Lawson (You Are Here) returns with a wry and entertaining take on her battle with depression, anxiety, and rheumatoid arthritis. As always, the author is unrivaled in her ability to use piercing humor and insight to take on heavy subjects. In the poignant “I Already Forgot I Wrote This,” Lawson shares moving reflections on her family’s history of dementia (“My mother jokes about it now and I do too, because you either laugh or you cry”). In “The Things We Do to Quiet the Monsters,” she details the transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment she underwent to cure her medication-resistant mental health issues (“It feels like an invisible chisel drilling holes into your head while you have an ice-cream headache and also you’re paying for it to happen to you“), and she excoriates her insurance provider in “An Open Letter to My Insurance Company”: “you decided that it ‘wasn’t medically necessary’ that I have the drug that had kept me away from suicide.” In “Six Times I’ve Lost My Shoes While Wearing Them,” she chronicles the strange places she’s lost her left shoe after “walking out of it” due to fluctuating ankle swelling from chronic arthritis. The beauty of these essays lies in Lawson’s unfailing hopefulness amid her trials. “After all,” she notes, “we are changed by life... it puts its teeth in us... makes us who we are.” Lawson’s fans are in for a treat. (Apr.)
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Praise for Jenny Lawson
“Jenny Lawson is extremely funny because she is extremely honest. Lawson’s relentless pursuit of authenticity is the source of the darkly hilarious prose found within this memoir of depressiona memoir that is unexpectedly inspiring and comforting but not unexpectedly endearing. Because to read Jenny Lawson is to love Jenny Lawson.” Augusten Burroughs, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Running with Scissors
“A new book from Jenny Lawson is always cause for celebration, and Broken is the party of the year. Even better: it’s a party that socially-anxious introverts can enjoy from the solitary comfort of their own couches, beds, cars, or closet floors buried under a pile of blankets and/or cats. HOW AWESOME IS THAT? I loved it. And if you like laughing and weirdness and honesty andmost of allfeeling seen, you will love it too.” Sarah Knight, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k
“[Lawson]...makes others laugh. Her delivery is zany, clever, and raunchy. Her conversations with party guests, her long-suffering husband, her sister, and even herself are flat-out hilarious. And the situations she finds herself in are comic gold. Beneath the banter, however, is a heartbreaking chronicle of what goes on in the mind of a person dealing with anxiety and depression.” Booklist (starred review)
“Longtime fans of the author’s prose know that the destinations really aren’t the point; it’s the laugh-out-loud, tears-streaming-down-your-face journeys that make her writing so irresistible....[A] winning mix of shameless irreverence, wicked humor, and vulnerability.” Kirkus Reviews
“I consider Jenny Lawson to be a therapist colleaguenot because she’s a fellow clinician, but because in courageously sharing the truth of her story, she makes us feel instantly seen and fully understood in all of our alternately painful and hilarious humanity.” Lori Gottlieb, New York Times bestselling author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone
“Jenny Lawson’s Broken is an adventure in courage. The vulnerability, the heart, and the candor is a gift to anyone who has ever felt too different. Life is sometimes not kind to us and Jenny uses such fierce humor. Thankful for it.”
