This American Life. She is the bestselling author of the essay collection The Witches Are Coming as well as Shrill, a memoir, which she adapted into a comedy for Hulu starring Aidy Bryant. She lives in Seattle.