Personal Space: Samantha Irby is Fine Not Leaving the House
The Author of Wow, No Thank You. Talks to Sari Botton
This is Personal Space: The Memoir Show, with Sari Botton. On this episode, Botton speaks with Samantha Irby about her recently released essay collection, Wow, No Thank You. Irby discusses what it was like to move to a small town in the country after a lifetime of city living, how people wearing MAGA hats can sometimes be preferable to covert racism, because then at least she “knows to steer clear,” and being ultimately fine not leaving the house. Please order Wow, No Thank You. online through your local independent bookstore, or through Bookshop.
From the episode:
Sari Botton: There is so much humor in every essay—but it’s not like empty calories—there is so much depth there too. How do you strike this balance?
Samantha Irby: I wish I could tell you there was a formula or any intention; I just take stock of my life and the things I like thinking about, or talking about, and I try to think about how best to write about those things in a funny way, and also whether or not someone would find it funny or useful. You know, I love to watch TV, but do I need to write about that? Is that interesting? So when things happen to me—there’s an essay in the book about trying to make a new friend, and I had an embarrassing first friend date, and when that happened I was like, this is horrifying, but also funny, and maybe people can relate to it and I can write about it. It’s always incidental—like, I had to move to a small town, so now I’m going to write about that. It’s always a happy accident when I go through something that brushes up against a bigger theme.