The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU students gather around a bucket of markers to write an encouraging note to put in “Welcome to the Shelter” kits at event in mid-April on SMU’s campus.
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Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024

Story of ‘Fury’ affects author, readers


After the success of her previous New York Times bestseller, author Koren Zailckas has tackled a challenging subject in her newest memoir, “Fury,” which explores female aggression. 


The Friends of the SMU Libraries hosted her campus visit yesterday, during which she read portions of the book and shared the personal connection that developed between herself and the topic while writing the book.


“This book was originally going to be a collection of short essays on the subject of female anger,” Zailckas said. “But the book changed as I was writing it; it became much more personal.”


Anger is a rarely addressed subject in American culture because from a young age, many people are taught that it has no place in any functional, loving relationship. 


This is one of the major problems that Zailckas faced when writing the book, as she too was the product of an American household.


The excerpt that Zailckas read from “Fury” was from the beginning of her writing process when she said she considered herself a sort of “anthropologist observing these angry people.” 


At an anger clinic in England, which she refers to as S.A.P. (Self Actualization Program), she found herself mocking the methods through which she and the other “angrys” were encouraged to release their rage.


It was not until about halfway through her writing that she said she found herself acknowledging her own pent-up anger. 


“I realized I was writing about the thing that most scared me in my life,” Zailckas said. “We all form simplistic views about life and mine was that anger and love are incompatible.”


She went on to describe a time when she  and her husband were living in France. They were constantly within hearing distance of the landlord and his wife’s fighting. 


She said that this had a huge impact on how she viewed the day-to-day lives of couples.


“We have this blueprint of what the life of a couple looks like from our parents,” Zailckas said. “But our understanding of what that relationship looks like doesn’t usually go beyond that.” 


She found that the book was not only evolving as she was writing it, but that she was changing as well. 


The only way that she could allow the reader to access that was by letting them into her writing process. 


“I realized this was not an American issue, not a feminist issue, but my personal issue,” Zailckas said.


This brutal honesty is what distinguishes her memoirs from others on the market and makes hers a bestseller. Similar to “Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood,” where Zailckas is open and hardest on herself, “Fury” allows readers a glimpse into the life of someone who is willing to face her faults and deal with them on the page in front of an audience.


As she plans to venture into the world of novel writing, it seems that this talented woman will succeed no matter what challenges she undertakes, as long as she does not lose her acute sense of self that has appeared in her works thus far.

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