Cover image for Wow, no thank you. : essays
Title:
Wow, no thank you. : essays
ISBN:
9780525563488
Physical Description:
xii, 319 pages ; 21 cm
Summary:
Publisher Annotation: Irby is forty, and increasingly uncomfortable in her own skin despite what Inspirational Instagram Infographics have promised her. She has left her job as a receptionist at a veterinary clinic, has published successful books and has been friendzoned by Hollywood, left Chicago, and moved into a house with a garden that requires repairs and know-how with her wife in a Blue town in the middle of a Red state where she now hosts book clubs and makes mason jar salads. This is the bourgeois life of a Hallmark Channel dream. She goes on bad dates with new friends, spends weeks in Los Angeles taking meetings with "tv executives slash amateur astrologers" while being a "cheese fry-eating slightly damp Midwest person," "with neck pain and no cartilage in [her] knees," who still hides past due bills under her pillow. (Original), 336pp.
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Summary

Summary

*AN INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER*

A Most Anticipated Book according to:
*Elle * Oprah Magazine * Vulture * New York Times * PureWow * AV CLub * Time Magazine * Entertainment Weekly * PureWow * Buzzfeed * The Observer * Bustle * Huffington Post * The Millions * Parade * Electric Literature * Bustle * Lithub * BookRiot * Bitch * Washington Independent * The Rumpus * and more *

"Stay-up-all-night, miss-your-subway-stop, spit-out-your-beverage funny.... irresistible as a snack tray, as intimately pleasurable as an Irish goodbye."
--Jia Tolentino

From Samantha Irby--beloved author of New York Times bestseller We Are Never Meeting in Real Life- -a rip-roaring, edgy and unabashedly raunchy new collection of hilarious essays.

Irby is forty, and increasingly uncomfortable in her own skin despite what Inspirational Instagram Infographics have promised her. She has left her job as a receptionist at a veterinary clinic, has published successful books and has been friendzoned by Hollywood, left Chicago, and moved into a house with a garden that requires repairs and know-how with her wife in a Blue town in the middle of a Red state where she now hosts book clubs and makes mason jar salads. This is the bourgeois life of a Hallmark Channel dream. She goes on bad dates with new friends, spends weeks in Los Angeles taking meetings with "tv executives slash amateur astrologers" while being a "cheese fry-eating slightly damp Midwest person," "with neck pain and no cartilage in [her] knees," who still hides past due bills under her pillow.
The essays in this collection draw on the raw, hilarious particulars of Irby's new life. Wow, No Thank You. is Irby at her most unflinching, riotous, and relatable.


Author Notes

Samantha Irby is a writer whose work you can find on the internet.

www.bitchesgottaeat.com


Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

This overly manic collection from blogger Irby (We Are Never Meeting in Real Life) hints at the author's talent, but ultimately disappoints. In recounting a period in her life that saw her attain success as an author, endure a frustrating flirtation with Hollywood, and move from Chicago to Kalamazoo, Mich., "where the most popular bar has a mechanical bull," Irby primarily aims to amuse, but the humor is one-note, leaning too much on double exclamation points, triple question marks, and caps lock, and too little on original observations. She also overemphasizes showbiz references--at one point, she imagines her life as a wacky Hollywood comedy, and at another point, as several seasons of a TV show. Irby can be remarkably candid, as when she admits to having a "running inner monologue recounting every horrible thing I've said or done since I can remember first publicly humiliating myself," one that "never shuts the fuck up or goes away even for a minute." This emotional honesty is the book's best feature, but is less appealing than it might have been, due to the hectic tone. Readers will be disappointed by this strained attempt at comedic memoir. (Apr.)


Booklist Review

In her third essay collection, Irby shares what she's been up to since We Are Never Meeting in Real Life (2017): leaving Chicago to live in Michigan, becoming a kind of parent to her wife's kids, writing for the Hulu show, Shrill, turning 40 ( the hilarious thing about being forty is this: I don't know anything ) and lots more. One essay is a 1990s mixtape, complete with track listings and their explanations. Lesbian Bed Death is a series of statements that begin with Sure, sex is fun and end with things like but have you ever watched PBS? Hello, 911? catalogs everyday emergencies like stepping onto a moving walkway, or being the first person at a party. And despite Irby's claim that It is not that helpful! , the collection-closing story of getting her first book published will especially speak to budding writers. Irby has an uncanny ability to punctuate all the funny stuff with well-placed moments of true tenderness, making this exactly what her longtime and new readers will love and LOL over.--Annie Bostrom Copyright 2020 Booklist


