Feature

Bossypants by Tina Fey

Fey’s memoir is “amazingly, absurdly, deliriously funny,” said Mary McNamara in the Chicago Tribune.

(Little, Brown, $27)

Tina Fey has been in danger for a while now of becoming a figure ripe for satire, said Mary McNamara in the Chicago Tribune. The creative force behind 30 Rock sometimes seems to be living proof, after all, that a woman can “have it all”—“if she’s willing to lose 20 pounds, show her breasts, and regularly remind everyone that, although she writes and stars in an Emmy-winning TV show, she is still essentially a loser who eats a lot of cupcakes.” But Fey’s first book—a series of vignettes tracing her upbringing in suburban Philadelphia, her time on Saturday Night Live, and the awkward experiences in between—proves that fame has not ruined her one bit. Bossypants is a performance that only someone who’s “the real deal” could pull off. It’s “amazingly, absurdly, deliriously funny.”

If you were hoping it’d be a true memoir, it might disappoint you, said Anna Holmes in TheDailyBeast.com. Sure, Fey offers plenty of self-deprecating anecdotes about “body-hair removal, first periods,” and summer theater camps. And the best of them are uproariously funny: She has an undeniable ability to “sidle up and deal a stunning blow” to claptrap wherever she finds it. But she’s wasted an opportunity here to go beyond her 30 Rock character, Liz Lemon, and maybe “say something important and definitive about being a woman, about boys clubs, about contemporary feminism and female representations in pop culture.” She obviously feels more comfortable giving us one drawn-out “humor sketch.”

That’s all we really need, said Janet Maslin in The New York Times. Whether Fey is riffing on being called an “overrated troll” on the Internet (“You have never even seen me guard a bridge,” she shoots back), or explaining why sitting for photo shoots is “the funnest,” her laugh lines consistently hit their marks. The book is “a spiky blend of humor, introspection, critical thinking, and Nora Ephron–isms for a new generation.” Don’t have the time to read it? Not to worry: “Even the blurbs are clever.”

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