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Lizz Free or Die: Essays


Lizz Free or Die: Essays Cover

ISBN13: 9781594487026
ISBN10: 1594487022
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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This is a book of essays about life. My life. Its not a memoir, per se, as I decided to write about some speci?c moments that will give you some insight into the people, places, and experiences that propelled me forward. (With a few steps back in the process.) I think of these pieces as “messays,” because they are a collection of stories that put my somewhat complicated life into perspective—or at least a kind of perspective.

I have been through a lot of the same stu? that you have dealt with, are dealing with, or will deal with in the future. From the struggle of being a young girl trying to ?nd her voice, to the unlikely places she found it, to the realities and heartbreak of watching an aging parent die, this book gives you (I hope) permission to be honest with yourself, to laugh, to cry, to bitch, and to scream. And maybe if you come across any of those emotions while reading, you will realize that you, too, at some point in your life had been told to “restrain yourself” because you needed to be “appropriate.”

I hate the word appropriate.

And I hate people who think they can de?ne appropriateness as an absolute, especially because they are usually the same people who try to shove toeing the line down my throat most aggressively— proselytizing politicians and preachers and prosaic comedy producers, all who specialize in prematurely adjudicating without an appropriate leg of their own to stand on.

I hope this book rede?nes the word appropriate, or shoves it into obsolescence with other meaningless words, like refudiate, jiggy, and Tea Party.

So what kind of juicy details about my life are included? Well, let me be clear up front: First, this is not a book full of dark family secrets.

My father wasnt one of those horri?c memoir dads. You know what I mean. He was not the kind of dad who did “things” to me that led to a social worker, which led to a judge, which led to an attorney asking in a closed hearing, “Where on the doll did he touch you?”

And my mother wasnt one of those memoir moms, either. She was not some kind of emotional gorgon who scrubbed this poor authors secret garden with Borax and Brillo pads or made her children eat their own feces in the crawl space under the basement stairs because her cult leader or the voices in her head told her to. She was more subtle than that.

At this point it should be noted that because these messays arent chock-full of the aforementioned themes, Lifetime Television wont be clamoring for the TV rights to this book. Although I will share some woman-in-peril anecdotes, my woman-in-peril stories dont involve deadly estrangement, deadly deception, or my mom and me sleeping with our deadly pool boy. So I o?er my sincere apologies right here to the careers of Missy Gold, Tracey Gold, and any other members of the Gold family who will not be employed in some made-for-TV movie incarnation of my life.

Second, I will not regale you with gag-inducing details about spontaneous sex in a Porta-Potty or how I blew some bass player from an indie band in the back of their Leinenkugel-soaked van. This is not to say I dont weave a few tales of sexual stupidity. I did lose my virginity to a mediocre high school hockey player. I grew up in Minnesota; there were a lot of girls like me, who grew up in a wintry archipelago and gave it up to a right-wing left wing with a mullet. It was 1978; there werent a whole lot of options. Just ask Sarah Palin.

Third, it is not one of those mea culpa books. Those books always make my brain explode because more often than not they are less mea culpa and more everyone else is culpa. Themes like “I heroically sat idly by and watched as the administration I worked for subverted the facts to justify war and ordered torture and illegal imprisonment, but Ill blame everyone who was around me for that.”

If you want to read one of those books, put this back on the shelf and walk over to the Your Taxes Used to Pay Me to Do a Crappy Job Running the Country and Now I Am Making Millions Lying to You About How Great I Was at It section. Its right behind the Crafts and Hobbies aisle. Or you might want to check the How to Start Your Home Business area.

And last, its also not a revenge book. I am not a public laundry kind of gal, unless its my dog Buddy bar?ng up my thong on a busy Brooklyn street. I do share experiences that some involved may not like, and I have changed some names of people and establishments because either they have private lives that dont need to be dragged through the public mud, even though they happened to be standing in it with me, or I would rather not give free advertising to them, as I think the services they provide suck.

I also feel awful because I could not include all the fantastic people in my life (blame my editor), but as this is not a memoir, I didnt cover every special moment with all those who mean a lot to me so I hope I will be forgiven.

And as for the less fantastic people who have come across my path: I didnt include too many of them for the simple reason that I remember them all too well.

