Amistad. Jun. 2021. 288p. ISBN 9780062961716. $26.99. MEMOIR
Yashere’s engaging and fun memoir chronicles moments from childhood up until her success as a comic, writer, actor, and producer. Starting with her parents’ beginnings in Nigeria, their move to the UK, and their separation, Yashere discusses life with her siblings, her mother, and her abusive stepfather. Racism was a constant in Yashere’s life in the working-class areas of London where she grew up; at school; and at the Otis Elevator Company, where she was the first woman engineer in the UK branch and where she also confronted sexism. She began performing as a stand-up comedian, then moved to the United States to grow her comedy career. Shedding light on how race, class, gender, and family shaped her, Yashere’s storytelling deftly combines humor and melancholy. Her conversational tone will make readers feel like they’re talking to an old friend.
VERDICT A tremendously funny and touching memoir that readers will want to finish in one sitting, whether they’re fans of Yashere or newcomers to her work.
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