Wow, No Thank You: Essays

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In this essay collection, Samantha Irby recounts the surprises and indignities of entering middle age and uneasily settling into a new home in Kalamazoo, having left her beloved Chicago to move in with her wife. Unprepared for making new friends and dealing with relentlessly challenging health problems, Irby navigates this new terrain with both unabashed horror and a willingness to be surprised.

She recounts the difficulty of gearing up for a night out as a late-thirties adult, the tricky balance involved in step-parenting, and the serendipity that often presents itself as little more than annoying extra work. She is forty, but she has as many questions about life as she always has. She gets recognized for her work, and she’s humiliated when she assumes someone recognizes her for her work. Nothing is too personal to be addressed in a Samantha Irby essay. Her talent for self-deprecation and self-examination is limitless.

Any review of Irby’s work will talk about how laugh-out-loud funny it is, how cutting and perfect her cultural observations are, how boldly she shares her worst moments and finds the humor in her lowest points. All of this is true. These essays are smart, hilarious, raw, depressing, and uplifting. It’s impossible not to like Samantha Irby. This collection will leave readers wanting more.

Reviewed By:

Author Samantha Irby
Star Count /5
Format Trade
Page Count 336 pages
Publisher Vintage
Publish Date 2020-03-31
ISBN 9780525563488 Buy this Book
Issue July 2020
Category Humor-Nonfiction


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