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We Are Never Meeting in Real Life.
Cover of We Are Never Meeting in Real Life.
We Are Never Meeting in Real Life.
Essays
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • This essay collection from the “bitches gotta eat” blogger, writer on Hulu’s Shrill, and “one of our country’s most fierce and foulmouthed...
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • This essay collection from the “bitches gotta eat” blogger, writer on Hulu’s Shrill, and “one of our country’s most fierce and foulmouthed...
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  • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • This essay collection from the “bitches gotta eat” blogger, writer on Hulu’s Shrill, and “one of our country’s most fierce and foulmouthed authors” (Amber Tamblyn, Vulture) is sure to make you alternately cackle with glee and cry real tears.

    Whether Samantha Irby is 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.

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    My Bachelorette Application


    I am squeezed into my push-up bra and sparkly, ill-fitting dress. I’ve got the requisite sixteen coats of waterproof mascara, black eyeliner, and salmon-colored streaks of hastily applied self-tanner drying down the side of my neck. I’m sucking in my stomach, I’ve taken thirty-seven Imodium in case my irritable bowels have an adverse reaction to the bag of tacos I hid in my purse and ate in the bathroom while no one was looking, and I have been listening to Katy Perry really loudly in the limo on the way over here. I’m about to crush a beer can on my forehead. LET’S DO THIS, BRO.

    Are you: Nominating someone [ ] or Applying Yourself? [ x ]

    Name: Samantha McKiver Irby

    Age: 35ish (but I could pass for forty-seven to fifty-two, easily; sixty-something if I stay up all night.)

    Gender: passably female

    Height: 5′9″

    Weight: Lane Bryant model? But maybe on her period week. I have significantly large ankles.
    Occupation: My technical job title is client services director at the animal hospital where I’ve worked since early 2002, which loosely translates to “surly phone answerer and unfriendly door opener.” I’m pretty lazy, although I am quite good at playing the race card and eating other people’s lunches in the break room.

    E-mail: [redacted]

    What is the next big city near you and how far is it? Chicago. And it’s zero miles away. I mean, I’m in it right now, doing Chicago things. You know, eating a deep-dish pizza while wearing a beat-up Urlacher jersey and sprinkling pieces of the Sears Tower (no real Chicagoan will ever call it the Willis Tower) on top and reading Oprah magazine. CHICAGO.

    How did you hear about our search? I have a television. And I do most of my reading while waiting in line to buy diet yogurt at the grocery store.

    What is your highest level of education? High school, but I took a lot of honors classes.

    Where were you born? Evanston, Illinois. A suburb along the lake, due north of Chicago and the birthplace of hella luminaries like Marlon Brando, the Cusacks, Donald Rumsfeld (gross), Bill Murray, Becky #1 from the TV show Roseanne, and possibly Eddie Vedder. At least I think so? We all believe that the song “Elderly Woman in a Small Town” is about us, but we have three motherfucking Whole Foods. That most certainly qualifies us as a medium town, at the very least. Maybe that dude really is from someplace else.

    Where did you grow up? EVANSTON. And I’m still basically there. All the time. Unlike Eddie Vedder, I can’t get out. I work there, my doctor is there, and even though I technically live within the Chicago city limits, if I need to go to the supermarket or the movies, I always think of the Evanston ones first. It’s a trap. No one ever leaves this place. Not kidding, I see my junior year English teacher at Starbucks every morning, which is down the block from the bagel shop this dude I graduated with just bought. It’s gross. I gotta grow the fuck up.

    Do you have siblings? How old are they? When I was born my parents were almost-forty and almost-fifty, which means I have never seen either of them: chase a ball, get down on the floor to help construct a Lego set, or run along behind me as I wobbled on a two-wheeled bike. I have three sisters who are currently, brace yourself, fifty-six, fifty-four, and fifty-one years old. HILARIOUS. My sister Carmen is going to be sixty real years old in a few years and...

About the Author-

  • Samantha Irby writes a blog called "bitches gotta eat."

