28 Days of Literary Blackness With VSB | Day 19: We Are Never Meeting in Real Life. by Samantha Irby

Illustration for article titled 28 Days of Literary Blackness With VSB | Day 19: We Are Never Meeting in Real Life. by Samantha Irby
Image: We Are Never Meeting in Real Life (Penguin Random House

Publisher Synopsis: Sometimes you just have to laugh, even when life is a dumpster fire.


With We Are Never Meeting in Real Life., “bitches gotta eat” blogger and comedian Samantha Irby turns the serio-comic essay into an art form. Whether talking about how her difficult childhood has led to a problem in making “adult” budgets, explaining why she should be the new Bachelorette—she’s “35-ish, but could easily pass for 60-something”—detailing a disastrous pilgrimage-slash-romantic-vacation to Nashville to scatter her estranged father’s ashes, sharing awkward sexual encounters, or dispensing advice on how to navigate friendships with former drinking buddies who are now suburban moms—hang in there for the Costco loot—she’s as deft at poking fun at the ghosts of her past self as she is at capturing powerful emotional truths.

Full disclosure: Samantha Irby has written for VSB. Fuller disclosure: In this book is an essay that made me laugh so, so hard (“A Christmas Carol”) that I had tears streaming down my face and couldn’t finish the essay that day. Or the next. Every single time I tried to get back to the essay, I remembered the part that made me laugh and fell back into uncontrollable laughter.

Irby is the kind of writer I wish I could be; you know, one of those folks who makes art with words and shit. I’m in actual awe of her talent and it is on full display in this collection of essays with the best damn title...ever. She hits on life in such a humorous and real way, I’d dare say it’s impossible to read this book and not come away as a fan. Plus, if you have the pleasure to follow her on Facebook, you’ll be treated to the most ridiculously poignant status messages of all time. I’m pretty sure I told her at some point that I’d like to give her an award for them. Not sure what that award would be yet, but I’m working on it.

So pick up and check out this writer and her work (also check out Meaty) and enjoy an artist making short work of life through humor and writing. She’s so good at this game that she is being paid to also turn her life into a television show.

I hope to one day meet her in real life.

We Are Never Meeting in Real Life. (2017) by Samantha Irby

Panama Jackson is the Senior Editor of Very Smart Brothas. He's pretty fly for a light guy. You can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking all her brown liquors.



I effectively quit commenting on kinja weeks ago, but I’m reactivating my account real fast because I love Samantha Irby just that much. This book was everything Panama Jackson described it as and more, please do yourself a favor and buy all her books.

If you can’t buy books right now, check out her website, Bitches Gotta Eat. Her essay on her cat Helen’s death moved me to tears of both joy and sorrow.