5 Sep

Bossypants by Tina Fey, 2011

Her pants are full of bossy.The Novel Challenge has begun*! Well, I started it on the first of September, but haven’t had time to write about it since then. On the upside, I’ve already finished a book: Tina Fey’s Bossypants. I know it’s probably still too early to call, but this may be my favourite book of the challenge. Yep, it’s all downhill from here, folks.

Ms Fey’s book-writin’ is as hilarious as her TV-writin’. I started out bookmarking pages I found especially amusing or clever, but soon realised it was a fool’s errand. Bookmarking every page doesn’t work.

Naturally, there are a lot of stories about Tina’s career, including the creation –and ongoing filming – of 30 Rock. Background stories! Behind-the-scenes hilarity! Poor ratings dramas! Or, as the book says:

We were trying to make Home Improvement and we did it wrong. You know those scientists who were developing a blood pressure medicine and they accidentally invented Viagra? We were trying to make Viagra and we ended up with blood pressure medicine.

But it’s not all about the comedy biz; Bossypants gives a pretty good view into Tina’s life, from growing up in a somewhat idyllic environment to her college years. There’s stuff about her unrequited crushes (“What 19-year-old Virginia boy doesn’t want a wide-hipped, sarcastic Greek girl with short hair that’s permed on top? What’s that you say? None of them want that? You are correct”), but she doesn’t go into much detail about her later life with her husband – in fact, the first time he’s even mentioned is in a chapter about their honeymoon. Oh well, I guess she’s gotta leave something for the second book (kidding! But not really!).

Then, after all that, comes a section that generally deals more with motherhood and the Eternal Struggle of the Working Mum. As a kind of response to the “How to create ‘me-time’ when you’re a mum” articles in parenting magazines, Tina writes:

Go to the bathroom a lot. Offer to empty the dishwasher. Say you’re going to look for the diaper cream, then go into your child’s room and just stand there until your spouse comes in and curtly says, “What are you doing?”

I’m TOTALLY saving that advice.

Lastly, there are some genuinely lovely moments mixed in with her laugh-aloud anecdotes and cleverly worded observations on life as a woman and TV/movie star. One part actually made me cry – not tears of laughter, but tears of “Awww, so sweet!”. What were these wise words? A comical yet oh-so-touching description of cleaning poo off her daughter’s neck. Aww indeed.

And now I’ll leave you with that image of a faeces-smeared neck as I move onto book two of my challenge. Enjoy.

Read it if you like to laugh, or are female, or know a female.

*But it’s not too late to sponsor me, if you haven’t already – do it now!


2 Responses to “Bossypants”

  1. Aimee Scott (@aimks) September 6, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

    Hmm sounds funny, weird about no mention of the husband, perhaps it was by request? Keep some things sacred?

    • literatechicken September 8, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

      Yes, and that was actually the only part of the whole book that grated on me – almost every time she referred to him by name in that chapter, she would say “Oops, I promised I wouldn’t use his real name. Okay, let’s call him …” then use a different name for him. The first time or so it was tongue-in-cheek funny; after that, it wore thin pretty quickly. Well, for me, anyway.

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