PERFORMING ARTS

Sure, I’ll Join Your Cult: A Memoir of Mental Illness and the Quest To Belong Anywhere

Gallery Sept. 2023. 288p. ISBN 9781982168568. $28.99. HUMOR
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The search for mental equilibrium and a sense of belonging has no roadmap, has an uncertain destination, and is frequently characterized by setbacks and painful discoveries. This memoir by comedian and actress Bamford (You Are (A Comedy) Special) describes her own journey. Bamford is a well-known presence on the comedy circuit, with her own Netflix series, Lady Dynamite. Her work, which has received a number of prestigious awards, frequently focuses on her own struggles with her mental health. This book describes Bamford’s relationship with her family and her experiences with various self-help programs, some of which—Debtors Anonymous, for example—were beneficial. The author vividly and evocatively notes her various hospitalizations and problems with finding the correct balance of medications that enabled her to work. Despite the sometimes grim subject matter, the book shines with Bamford’s brilliance, relentless humor, and insatiable instinct for survival. She obviously wants to help others survive too.
VERDICT Raw and discomfiting, but completely compelling. This is an essential read for Bamford fans and will likely reassure those who are on their own journeys.
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