Luvvie Ajayi Jones, author of New York Times bestseller I’m Judging You and Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual
“Lawson’s self-deprecating humor is not only gaspingly funny and wonderfully inappropriate; it allows her to speak…in a real and raw way.” O, The Oprah Magazine
“[Lawson] writes with a rambling irreverence that makes you wish she were your best friend.” Entertainment Weekly
“The Bloggess writes stuff that actually is laugh out loud, but you know that really you shouldn’t be laughing and probably you’ll go to hell for laughing, so maybe you shouldn’t read it. That would be safer and wiser.” Neil Gaiman
“Jenny made me laugh so hard I feared for my safety!” Allie Brosh, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Hyperbole and a Half
“You’ll laugh, wince, writhe in discomfort, cry, then laugh again….But the two things you’ll never do is doubt Jenny’s brilliance or her fearlessness when it comes to having honest discussions about mental illness, shame, and the power of human resilience.” Brené Brown
“Take one part David Sedaris and two parts Chelsea Handler and you’ll have some inkling of the cockeyed humor of Jenny Lawson.” Parade
“The comic queen of the broken toys has risen, and her name is Jenny Lawson.” Christopher Moore, New York Times bestselling author of Lamb, A Dirty Job, and Fool
“A loop-de-loop of an emotional roller coaster that swoops from poetic to profane, madcap to moving and back again…a thing of hilarious beauty.” BookPage
“Lawson returns with a wry and entertaining take on her battle with depression, anxiety, and rheumatoid arthritis. As always, the author is unrivaled in her ability to use piercing humor and insight to take on heavy subjects....The beauty of these essays lies in Lawson's unfailing hopefulness amid her trials....Lawson's fans are in for a treat.” Publishers Weekly
“Jenny Lawson is hilarious, snarky, witty, totally inappropriate, and ‘Like Mother Teresa, Only Better.’” Marie Claire
Lawson returns with her signature mix of humorous antics and heartfelt self-reflection in this follow-up to 2015's Furiously Happy. She shares with raw honesty her experiences living with mental illness, including depression and anxiety, as well as rheumatoid arthritis and other physical conditions. She openly discusses her suicidal thoughts, detailing her transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment and its results, and shares her frustration with her health insurance company. Being Lawson, it's not all gloomy subjects; she also includes an uncomfortable exchange at the post office, a list of awkward moments shared by her fans, unusual encounters with animals, pitches for Shark Tank, and marriage advice. Lawson describes her book as "probably horribly offensive," and those who don't mind profanity will enjoy her frank sense of humor. She excels at advocating for self-acceptance, embracing and sharing failures, and laughing at the difficulties and absurdities of life. Her ability to blend poignant self-reflection and candid humor allows for the darkness of life to become less alienating, which makes her stories about failing and flourishing to be both engaging and relatable. VERDICT Lawson already has thousands of fans, and she's bound to pick up more with this latest memoir. Recommended for all public libraries.—Anitra Gates, Erie Cty. P.L., PA
The Bloggess is back to survey the hazards and hilarity of imperfection.
Lawson is a wanderer. Whether on her award-winning blog or in the pages of her bestselling books, she reliably takes readers to places they weren’t even aware they wanted to go—e.g., shopping for dog condoms or witnessing what appears to be a satanic ritual. Longtime fans of the author’s prose know that the destinations really aren’t the point; it’s the laugh-out-loud, tears-streaming-down-your-face journeys that make her writing so irresistible. This book is another solid collection of humorous musings on everyday life, or at least the life of a self-described “super introvert” who has a fantastic imagination and dozens of chosen spirit animals. While Furiously Happy centered on the idea of making good mental health days exceptionallygood, her latest celebrates the notion that being broken is beautiful—or at least nothing to be ashamed of. “I have managed to fuck shit up in shockingly impressive ways and still be considered a fairly acceptable person,” writes Lawson, who has made something of an art form out of awkward confessionals. For example, she chronicles a mix-up at the post office that left her with a “big ol’ sack filled with a dozen small squishy penises [with] smiley faces painted on them.” It’s not all laughs, though, as the author addresses her ongoing battle with both physical and mental illness, including a trial of transcranial magnetic stimulation, a relatively new therapy for people who suffer from treatment-resistant depression. The author’s colloquial narrative style may not suit the linear-narrative crowd, but this isn’t for them. “What we really want,” she writes, “is to know we’re not alone in our terribleness….Human foibles are what make us us, and the art of mortification is what brings us all together.” The material is fresh, but the scaffolding is the same.
Fans will find comfort in Lawson’s dependably winning mix of shameless irreverence, wicked humor, and vulnerability.