Dispatches from My Bedroom
By Sara Benincasa
(William Morrow, Hardcover, 9780062024411, 272pp.)
Publication Date: February 2012
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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I subscribe to the notion that if you can laugh at the shittiest moments in your life, you can transcend them. And if other people can laugh at your awful shit as well, then I guess you can officially call yourself a comedian.
In Boston, a college student fears leaving her own roomeven to use the toilet. In Pennsylvania, a meek personal assistant finally confronts a perpetually enraged gay spiritual guru. In Texas, a rookie high school teacher deals with her male students unusually, er, hard personal problem. Sara Benincasa has been that terrified student, that embattled employee, that confused teacherand so much more. Her hilarious memoir chronicles her attempts to forge a wonderfully weird adulthood in the midst of her lifelong struggle with agoraphobia, depression, and unruly hair.
Relatable, unpretentious, and unsentimental, Agorafabulous! celebrates eccentricity, resilience, and the power of humor to light up even the darkest corners of our lives. (There are also some sexy parts, but theyre really awkward. Like really, really awkward.)
Sara Benincasa is an award-winning comedian, writer, blogger, and podcast host as well as the writer and star of the one-woman show Agorafabulous! She frequently contributes opinion pieces to CNN.com and was a citizen-journalist for the 2008 MTV News Choose or Lose Street Team. She hosts the Web series Gettin Wet with Sara Benincasa and the popular podcast Sex and Other Human Activities. She travels the country to speak about mental illness and womens issues at universities and conferences. She lives in New York City.
“Sara Benincasa’s comedy is uplifting, deeply personal, and very funny. As difficult as her agoraphobia is to manage, she’s pulled through it—beautifully. Agorafabulous! manages to make you laugh even as she’s peeing into cereal bowls and hiding them under her bed.”
“Agorafabulous! is laugh-out loud funny, even as it’s taking on deadly serious issues.”
“Funny and unflinchingly honest…. Benincasa discovers her gift for comedy and storytelling, and finds tranquility.”
“A blisteringly funny yet affecting debut memoir about a young woman’s struggle to overcome panic disorder and agoraphobia. Comedian Benincasa recounts her adolescent devolution into a ‘full-on, obsessive, cowering, trembling agoraphobe’ [who] discover[s], by accident, the healing power of stand-up comedy. Fabulously quirky and outrageous.”
“Hilarious. . . . With expert pacing, the stand-up comic mixes humor and poignant anecdotes from her teen, college, and young adult life. As her empowering tale makes clear, she survives and thrives (with a little help from family, friends, and Prozac).”
“Sara’s story of overcoming a debilitating fear is told with such honesty and hilarity that all I want to do now is hang out with her in a tiny room and not let her leave until she tells me more stories.”
-Sarah Colonna, author of Life as I Blow It
“If I ever get thrown in a mental institution, my only hope would be having Sara as a cellmate. Her funny and poignant perspective makes Agorafabulous! a stellar debut.”
-Julie Klam, author of You Had Me at Woof
“Sara’s comedy is uplifting, deeply personal, and very funny. As difficult as her agoraphobia is to manage, she’s pulled through it beautifully. Agorafabulous! manages to make you laugh even as she’s peeing into cereal bowls and hiding them under her bed.”
-Rob Delaney, comedian and columnist, Vice magazine
“With storytelling that is hilarious, honest, raw, and absurd, Agorafabulous! puts you in the body and mind of an extraordinary individual who accepts and embraces her full self.”
-Baratunde Thurston, author of How to Be Black
“Sara’s blunt and quirkily humorous take on the crippling anxiety that held her hostage in her own home will have you laughing out loud one minute and wanting to hug her the next.”
-Kambri Crews, author of Burn Down the Ground: A Memoir
“The abridged list of things Sara Benincasa has been afraid of includes leaving her home, having a wet head, driving…and sex. But her memoir…dissects all of these fears with so much verve and humor, you’ll be amazed at how much fun it can be to read about such difficult circumstances.”
“Benincasa informs and entertains while relaying this story about mental illness. Without glossing over the seriousness of her ordeal, she mines it for laughter, which, someone once said, is the best medicine.”
“Often poignant and always funny…. [Sara Benincasa’s] matter–of–fact, unselfconscious delivery allows readers to be entertained without having to feel guilty about it; further, it may just inspire them to make a few changes of their own. [A] story of triumph over adversity…you’ll be better for having read it.”