So this has been a week right? In terms of news and weather on my front. I've had nonstop migraines for a week and last night the big one finally hit--I had to take a triptan and just give up. So today I'm very slow and trying my best to not type nonsense. I'm going to talk about Irby's book here because it really rocked my world when I read it and I wanted to talk about something positive after reading nothing but awful news about murders and mass shootings.
Title: We Are Never Meeting In Real Life
Author: Samantha Irby
Page Number: 288 pages
Genre: nonfiction, essays
Sometimes you just have to laugh, even when life is a dumpster fire. With We Are Never Meeting in Real Life., "bitches gotta eat" blogger and comedian Samantha Irby turns the serio-comic essay into an art form. Whether talking about how her difficult childhood has led to a problem in making "adult" budgets, explaining why she should be the new Bachelorette--she's "35-ish, but could easily pass for 60-something"--detailing a disastrous pilgrimage-slash-romantic-vacation to Nashville to scatter her estranged father's ashes, sharing awkward sexual encounters, or dispensing advice on how to navigate friendships with former drinking buddies who are now suburban moms--hang in there for the Costco loot--she's as deft at poking fun at the ghosts of her past self as she is at capturing powerful emotional truths.
I must be absolutely frank here. I bought the book because I was getting back into essay collections and I liked the title, the cover and the dedication.
The dedication alone made me like Irby...as that level of snark is my jam.
So I dove into this book, not knowing what to expect and boy was it a ride. Irby is honest and raw and upfront about her storytelling. It seemed so shocking at the time.
Irby had a television show (and is still apart of writing for tv, I think she's worked on Shrill) but I'm light years behind on my television watching because sometimes I just can't sit and stare at a screen that long, it hurts my eyes. I ended up adding her other books (one is called Meaty) to my TBR list but I am SO behind. I also added two of her friends/group? to my TBR list and then my friend gave me Dr. Roxanne Gay's book (it's autographed!) for my birthday. So, I think I've stumbled onto a group of good essayists and authors. Which, not to nerd out too much, is terribly exciting.
Some of the topics Irby covers is her sex life, her health and her weight, her marriage and some of the situations she finds herself in. I really wasn't expecting the full on honesty but Irby doesn't even blink and it gives the book a feeling of having a beautiful conversation with a good friend. All that being said, Irby is a black, LGBTQ+ woman who talks openly about her race, her sex and her medical issues (I think she has arthritis but I might be mis-remembering) and I'm not in that niche, but Irby doesn't shut you out. Does that make sense? I've read some books that were obviously targeted towards a certain audience (men, women with children, men, more men, YA-adjacent, non-Americans, always men, LGBTQ+ only) and sometimes it's so exclusive that it makes it hard to feel apart of it all (see: "she walked boobily down the stairs" authors). Irby doesn't do this. She brings you into her life in a way that is so authentic and welcoming that I didn't even realize how effortless it was until I was done reading.
Irby has a website that gives you an idea of her writing style.
Also a professional website that gives a link to her books