I don’t know if you’ve heard, but women are funny. I know! Shocking!
J/K…of course women are funny. In fact, lately we’ve gotten a lot more of smart female comedians writing books about life than ever. Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and (my personal favorite) Mindy Kaling have all release books in the past few years dealing with life, career, and love.
As part of my Book of the Month club membership, I picked up Amy Schumer’s new book. Not a strict autobiography, but a series of essays about her life and her career. Now, I was never a HUGE Amy fan. I mean, I just started watching her show the past few months. When she gets a little “edgy” she’s at her funniest. The sex stuff is not my jam….but when she gets a little bit political, she really hits the mark.
The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer
Her book was very similar to her stand-up. Talks about sex, talks about politics, and a heavy influence of her family. She talks about living with her father’s MS diagnosis. She also deep dives into how she got started in the comedy field and how her family shaped the way she views things.
Starting at a young age, she always knew she wanted to be a performer. It wasn’t until college when she started to go to Open Mic’s and “bringer” shows (where you essentially bring your own audience). At the same time, she’s dealing with her parents divorce, her father’s illness, and her love life.
While her standup can tend towards raunchy, and don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of those moments in the book, in her private life she tends to be more of an introvert. As a fellow introvert, I can relate. I would much rather spend the day by myself reading or writing sometimes than dealing with other people. She talks about that need as well. While she loves entertaining people, it’s her job. When she’s done with the job, she’d rather be at home writing or enjoying her solitude.
She also goes into her relationship with her mother in a particularly good essay. It’s about when she learned to see her mother realistically and not as a super human figure. Now they are closer than ever and it was really important to read.
When her movie Trainwreck came out last year, there was a lot of press about how it flipped the rom-com on its head. The woman didn’t want commitment! The man was needy! Blah blah blah. She talks about how her experiences and the experiences of her friends were all the same as those in the movies. Just no one was making movies about them.
Then came the devastating shooting at the movie theater in the South during a screening of her movie. Two young women passed away. The man who shot them was a serial domestic abuser, deemed mental unstable, yet still had access to purchase a gun legally. This spurred Amy on to fight for gun control (not taking your guns away people, just regulating who should get one). Guess what, if you’ve got a domestic violence record, you probably shouldn’t have access to firearms. Just a thought. She talks about going to the White House for a bill signing and talking with the families of the Everytown movement. Many of these families were those that lost kids (kids!) in the Sandy Hook shooting. It was deeply affecting reading about how they go through each day and how it is to talk to them. The last list at the end of the book is a list of those in our elected offices who voted against gun control regulations. It’s an important topic and should be discussed. If someone like Amy Schumer can bring it the masses, so be it!
Okay, and as a side note, I’m at 48,000 words in my cozy mystery! Just sent out my query to get critiqued (thanks Bouchercon!) and hopefully I’ll be ready to shop it around soon!