Book of the Week: We are Never Meeting in Real Life

Samantha Irby takes self-depreciation to a gritty new level in We are Never Meeting in Real Life, a collection of essays based on the Chicago blogger’s bitchesgottaeat.com website.

It’s a funny, poignant and highly readable journey through the author’s exploration of her sexual identity, body image, and cultural place in what she views as an increasingly absurd society.

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Some tales are laugh-out-loud, like “A Christmas Carol,” which details an unfortunate college incident with re-heated fast food and a long car ride. Others (such as “Happy Birthday”) poke at deeper truths surrounding her unstable family life with both parents dying early and the resulting effects on her current relationships (“No one ever taught me how to defrost a freezer or scrub a dirty oven without setting my hair on fire”).

Ultimately optimistic despite herself, Irby is a survivor with a caustic wit and a keen view of the world.

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