LITERATURE

Wow, No Thank You: Essays

Vintage. Apr. 2020. 336p. ISBN 9780525563488. $15.95. LIT
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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.

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