Need a laugh? Right this way, please.

A chat with the hi­lar­i­ous au­thor of You’ll Grow Out of It.

Elle (Canada) - - #Storyboard - By sarah laing

after read­ing just three pages, I knew I had to rec­om­mend Jessi Klein’s mem­oir to, like, every­one I know. The stand-up comic turned TV scribe (she’s cur­rently ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer and head writer on In­side Amy Schumer) had man­aged to do the nearim­pos­si­ble: make me laugh out loud (in pub­lic!) and feel com­pletely un­der­stood as well as weirdly emo­tional (again, in pub­lic!). Her col­lec­tion of es­says—which cov­ers ev­ery­thing from ex-boyfriends to wedding-dress shop­ping to the tri­als of be­ing a “tom man”—is that rare bird of a book about the fe­male ex­pe­ri­ence that feels like a peek in­side some­one’s di­ary yet is mov­ingly univer­sal. (Her chap­ter about get­ting en­gaged is worth the price of ad­mis­sion alone.)

The Emmy win­ner chat­ted with me over the phone from Los An­ge­les, and while, yes, she’s as warm and lovely as her writ­ing makes her seem, there is one egre­gious part in the book that I knew I had to get right to: You write that you’re the only per­son in the world who doesn’t have the hots for Brad Pitt. Surely that’s an error? “Here’s the thing: I have Clive Owen; I have Joaquin Phoenix. I’m just less into pretty and more into some­one who looks like they got punched in the face at some point. You’ve read the book; my type is not that type. I’m ob­vi­ously in the mi­nor­ity be­cause Brad Pitt has made a very nice ca­reer out of be­ing gen­er­ally con­sid­ered the hottest man in the world. He’s go­ing to be fine with­out me. But I’m sure he’ll reach out.” Fact check: Is that ac­tu­ally you on the cover? “It’s me! That’s my first­grade school photo.” Have you thought about what it might be like walk­ing through an air­port and see­ing your book with your first-grade photo on the cover? “I haven’t al­lowed my­self to dream about be­ing at, like, the Delta ter­mi­nal at LaGuardia. Writ­ing this book was a long up­hill climb, and it hav­ing a cover and a pic­ture, and be­ing in a store, is some­thing I didn’t even re­ally think about un­til maybe two months ago. I was just try­ing to be like, ‘Oh, I hope I’m writ­ing some­thing that isn’t ter­ri­ble, and I hope I don’t run out of things to say be­fore I reach my con­trac­tual min­i­mum-word limit.’” You ac­tu­ally had your son mid­way through writ­ing this book. Did you think about him read­ing it? “I wrote the last third when he was a new­born, so even if peo­ple hate it—‘Fuck you! I wrote it after I had a baby!’ But for me, in order to be as vul­ner­a­ble and as hon­est as pos­si­ble, I had to not think about any­body read­ing it. I had to put what peo­ple might think about it—in­clud­ing, later on, my son— out of my head. Hav­ing done stand-up, I’m kind of used to over­shar­ing, and I have a barom­e­ter of never want­ing to do any­thing re­ally hurt­ful. Ob­vi­ously the ex­cep­tion is Brad Pitt. I re­ally went there with that.” n

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