Kirkus Review

More humorous life reflections from a seasoned raconteur.In this third volume of essays (this one "dedicated to Wellbutrin"), outspoken blogger and essayist Irby offers opinions and reactions to many of life's more uncomfortable and inconvenient episodes. Among countless other topics, the author discusses her confusion about health bloggers' obsessions with "adaptogens and other beneficial herbs," her "hostile, elusive, disrespectful" menstrual cycle, and her body. "I have been stuck with a smelly, actively decaying body that I never asked for," she writes, "and am constantly on the receiving end of confusing, overwhelming messages for how to properly care for and feed it." A linear timeline chronicling Irby's attempt at partying while "staring middle age right in its sensible orthopedic inserts" is particularly hilarious and relatable for readers of a certain age. Even when the author describes pitching show concepts to Netflix or battling Crohn's disease, her one-liners and comic timing remain intact. A lot of the best anecdotal material springs forth from the more embarrassing and cringeworthy moments of the author's life. She envies those who can go out on the town and not become hindered with bathroom issues or people who effortlessly manage a household. Regarding children, she writes, "I jump away from children the way most people jump away from a hot stovethough she doesn't "dislike them." Some of the material in this latest collection has been covered in her previous two books, but Irby's devotees won't mind because her personal hyperawareness, brazen attitude, and raunchy sense of humor are in fine form, even when the writing is haphazard and frenetic. Ultimately, though, the author manages to shake things up and keep most of her observances fresh and funny, and she also incorporates more details of life with her wife.There's lots to chuckle at here, as Irby remains a winning, personality-driven, self-deprecating essayist. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Library Journal Review

Written in signature Irby style, this third volume of essays (after We Are Never Meeting in Real Life) from the laugh-out-loud comedian and excruciatingly relatable author/blogger (bitchesgottaeat.com) sees the writer abandoning Chicago singledom for suburban married life while navigating chronic illness with humor and a vivid, resonant voice. Topics ranging from "Into the Gross" and "Love and Marriage" to "Body Negativity" and "Detachment Parenting" are explored in pieces that are both funny yet deeply sad and occasionally try too hard. That is, they are human in the very best way. A recurrent theme is how the author has dealt with unpredictability in her life. Whether growing up destitute (and still having a fraught relationship with financial matters) or being at the mercy of her bowels and the exhausting indignity of planning life around Crohn's disease, Irby has longed for stability and dependable affection, and has often not found it. Love, she notes, is boring, which is a wonderful thing. VERDICT A sheer delight for Irby's legions of fans. For those new to her work, or who enjoy Jenny Lawson, Roxane Gay, Jenny Slate, or Nora Ephron, this should be obtained immediately.--Audrey Snowden, Milford Town Lib., MA


