Book Review: Lizz Free or Die

by BUST Magazine


Reviewed by Molly Labell

Lizz Winstead is responsible for creating The Daily Show and for setting the progressive tone of the now defunct Air America, platforms that—bless her!—brought both Jon Stewart and Rachel Maddow into the national spotlight. With her new book of personal essays, Winstead will undoubtedly be responsible for inspiring sc-ores of creative and opinionated young women. Her first collection chronicles the events and people that shaped who she is today, taking us through her strict Catholic upbringing to the recent death of her father (whose last earthly act was playing a hilarious prank on his children). In between, we meet scary fake abortionists, an especially terrible blind date, and Prince, Bill Hicks, and Roseanne Barr before they all hit it big. There are several gaps in her stories that I wanted to hear more about—she declines to discuss why she left The Daily Show—but the writing is breezy and the stories are as poignant as they are funny. Most striking, though, is the sexism that follows Winstead throughout. As a child, a priest infuriates her when he tells her she can’t be an altar boy; as a young stand-up comic, she’s equally infuriated by her crowds’ sudden disinterest in her observational humor when her set-ups go from “Ever notice…” to the more authoritative “I think that…” Ambitious women everywhere will be able to relate to Winstead’s struggles and, hopefully, take comfort in her success.

anna-paquin-cover-smallAn interview with Lizz Winstead appears in the June/July 2012 issue of BUST Magazine with cover girl Anna Paquin. Subscribe now.


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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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