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    April 1, 2017
    A blogger (Bitches Gotta Eat) has to laugh to keep from crying--or maybe killing somebody--in this collection of essays from the black, full-figured female perspective.The second collection of essays by Irby (Meaty, 2013) explores what it means to be "fat and black." Though she has an active and diverse sex life, the author seems to prefer staying home with her cat, with whom she's "trapped in this mutually abusive codependent relationship." She watches a lot of TV and eats a lot of junk food while watching junk TV. She prefers writing jokes for online consumption rather than interacting with so-called real people in the so-called real world. "People are boring and terrible," she writes. "I am boring and terrible. My funny runs out, my cute runs out, my smart sometimes hiccups, my sexy wakes up with uncontrollable diarrhea. I have an attitude. And a sharp edge!" Irby shows her sharp edge throughout a collection that touches on topics ranging from the potential pros and cons of living in a small town, her employment adventures at an animal hospital, her upbringing with an alcoholic, abusive father and the mother he exploited, her preoccupation with death, and her unpredicted path to lesbian marriage. She responds to a pre-marriage questionnaire that asks, "how important is sex to you?" with "Is there such a thing as 'the opposite of important?'....Hopefully lesbian bed death is real and not another unattainable fantasy the Internet has lied to me about, like poreless skin." Though the collection is uneven, and many of the pieces strain for effect, some are very funny, some of them ring painfully true, and the best do both. Consider the essay about what happens when all of Irby's friends have reached the birthing and raising children stages, and she has no experience around kids: "I forget when they're within earshot and say mean things about dead people or recount in excruciating detail the highlights of my most recent gynecological exam." Personal embarrassment provides plenty of material for in-print or online entertainment.

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    April 15, 2017
    In her new book of essays, Irby, author of the blog bitches gotta eat and a previous essay collection, Meaty (2013), is once again the inimitably candid, uber-confessional friend readers will happily spend a few hundred pages with. Master of both in-your-face jokes and clever, sneaking humor, Irby fills out her application to star on The Bachelorette, the show where a woman is surrounded by 25 slabs of brisket clamoring to drink her dirty bathwater. She relays a bathroom emergency on the side of a gridlocked highway. She and a friend escape relatively unscathed from a Civil War reenactment in the Chicago suburbs. Writing about topics like growing up poor, anxious, and unhappy, turning 18 at the same time her wayward father died, dealing with depression ( Do black girls even get to be depressed? ), figuring out how exactly one is supposed to deal with money, or the special challenge of understanding a loving relationship after so many bad ones, Irby's brilliant blend of honesty and humor will have readers' tears streaming for all kinds of reasons.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

  • Lindy West, author of Shrill "The second book of essays from this frank and madly funny blogger.... A sidesplitting polemicist for the most awful situations."
  • Kate Harding, author of Asking for It "A memoir of the life of a sardonic, at times awkward, at times depressed black woman with Crohn's (an inflammatory-bowel disease) and degenerative arthritis.... Her acerbic, raw honesty on the page -- often punctuated with all-caps comic parenthetical asides -- unflinchingly recounts experiences such as the humiliating intrusion of explosive diarrhea on romantic and borderline-romantic interludes."
  • Lindsay Hunter, author of Ugly Girls "Irby...is so authentic, entertaining, and fearless, funny seems too concise a word to describe stepping inside her thoughts for a couple hundred pages. Her writing is both confident and self-deprecating and will strike readers in that perfectly relatable space between glorious confidence and average self-doubt. Essays about how much she despises her cat and an ill-timed gastronomical adventure are mind-blowingly hilarious, as are her musings on the great outdoors, her hypothetical Bachelor application, and Zumba. Other pieces, especially those involving her mostly-absent alcoholic father and her mother's battle with multiple sclerosis are so vulnerable and fearless that they'll stop you in your tracks. Irby doesn't shy away from anything, and her brand of honesty is the kind that can inspire new writers and attract legions of loyal readers dying to meet her in real life."

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    Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
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