Wow, No Thank You, by Samantha Irby

Wow, No Thank You is another stellar addition to the canon of the peerless comic and writer Samantha Irby. It is a collection of essays, observations, and musings from a woman who is completely in control of her voice, if not her body or her life. She has arrived at the point in her life where she is done with pretenses, much to the benefit and delight of readers of this book.

Irby is a self-described fat, black, middle-aged lesbian. She has a history of plumbing her personal life and character flaws for comedic content, publishing a successful blog bitches gotta eat, as well as previously published collections of essays. She was also a writer for the Hulu show Shrill.

In Wow, Not Thank You, Irby examines what it means to be a middle-aged lesbian, and how her tolerance for bullshit for everything, including herself, has gone to zero. In legitimately funny, laugh-out-loud passages, no person, place, or thing can escape her razor-sharp wit and hilarious observations. Readers might not relate to her as a person, but the way she frames her failures and defeats are universally relatable.

The series of essays explore some of the defining moments in her life, such as attempting to make it in Hollywood by meeting with “tv executives slash amateur astrologers”, even though she was a “cheese-fry eating slightly damp Midwestern person.” Or about her bizarre habit of hiding things from her wife under her pillow, such as cookies and past-due bills. She is not afraid to share her life; bad, worse, or weird.

The unvarnished take on someone’s inner life is refreshing and hilarious, allowing the reader to not feel so bad about their own life. It is the perfect pandemic read because the light tone and unrelenting humor offer up a great distraction from the heaviness of the world. This is a must-read for anyone who enjoys humor or even a bit of schadenfreude. It is also an inspiring and relatable read for fat people and members of the LGBT community.

Categories: General