Excerpts

Excerpts

Into The Gross I live for a glamorous lifestyle blog featuring some gorgeous ingenue with piles of secret wealth that she never divulges to the unsuspecting slobs on the other side of the screen. How does she afford three-­hundred-­dollar eye cream if her job is listed as "freelance editor," and why is it tossed so casually on her nightstand like she wouldn't cry if she lost it? I want to admire her floating through a bright and clean apartment in photos so beautiful and overexposed that it hurts your ugly regular-­person eyes to look at them as she describes the minutiae of her daily routines, but all the cat dander clouding my eyes makes it difficult. "Maybe I should try alkaline water," I murmur to myself, as I squint through the unidentifiable goo dried on my phone screen, making a mental note to look up what "adaptogens" are after I search for the cheapest gratitude journal on Amazon. "Wow, she got that skin just from vitamins??" I sigh, taking a sip of a warm Crush grape soda I opened either three hours or three days ago. I subscribe to so many of these blogs and news­letters, I can't even tell them apart. Partly, I'm curious about the stuff people buy (oh, I am not curious I am actually obsessed and, if I pee at your house, I will make note of the hand soap you use and immediately copy you if it's fancier than mine, but in an admiring way not a Single White Female way, I promise). But mostly it's just straight-­up awe, because I love STUFF so fucking much, and I want to know how people get to be so pretty and chic. I buy a lot of face washes from targeted Instagram ads, but no one gives a shit about what I use probably because I have chin whiskers? Plus, if a hip photographer with cool shoes came to my home, the cats would definitely bite her and we don't have a single glamorous white wall to use as a backdrop. Even if we did, would anyone be interested in pictures of my stacks of discounted ­K-­Beauty face masks from Big Lots? Um no!!! Still, being featured on a stylish lifestyle blog is my biggest secret dream, and because I am too disgusting to ever be asked in real life, I want to tell you how mine would go: I like to wake up naturally, gripped by a heart-­pounding panic as the sun slices through my eyelids at noon, when it is perfectly aligned with my bedroom windows. I wince against the sun's blinding rays, a sick feeling spreading through me. It dawns on me that I have already wasted an entire day. AGAIN. I grimace loudly as I slide off the bed and feel around blindly with my toes for the orthopedic flip-­flops I keep close enough to find without my glasses on. Sure, I probably could shuffle to the bathroom gripping every flat surface I come into contact with along the way, but who are we kidding? I desperately need the arch support. I have to pee since I've been horizontal for several hours, and all the fluid on my legs has pooled backward (upward? what is physiology?) into my bladder. Then I grope through all the bottles in the medicine cabinet until I find the one that feels like Aleve. I get the liquid-­gel capsules because they look more science-­y and futuristic, and after fumbling with the arthritis cap, I get one lodged in my esophagus despite the fact that I have dislocated my neck desperately lapping at lukewarm faucet water as it slips through my cupped fingers to wash it down. It crosses my mind that I should just stagger back to my room and get in bed and try again tomorrow but--­guilt! So I return to the toilet instead (my Kegel muscles no longer hold urine in like they used to) and will myself to just turn the shower on. Turn it on, just turn it on, you can do it, turn it on. I risk shattering my phone in the sink trying to queue up a podcast, probably Who? Weekly or The Read, which I listen to because they're both very popular and entertaining, but also, if I turn the volume all the way up, it helps to drown out the noise of my washing. I consider doing a single one of the approximately ninety-­six beauty treatments littering the vanity and erupting out of the plastic shoeboxes I hide them from my wife in, but I already drank a tablespoon of water, so what else is there even to do? In the shower, I use a big block of Irish Spring and because I am black, I was raised to always use a washcloth no matter what, so I do. I also scrub my scalp vigorously with anti-­dandruff shampoo, which is a thing beautiful people never have to use. (Just once, I want to read one of these profiles where a slender, shiny-­toothed model is like, "Hey, bitch, I have psoriasis!" while aggressively slathering T/Gel onto her roots.) I don't shave my armpits or legs, but somehow I still take an inordinately long time to get clean. After my shower, I use Neutrogena body oil, because you can get a giant bottle super cheap at Target and it smells like rich people. My towel smells like mildew, but I ignore it! Yoga, meditation, and calming morning rituals are for people who actually wake up in the morning, so instead I skip all that and launch into my day, gathering everything I brought up to bed last night when I was pretending I might work instead of watching TV. I load it all into the pink Baggu I schlep with me from room to room, because, listen, I am not walking back up these stairs until nighttime. I wear the same thing pretty much every day: a tucked-­in ­T-­shirt, high-­waisted sloth pants, and a Madewell sweatshirt. Despite my having what is obviously an impossibly flashy and lavish lifestyle, I regret to inform you that Madewell is not a sponsor. Breakfast was over four hours ago, so I start with lunch. I once read one of these profiles where the woman featured talked about alkalizing her body at the start of the day with lemon water, and I am being 100 percent sincere when I say that sentences like that fucking mystify me. What does that mean? How did she learn those words?? I go to the doctor every other day and never has one of them told me about alkalization. Alkalining? Alkalinization? THE NEED TO BE ALKALIZED. I'm in awe of people who talk like that with a straight face, and let me tell you: the shit stuck. So now I start my morning (I mean, afternoon) by drinking some room-­temperature water from the pitcher on the counter with a few slices of Meyer lemon from those little bags of them you can get at Trader Joe's. It has done absolutely nothing for me, from what I can tell, but later on, when I eat an entire jalapeño-­and-­pepperoni pizza and feel bad about it, I can think to myself, "Bitch, remember when you alkalized?!" and feel clean. We live up the street from a middle school, and children are already on their way home, for fuck's sake, so I don't feel bad having six Diet Cokes in a row. I'll finish my water, but, like, I don't ever want to be too hydrated. All these magazines tell you how you should really be drinking your weight in water every day, and all these movie stars would have you believe their skin glows because of that water bottle they're carrying around, and I believe them, but also, why doesn't anyone ever talk about how much peeing you will have to do? I no longer have a pelvic floor, Jennifer Aniston. I cannot just be gulping down smartwater with reckless abandon! After consuming all the liquids I'm going to for the entire day, I settle down to work, which I'm really going to do as soon as I put on a little cream highlighter and blush that no one else is ever going to see. My work: I occasionally write jokes on the Internet for free because I am the last person on Earth who still has a blog. Sometimes I have freelance projects, but there's nothing right now. No one is going to pay me to write another book about nothing for at least the next two years. Unfortunately, I don't have anything new or exciting to say online and absolutely zero paying scams, so my heart sinks as it dawns on me that I have gotten up and gotten dressed just to read what other people are saying on Twitter. This is the glamorous life of a writer! Excerpted from Wow, No Thank You: Essays by Samantha Irby All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.


Table of Contents

Into the Grossp. 3
Girls Gone Mildp. 11
Hung Up!p. 35
Late-1900s Time Capsulep. 44
Love and Marriagep. 66
Are You Familiar with My Work?p. 85
Hysterical!p. 101
Lesbian Bed Deathp. 119
Body Negativityp. 135
Country Crockp. 151
A Guide to Simple Home Repairsp. 161
We Almost Got a Fucking Dogp. 180
Detachment Parentingp. 196
Season 1, Episode 1p. 213
Hollywood Summerp. 243
$$$p. 263
Hello, 911?p. 278
An Extremely Specific Guide to Publishing a Bookp. 294
Acknowledgmentsp. 317