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If the personal essay has never been more popular (and trust us, it hasn’t) could it spring from the tremor of recognition we find in other people’s experiences? In the hands of a writer like Samantha Irby, the essay becomes a common unifier, finding an echo in the knowing nods and laughs and gasps of readers. Drawing on her background in comedy, Irby mines pathos for humor in essays that are mordantly funny, self-deprecating, and profoundly human. To quote a laudatory New York Times review of her latest collection, Wow, No Thank You, "Read Irby because she understands the mutinies of the body. She understands suffering and uncertainty, and is wildly, seditiously funny on both.” Irby first came to prominence with her blog, bitches gotta eat, where she interrogated her everyday interactions in frank, unpretentious language, and invariably in the direction of a punchline. "I just started writing about all the dumb stuff that was happening to me every day, and then it kind of exploded," she told LitHub in 2017. It has not stopped exploding. Four books of essays followed, including Meaty, New Year, Same Trash, and We Are Never Meeting in Real Life. Like one of her idols, David Sedaris, they revel in the absurdities of the human condition, a take we need now as much (if not more) than ever. Below are Samantha Irby's favorite books, available to purchase individually or as a set. See the full list...
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