The Broke Diaries

The Broke Diaries Cover

The Broke Diaries

The Completely True and Hilarious Misadventures of a Good Girl Gone Broke

By Angela Nissel

Villard Books, Paperback, 9780679783572, 224pp.

Publication Date: April 10, 2001

"People always say I'm going to look back on these days and laugh -- why put it off?"
When Angela Nissel found herself struggling financially while in college, instead of sulking, she decided to entertain herself by creating an online journal that chronicled her day-to-day trials and tribulations. Written with humor and intelligence, her "Broke Diary" quickly found an audience as people wrote to Angela to empathize with, console, and laugh with her about her experiences and even share their own. The Broke Diaries is the first complete compilation of her experiences, written in a voice that is funny, unique, and dead-on.
"On buying ramen noodles: I am sooooooo embarassed. I only have 33 cents. I (please don't laugh) put the money on the counter and quickly attempt to dash out with my Chicken Flavored Salt Noodles. The guy calls me back I look up instinctively, I should have run . . . Why didn't I run He tells me the noodles are 35 cents. I try to apologize sincerely. I thought the sign said 33 cents yesterday, so that's all I brought with me. Could he wait while I ran home and get the 2 cents? I show him my student I.D. to let him know I am not a thief. He shakes his head and motions either for me to get the hell out of his store and never come back again or get the money as do come back. I don't know. He said something like "Nyeh" and swiped his hand in my direction.
I can't translate hand motions well.
The noodles: tasty

About the Author
Angela Nissel was born and raised in Philadelphia, where she graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in medical anthropology. She later started a dotcom,, which is still alive and well, but she left it permanently to the care of its cofounder after "The Broke Diaries" was published. She decided to pursue writing full time and finally ventured out of Philadelphia to Hollywood.
Upon arriving in Hollywood, she learned that just because people call themselves producers and say they can give you a job writing the screenplay of your book, it doesn't mean they can. Broke, she put a few possessions on eBay; the winning bidder on one item was an executive at Warner Brothers who had read "The Broke Diaries" and who then introduced Nissel to her television literary agent. This agent sent copies of "The Broke Diaries" to everyone hiring comedy writers, and soon Nissel had numerous job offers. She accepted a position as a staff writer on NBC's medical comedy, "Scrubs." She's been there for four years and is currently consulting producer of the show.
This is the only job she's had where her medical anthropology degree has come in handy.
Visit the author's web site at

"From the Trade Paperback edition."