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  • "HOW CAN YOU BE SAD YOU’RE HILARIOUS!!!!!" The Samantha Irby is "The World's Loudest Inner Monologue" at Chicago magazine.

    There are few who capture humor and pain quite like the Samantha Irby does. She is profiled in Chicago magazine this month and you can consume said profile here. So, please do go ahead. Now. Also, excerpt? Cool.

    "Her new book, We Are Never Meeting in Real Life (May 30, Vintage), is a hodgepodge of three years’ worth of essays, from a mock application to appear on The Bachelorette (“Age: 35ish, but I could pass for forty-seven to fifty-two, easily; sixty-something if I stay up all night. Gender: passably female”) to a truly epic tale that involves having explosive diarrhea, bare-assed, out of the side of a car in the middle of winter. The book is dedicated to the anxiety drug Klonopin. Her earlier book of personal essays, Meaty, which was published by Chicago’s Curbside Splendor in 2013, is now in development for an FX series starring a fictionalized version of Irby, with Broad City’s Abbi Jacobson and Inside Amy Schumer lead writer Jessi Klein signed on as executive producers.

    And yet Irby finds herself in a strange transitional space: She recently relocated to Kalamazoo, Michigan, to be with her wife, Kirsten Jennings (Mavis in all of Irby’s essays), after spending her entire life either in Evanston or Evanston-adjacent. She’s 37, with a career that is ramping up, but she’s convinced that her life is already halfway over. And if you think that’s dark, that’s on you. Sam Irby isn’t here for your shit, she’s here for her own."

  • Quite self-absorbedly geeked to let you know about The TNB Self-Interview I did for Be Cool.

    So please do check it out here. Or even here. Cool? Cool. And excerpt? Most definitely.

    Welcome.

    Thank you. I’m thrilled to be here, and I appreciate the chance to talk with you about my new essay collection Be Cool—a memoir (sort of) from Dock Street press.

     

    Well, great, congratulations, truly, should we get right into the questions?

    Yes, of course, soft ball questions, right, I hope.

     

    Yeah, sure, anyway, so, navel-gazing…?

    What?

     

    You know, the activity of thinking too much or too deeply about yourself, your experiences, your feelings, etc. That’s from Merriam-Webster.

    Is that a question?

     

    No, not exactly, that was more of a reaction to your question, which was in response to my initial query. But if you don’t mind, I’m going to ask the questions here.

    You know, I had a therapist say that to me once.

     

    Yeah, how did that turn out?

    Not so good. But to your non-question, question, am I concerned about there being too much navel-gazing in Be Cool, no, I don’t think so, that never even crossed my mind. Really, it seems like writing personal essays would almost automatically engender that.

     

    Does that mean, that from your perspective, writing an essay collection, memoir (sort of) does not involve thinking too much or too deeply about oneself?

    Oh no, it does, but writing, ideally, is still something else entirely to me. You are attempting to craft a narrative that taps into universal themes, which just might offer the reader insight into themselves, if not actual entertainment and escape. And these are good things, and certainly the reasons why I read what I read.

     

    So, do you consider yourself an entertainer?

    At times, yes. Am I consciously engaged in the act of amusing or entertaining, also Merriam-Webster, absolutely. I want the reader to be engaged, and moved, and in my head. Does that also mean there is pain and confusion? Yes, of course there is.