Also, I sometimes lump together chunks of my life to serve as a composite of a given time period, rather than go through a linear play-by-play. I may occasionally have a date or a month wrong, but the experiences all happened within the same general time. Finding speci?c dates from my life way back on the Internet proved very unfruitful. My Wikipedia page is proof of that. So when I had to estimate, I based some of my timelines on the material that went into my shows, knowing I had an accuracy window based on a certain news cycle.

In short, I can say that all this shit happened, but I may be a bit o? in the exact order in which it appears here. It just means I should never be counted on to remember when your birthday is. (Mine is August 5. It is one of the few items on my Wikipedia page I will actually con?rm.)

Having said all of this, these messays are stories from a brain that ?uctuates from fun to fucked up and back, sometimes mid-sentence. Theyre the adventures of how I evolved from a girl who just wanted to explore her dreams to a woman who came to understand that my dream was ?nding a way to use humor to speak truth to power—and ultimately realized that humor is a most useful tool to help put even the most painful moments of life into perspective.

So if you want to learn some shit about me and have a laugh, quit reading this part and get to the good stu?. The sooner you get started reading about my life, the better you will feel about your own.

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Lea Anna, September 30, 2012 (view all comments by Lea Anna)
I really enjoyed this book! I got it while I was at a library conference and had the pleasure of getting it signed by Winstead herself. After finally reading it I found that her essays range from hilarious to thoughtful to touching. I often found myself laughing out loud. Her outlook on life is unique and makes me look at the world differently. She is clearly a co-creator of The Daily Show and I'm so happy she wrote this book giving insight into her thinking.
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Amy Cookson, August 4, 2012 (view all comments by Amy Cookson)
This is a great quick read. I hesitate to call it a beach read, as I would have likely received strange glances and possible medical attention from snorting with laughter as I read Winstead’s essays, or “messays” as she calls them. “Two Dogs and a Cup,” about adopting a dog from the local shelter, had me laughing so hard I couldn’t hold on to the book.

Winstead is a smart, funny, feminist, and political satirist. I love her; she’s my favorite. Check her out.
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Product Details

Winstead, Lizz
Chupack, Cindy
Riverhead Trade
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 12
8.25 x 5.5 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

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Lizz Free or Die: Essays Used Hardcover
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$8.95 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Riverhead Books - English 9781594487026 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Co-creator of Comedy Central's The Daily Show and all-around champion of smart, topical humor, Winstead's debut is an intelligent and witty collection of essays cataloging her trajectory from a Catholic childhood in Minneapolis to her current work as comedian and television producer. The book starts off a bit slow, strolling through Winstead's precious but mostly generic youth. Arriving at young-adulthood, the essays become immediately funnier and more compelling. Stories from Minneapolis' 'Punk Rock Ghetto'-about rooming with a very young Michele Norris (of NPR fame), witnessing the early moments of Rosanne Barr and Tom Arnold's romance, and listening to Prince perform hometown shows at a local club-are vicarious fun. An essay about an early, disastrous gig is hysterically funny, and her first-hand accounts of the early days of The Daily Show and Air America Radio are fascinating. The collection is inconsistent, and Winstead acknowledges that the book is an experiment of sorts, but frankness about your intentions and experience doesn't save you from the duds. That said, the good ones are very good, addressing the ups and downs of career, family, and friendship with honesty and humor. "
Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,
The bestselling author of The Between Boyfriends Book and an award-winning writer for Sex and the City and Modern Family takes a hilarious, heartbreaking look at marriage

Cindy Chupack has spent much of her adult life writing about dating and relationships for several hit TV series and as a sex columnist for O, The Oprah Magazine. At the age of thirty-nine, she finally found The One—and a wealth of new material.

Marriage, Cindy discovered, was more of an adventure than she ever imagined, and in this collection of essays she deftly examines the comedy and cringe-worthy aspects of matrimony. Soulful yet self-deprecating, The Longest Date recounts her first marriage (he was gay) and the meeting of Husband No. 2, Ian.

After the courtship and ceremony, both Cindy and Ian realized that happily ever after takes some practice, and near constant negotiation over everyday matters like cooking, sex, holidays, monogamy, and houseguests. The Longest Date takes a serious turn when it comes to infertility.

The Longest Date is the perfect companion for anyone navigating a serious relationship, be it newlyweds or couples moving in that direction.

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