BOOK CLUB: Women of a Certain Rage

Women of a Certain Rage by Liz Byrski is a stunning compilation of short essays by 20 women of different ages, backgrounds, beliefs and experiences on the topic of Rage.

Liz Byrski, the author of ten novels and twelve non-fiction titles, Adjunct Associate Professor at Curtin University, opens the book with an introduction of the events that led to the genesis of this book’s content, including the #MeToo movement. 

Many women were invited to contribute to the book which would explore the different issues that incite and inspire women’s rage.  Not all invitees felt they could contribute, many found difficulties articulating rage in writing as reliving their experiences triggered those feelings again.

What transpired was this book, 20 wildly different explorations of what rage meant to each of the writers, from discovering their Aboriginality and reconnecting to their heritage and culture, exposing the dreadful neglect of an elderly relative, explaining how a childhood character in a book became the model to inspire anger and writing, the dreadful and life-changing impact of a ‘bad acid trip’, exposing society’s response to perceived disabilities, to second (third?) wave feminism, immigration detention and climate change.

Some of these stories are so raw they put a lump in your throat, many are hard to read as you confront both your own rage and your errors in dealing with others, all are both valid and powerful.

These women have confronted and articulated the rage that drives them to be who they are. In doing so many of these women have discussed deeply personal experiences that could have destroyed them, and in some cases nearly did.

Every contributor to this book, Anne Aly, Nadine Browne, Nandi Chinna, Claire G Coleman, Carrie Cox, Eva Cox, Sarah Drummond, Carly Findlay, Goldie Goldbloom, Rafeif Ismail, Margo Kingston, Jay Martin, Meg McKinlay, Olivia Muscat, Mihaela Nicolescu, Reneé Pettitt-Schipp, Victoria Midwinter Pitt, Fiona Stanley, Jane Underwood, and Julienne van Loon has done an amazing job of expressing their rage, whether with passion, courage and humour or just downright crankiness.

Every aspect of this book, from the play on ‘women of a certain age’ so often used to dismiss women’s righteous anger for their treatment over the years, to the stunning cover with its understated focus on a flower’s sharp thorns is indicative of the underlying rage that continues to drive many of us.

Women of a Certain Rage is a brilliantly conceived, compiled and produced book, and Liz Byrski should be commended for her inspiration and commitment in creating it.

Highly recommended, this book should be prescribed reading in all schools to empower our future generations.

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading Women of a Certain Rage by Liz Byrski. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

ISBN: 9781760990060 / Publisher: Fremantle Press

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