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by Tina Fey

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Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV.She has seen both these dreams come true.At last, Tina Fey's story can be told.

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Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV.She has seen both these dreams come true.At last, Tina Fey's story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon — from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we've all suspected: you're no one until someone calls you bossy.(Includes Special, Never-Before-Solicited Opinions on Breastfeeding, Princesses, Photoshop, the Electoral Process, and Italian Rum Cake!)

Editorial Reviews

Janet Maslin
…[Fey's] dagger-sharp, extremely funny…Bossypants isn't a memoir. It's a spiky blend of humor, introspection, critical thinking and Nora Ephron-isms for a new generation.
—The New York Times

In her acceptance speech for Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, Tina Fey announced that she was proud to make her home in "the 'not-real America'." It is perhaps that healthy sense of incongruity that makes the head writer, executive producer, and star of NBC's Emmy Award-winning 30 Rock such a cogent observer of the contemporary scene. Bossypants, her entertaining new memoir, shows that strangeness has been her constant companion. Fey's stories about her childhood in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania are only appetizers for LOL forays into her college disasters, honeymoon catastrophes, and Saturday Night Live shenanigans. Most funny read of the month; the best possible weekend update.

The Internet
"Tina Fey is an ugly, pear-shaped, overrated troll."
A Guy Turning into a Werewolf
"Hilarious and insightful. Laugh-out-loud funny -- oh no, a full moon. No! Arrgh! Get away from me! Save yourself!"
College Boyfriend

"You'd be really pretty if you lost weight."

From the Publisher
Once in a generation a woman comes along who changes everything. Tina Fey is not that woman, but she met that woman once and acted weird around her.


You'd be really pretty if you lost weight."—College Boyfriend, 1990"

Tina Fey is an ugly, pear-shaped, overrated troll."—The Internet"

Mommy, where are my pretzels?"—Tracy Morgan


I hope that's not really the cover. That's really going to hurt sales."—Don Fey, Father of Tina Fey"

Absolutely delicious!"—A Guy Who Eats Books"

Totally worth it."—Trees"

Do not print this glowing recommendation of Tina Fey's book until I've been dead a hundred years."—Mark Twain"

Hilarious and insightful. Laugh-out-loud funny — oh no, a full moon. No! Arrgh! Get away from me! Save yourself!"—A Guy Turning into a Werewolf

Tracy Morgan
"Mommy, where are my pretzels?"
Don Fey

"I hope that's not really the cover. That's really going to hurt sales."

Mark Twain
"Do not print this glowing recommendation of Tina Fey's book until I've been dead a hundred years."
A Guy Who Eats Books
"Absolutely delicious!"
"Totally worth it."
Library Journal
Comedian Fey's engaging biography is even more wryly humorous and enjoyable when read by the author.

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Product Details

Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
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Hachette Digital, Inc.
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File size:
4 MB

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By Fey, Tina

Reagan Arthur Books

Copyright © 2011 Fey, Tina
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780316056861

Origin Story

My brother is eight years older than I am. I was a big surprise. A wonderful surprise, my mom would be quick to tell you. Although having a baby at forty is a commonplace fool’s errand these days, back in 1970 it was pretty unheard-of. Women around my mom’s office referred to her pregnancy as “Mrs. Fey and her change-of-life baby.” When I was born I was fussed over and doted on, and my brother has always looked out for me like a third parent.

The day before I started kindergarten, my parents took me to the school to meet the teacher. My mom had taken my favorite blanket and stitched my initials into it for nap time, just like she’d done for my brother eight years earlier. At the teacher conference my dad tried to give my nap time blanket to the teacher, and she just smiled and said, “Oh, we don’t do that anymore.” That’s when I realized I had old parents. I’ve been worried about them ever since.

While my parents talked to the teacher, I was sent to a table to do coloring. I was introduced to a Greek boy named Alex whose mom was next in line to meet with the teacher. We colored together in silence. I was so used to being praised and encouraged that when I finished my drawing I held it up to show Alex, who immediately ripped it in half. I didn’t have the language to express my feelings then, but my thoughts were something like “Oh, it’s like that, motherfucker? Got it.” Mrs. Fey’s change-of-life baby had entered the real world.

During the spring semester of kindergarten, I was slashed in the face by a stranger in the alley behind my house. Don’t worry. I’m not going to lay out the grisly details for you like a sweeps episode of Dateline. I only bring it up to explain why I’m not going to talk about it.

