Lacing cultural criticism, Victorian literature, and storytelling together, Too Much explores how culture corsets women's bodies, souls, and sexualities - and how we might finally undo the strings.
Written in the tradition of Shrill, Dead Girls, Sex Object and other frank books about the female gaze, Too Much encourages women to reconsider the beauty of their excesses - emotional, physical, and spiritual.
Rachel Vorona Cote braids cultural criticism, theory, and storytelling together in her exploration of how culture grinds away our bodies, souls, and sexualities, forcing us into smaller lives than we desire. An erstwhile Victorian scholar, she sees many parallels between that era's fixation on women's 'hysterical' behavior and our modern policing of the same; in the space of her writing, you're as likely to encounter Jane Eyre and Lizzie Bennet as you are Britney Spears and Lana Del Rey. This book will tell the story of how women, from then and now, have learned to draw power from their reservoirs of feeling, all that makes us 'too much'.
A fascinating exploration of how literature and pop culture have constructed (and exploded) our expectations of modern womanhood, this book is as gloriously defiant as the women it profiles. It's a necessary read for anyone who's ever wondered whether her 'muchness' is too much. - Robin Wasserman, author of GIRLS ON FIRE
Too Much is such a fascinating, infuriating, and delightful addition to our understanding of unruliness, past and present, public and private. Cote combines the precision and wonder of the historian with the deft, accessible touch of the ex-academic. This book is a work of protest, but it is also one of deep, undeniable beauty. - Anne Helen Petersen
[Too Much is] written with passion for the subject and sustained attention, full of compelling prose and observations that will surely resonate with any woman familiar with straining against the edges of the shape she's expected to fit in - Washington City Paper
Cote, a former Victorian scholar, laces together cultural criticism, history, memoir, and theory in her debut work of nonfiction - The Millions
Vorona Cote weaves historical representation, theories and storytelling into a well-researched and timely novel - Shereads.com
Too Much is for all women who've been haunted, taunted and shamed for their emotions, joy, anger, laughter, sexuality or any other sort of excessive be-ing - Ms. Magazine
Readers whose tastes run from George Eliot to Lorde will embrace the book's feminist message - Publishers Weekly
[Vorona Cote] knows better than most how Victorian-era standards have been weaponized against fictional and real-life women, including Jane Eyre and Britney Spears, who have chosen freedom over conformity - Bitch Magazine
Rachel Vorona Cote writes for publications like the New Republic, Longreads, Pitchfork, Catapult, Hazlitt, Rolling Stone, the Poetry Foundation, Buzzfeed, and Literary Hub. She was also a contributor at Jezebel.
She has a BA from the College of William and Mary and an MA in Literature from the George Washington University. She is ABD at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she studied Victorian literature. She lives in Takoma Park, Maryland.