Samantha Irby never expected that at 40 she’d be married, building a home in a red state, writing books about poop and depression, and working on a hit TV show (Shrill) in Hollywood with one of her best friends. But as her latest essay collection Wow, No Thank You reveals, life is weird and despite our best efforts—or in Irby’s case, our best non-efforts—you never know where you’re going to end up.
Irby pulls from seemingly minor moments and interests to construct a portrait of her life. In one essay, she compiles a ’90s playlist to illustrate the significance of a carefully curated mixtape and reveals the kind of teenager she was. In another, she constructs a detailed timeline of a night out as a way to explore her thoughts about aging. She hilariously takes stock of where she is today and how she got there, peppering in maybe-helpful advice that she’s gathered along the way. This is a fast-paced, smart, expletive-ridden read that will soothe your angst and have you laughing well after you’ve finished the book. Irby concludes that no matter your age, and no matter what effort you put in, life is 100 percent uncomfortable–and also pretty great. (5/5)
By Samantha Ladwig
Wow, No Thank You was released March 27, 2020. This article originally appeared in the Spring 2020 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!
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