I’ve always been able to tell a lot about people by whether they ask me about my scar. Most people never ask, but if it comes up naturally somehow and I offer up the story, they are quite interested. Some people are just dumb: “Did a cat scratch you?” God bless. Those sweet dumdums I never mind. Sometimes it is a fun sociology litmus test, like when my friend Ricky asked me, “Did they ever catch the black guy that did that to you?” Hmmm. It was not a black guy, Ricky, and I never said it was.

Then there’s another sort of person who thinks it makes them seem brave or sensitive or wonderfully direct to ask me about it right away. They ask with quiet, feigned empathy, “How did you get your scar?” The grossest move is when they say they’re only curious because “it’s so beautiful.” Ugh. Disgusting. They might as well walk up and say, “May I be amazing at you?” To these folks let me be clear. I’m not interested in acting out a TV movie with you where you befriend a girl with a scar. An Oscar-y Spielberg movie where I play a mean German with a scar? Yes.

My whole life, people who ask about my scar within one week of knowing me have invariably turned out to be egomaniacs of average intelligence or less. And egomaniacs of average intelligence or less often end up in the field of TV journalism. So, you see, if I tell the whole story here, then I will be asked about it over and over by the hosts of Access Movietown and Entertainment Forever for the rest of my short-lived career.

But I will tell you this: My scar was a miniature form of celebrity. Kids knew who I was because of it. Lots of people liked to claim they were there when it happened. I was there. I saw it. Crazy Mike did it!

Adults were kind to me because of it. Aunts and family friends gave me Easter candy and oversize Hershey’s Kisses long after I was too old for presents. I was made to feel special.

What should have shut me down and made me feel “less than” ended up giving me an inflated sense of self. It wasn’t until years later, maybe not until I was writing this book, that I realized people weren’t making a fuss over me because I was some incredible beauty or genius; they were making a fuss over me to compensate for my being slashed.

I accepted all the attention at face value and proceeded through life as if I really were extraordinary. I guess what I’m saying is, this has all been a wonderful misunderstanding. And I shall keep these Golden Globes, every last one!


Excerpted from Bossypants by Fey, Tina Copyright © 2011 by Fey, Tina. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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What People are saying about this

Tracy Morgan
Mommy, where are my pretzels?
Mark Twain
Do not print this glowing recommendation of Tina Fey's book until I've been dead a hundred years.

