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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Review: Bossypants by Tina Fey

Reading Tina Fey’s “Bossypants” really felt like having a conversation with her. While that is awesome, the only problem was that it felt like she was having a conversation with,well, me. Instead of speaking to an intimate friend in whom she could reveal her most guarded beliefs and opinions. But then, this is my first celebrity memoir so I didn’t really have any expectations unless you count “oh my god, I love Tina Fey” as an expectation.

“Bossypants” is really less of a memoir and more a collection of remembrances by “an achievement-oriented, drug-free, adult virgin,” as Fey describes her younger self. You won’t find any essays on Fey as a feminist icon or any talk about her cultural relevance at all. What is laid out for you here in 275 pages is an expose on awkwardness. And Tina Fey owns it.

The book begins with a letter to the reader outlining reasons why you may be reading her book of which my favorite must be:

Maybe it’s seventy years in the future and you found this book in a stack of junk being used to block the entrance of an abandoned Starbucks that is now a feeding station for the alien militia.

I mean, that’s why I picked it up. After our letter we get an “Origin Story” and a love letter to her father, Don Fey, which features my favorite line in the book: “Don Fey is not going to put up with that. Don Fey is a grown-ass man! Black people find him stylish!” Basically, Don Fey sounds awesome and suspiciously a lot like Jack Donaghy.

As she enters her discussions of her time in improv and on SNL, we see Fey discuss a little about life in the boy’s club. She touches on her participation in the expansion of women’s roles on the show and behind the scenes, but mostly just to say that she was proud to have participated in the expansion of women’s roles on the show and behind the scenes. I would have liked to see a little more of her reaction to the changes, but I think the point she may have been making was to see for yourself. Tina Fey left the job of head writer at SNL to star in and produce her own show (30 Rock), obviously things went well – even if she does have a vagina.

Those who were looking for some kind of feminist manifesta and those looking for a celebrity tell-all will surely be disappointed in "Bossypants" but those of us who love Tina Fey's brand of self-deprecating humor will find plenty here to enjoy. I read it in one sitting then called my sister and husband to rehash my favorite bits. Like I said on Twitter, I agree with the Trees quoted on the jacket, "Totally worth it."

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