The Furies

The Furies

Three Women and Their Violent Fight for Justice


‘An arresting, deeply reported new book’ Washington Post

‘This gripping, inflaming book, itself an act of fury, shows how revenge can transmute into politics or be crushed by it’ Larissa MacFarquhar

‘Flock has a novelist’s knack for creating suspense . . . This one will stick with readers’ Publishers Weekly


In this profoundly moving book, Emmy-winning journalist Elizabeth Flock explores the stories of three women living in deeply patriarchal places with destructive cultures of honour, places in which institutions – government, police, courts – failed to protect women from violence, leaving them no option but to stand up and protect themselves.

Brittany Smith, a young woman from Stevenson, Alabama, killed a man she said raped her in her own home, but was denied the protection of a self-defense argument. Angoori Dahariya led a gang in Uttar Pradesh, India, dedicated to avenging victims of domestic abuse. And Cicek Mustafa Zibo fought in a thousands-strong all-female militia that battled ISIS in Syria.

Can women’s acts of vengeance help to create lasting change in their communities, or will they ultimately hurt their cause? The novelistic accounts of these three women offer profound insights into the quest for understanding what a society in which women have real power might look like.


  • This is an arresting, deeply reported new book, which considers three case studies of women . . . who, when faced with institutional failures of various kinds, took matters into their own hands . . . Flock is a patient reporter who embeds with her subjects long enough to write about their inner worlds with authority and nuance
    Rachel Monroe, The Washington Post

About the author

Elizabeth Flock

Elizabeth Flock is a journalist and the author of Love and Marriage in Mumbai. Her journalism has appeared in the New Yorker, The New York Times, The Guardian, The Atlantic, and on the PBS NewsHour, where her investigation into sexual harassment and retaliation in the U.S. Forest Service won an Emmy Award and was nominated for a Peabody Award. A PEN America fellow and IWMF and Pulitzer Center grantee, she lives in Chicago, Illinois.
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