Comedian, podcaster and writer Maeve Higgins delivers a stellar U.S. debut with her collection of essays, Maeve in America. Her astute cultural observations combined with a wicked sense of humor make for delicious entertainment, while her sharp intelligence, self-effacing disposition and compassion add an honest thoughtfulness to timely subjects like immigration and race. Through the eyes of this Irish woman, the U.S. has never been so clear--or hilarious.
Higgins's idiosyncratic range of topics includes lighthearted pieces on small talk, Instagram stories and identifying a husband like a baby bird does his mother in the children's book Are You My Mother?: " 'What about you?' I ask a vaguely interesting handyman. He looks at me the same way the cow looked at the baby bird, like, No, ma'am, absolutely not." Higgins carefully balances this delightful humor with forays into heavier subjects like depression, misogyny and racism: "It's troubling to see how privilege accumulates over generations... and, when people reach a certain level of safety, to see how they pull the ladder up after themselves." The overall equilibrium is perfect, leaving readers with inspiration and hope.
Maeve in America offers distinctive insights from a fabulously fresh voice. Higgins is candid and humble, inviting readers into her personal space in order to see through her eyes. The view isn't always beautiful, but readers will follow Higgins's allure. It's pleasing and powerful, possibly even addictive. She is a treasure and this reader, for one, is happy to have Maeve in America. --Jen Forbus, freelancer