Trailblazing feminist icon, musician, outspoken women’s rights activist, and original rebel girl Kathleen Hanna has announced her new book Rebel Girl: My Life as a Feminist Punk due out May 14, 2024 with Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins.
The raw and insightful new memoir traces Hanna’s life from her tumultuous childhood home to her formative college years in Olympia, Washington, and on to her first years on tour, fighting hard for gigs and for her band. Hanna makes clear that surviving as a singer who was a lightning rod for controversy took limitless amounts of determination as she and her bandmates faced male violence and antagonism at every turn. In an uncut voice all her own, Hanna reveals the hardest times along with the most joyful—and how it continues to fuel her revolutionary art and music.
Lifelong connections with bandmates, including Tobi Vail, Kathi Wilcox, and Johanna Fateman; her friendships with Kurt Cobain and Ian MacKaye; and her introduction to Joan Jett were all a testament to how the punk world could nurture and care for its own. Hanna opens up about falling in love with Ad-Rock of the Beastie Boys, her debilitating battle with Lyme disease, and she brings us behind the scenes of her musical growth in her bands, Le Tigre and The Julie Ruin. She also writes candidly about the Riot Grrrl movement, documenting with love its grassroots origins but critiquing its later exclusivity.
Hanna’s rallying cry to feminists echoed far and wide through the punk scene of the 90s and beyond. Her band, Bikini Kill, embodies this iconic time, and today her personal yet feminist lyrics on anthems like “Rebel Girl” and “Double Dare Ya” are embedded in pop culture and more powerful than ever.