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Bossypants 4.1 out of 5 based on 3 ratings. 2447 reviews.
writingirl_15 More than 1 year ago
First off, I'm not a huge Tina Fey fan. I don't watch SNL and the only other shows I have seen her in are Date Night and Mean Girls. I don't hate her and I don't love her, she's somewhere in between. I was in Borders and I was completely book-less (a very sad state to be in) and just as I was about to leave the store, on a whim, I grabbed her book and bought it. And let me tell you, I'm glad I did. She chronicles her life with humor, dry wit (by the way, I never knew what that meant until I read Bossypants), and complete honesty. She talks about her family, her teen years, her job at the soul-sucking YMCA, her first OB/GYN visit, her almost fatal honeymoon, breast feeding, the creation of 30 Rock and so much more. It had me laughing out loud constantly, and thinking what an interesting life she's led. I really don't think you have to be a hardcore Tina Fey fan to enjoy this book. Bossypants was a hilarious and heartfelt book about life and its many weird/scary/fun and crappy adventures. I think most people can relate to her experiences in one way or the other. All in all, it was a blast reading about her life. I strongly recommend to anyone who likes autobiographies and comedy.
mitochondrialeve More than 1 year ago
I adore Tina Fey. This book could have been 300 pages of calling me a fat, spinster trash heap and I would have found it witty and insightful. But will this book appeal to anyone who doesn't already love Ms. Fey? Absolutely not. The awkward growing-up stories are run of this mill and didn't make me laugh. The book picked up when talking about the SNL/Sarah Palin/30 Rock days but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone but the most devoted Fey fans.
EdmundDantes More than 1 year ago
Let me start by saying I'm a huge Tina Fey fan. So, as soon as I heard about this book, I immediately downloaded it. I laughed through most of the book. I could go on and on about the parts I like, such as her answers to her internet naysayers, or her lifelong retorts to homophobes. But, if you got this book, you already know she's pretty funny. Here is my ONLY critique of a book I truly loved. She is waaaay too nice and gracious. Do I think Lorne Michaels gave her a great start and believed in her? Certainly. Do I think Alec Baldwin was a huge boon to her show and a mentor to her? You betcha. But the consummate "thank you's" and accolades to the big shots got long in the tooth for me. I preferred her praise of other writers, unsung heroes, as it were. That being said, I respect her very much and her right to tell her story in her own way on her own terms. This is merely my personal opinion, and not a cheap shot. So I'll wait till she's older and hopefully writes her memoirs - they always seem to provide a bit more insight into the person. I got a lot of "Tina Fey - Funny Lady" and would have preferred a little more insight into the "Tina Fey - Actual Human Chick".
Erika Rivera More than 1 year ago
I agree with mitochondrialeve. If you love Tina Fey you will love this book. She is funny, witty, smart without being condascending. She is who she is, doesnt make excuses for it ...she just is. I will read and watch anything that has her name stamped on it. Love her!
Amanda_P More than 1 year ago
A very in-depth story of the many lives of Tina Fey - from childhood nerd to comic powerhouse. Very well written. Highly recommended. Good for a lot of laughs.
Bobby_Tenison More than 1 year ago
Awesome book!
David_Bremmerton More than 1 year ago
A laugh out loud delight! If you like Tina Fey as a comedic actress, you'll enjoy this book.
Team_Rhetoric More than 1 year ago
Few people can make important social commentary while being this funny. I literally laugh out loud at least once every page. I don't get why the other commentors are hedging and saying it's only for hard core Tina Fey fans. I have always liked her, but after reading this book, NOW I love her. This book gives insightful thoughts on what its like to be a (successful) woman in a male-dominated workplace. I absolutely respect her more after knowing how she got to where she is today. Fey's memoir is smart, self-deprecating, and loads of fun to read. You won't regret buying this book.
20MAKAYLA11 More than 1 year ago
BOSSY PANTS is one to read when you want to laugh from deep within. Tina Fey has a way with words that she can work in her witty humor, her world views, prejudice against women, and feminism in her self-deprecating way that ultimately inspires. She's a powerhouse of fun and inspiration and makes our every day lives feel exciting! There is no room for boredom! I highly recommend!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tina Fey is hilarious. I love her even more after reading this book.
barbrajean More than 1 year ago
I love Tina Fey, which is why I downloaded this book. I thought that it was going to showcase her comedic outlook on life. If you are interested in how a woman breaks into the world of comedy, then I guess you would enjoy it. I found it boring, and hard to finish. I read a wide variety of books, and this is the first one in a very long time I just could not finish. Boring......
cubsfan34 More than 1 year ago
I wouldn't recommend reading this book right before bed. I was laughing so hard just in the first few pages, I couldn't sleep. While I may not agree with Fey's politics, I truly appreciate her wit, honesty, and self-deprecating humor. Thanks for a great book, Tina! I wish it had been Harry Potter length, though.
ADysart More than 1 year ago
I needed a bit of a pick-me-up and this did the trick. I was made fun of for laughing out loud at work, and had to keep from snorting in the local starbucks at some of her antics. I highly recommend this book to anyone, especially those growing premature frown lines. This will certainly lighten anyone's mood.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Laugh out loud hilarious. Loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. Tina Fey is great. Must read.
BookaholicTracy More than 1 year ago
This was a great read. The writing is beautiful, the story wonderful. I can't wait for the next book to come out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tina has the type of character on tv that makes you laugh and want tk be frends with her Liz Lemon persona; this book shows that not only ks Liz Lemon funny and personab, but Tina is as well. Funny. Good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Look forward to the next one with more of an insight to her. Love the chapter Don Fey.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read the editorial reviews. Seriously, read them now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was already a fan of Tina Fey and her style of humor before I read this book, so I spent most of this book laughing! There is a great mix of short and long chapters, which added to the fun. The lists, the jokes, her life experiences are all so perfectly commically delivered. I read excerpts to people because they were too funny not to share. She is very easy to relate to. I highly recommend this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this but i wish she wrote more about her high school experiences.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very funny-worth the read.  A quick read too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book though it was funny was more about her shows and behind the scenes. It was boring at times. Definatly not somerhing I would recommend unless youre trying to get into the business.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book and found myself laughing out loud. This book is highly recommend for anyone that wants a fun, light read that makes you smile. Tina Fey is witty and charming...her dry, sarcastic sense of humor is never ending and I was sad to see the book end. I was a Tina Fey fan before, but I'm an even a bigger fan now!
styling_thing More than 1 year ago
I LOVE IT. I have been reading it at work, and I'm getting funny looks because I will just bust out laughing. I love her, I love her book, I hope she gives us another one.