Quietly Hostile

The essays in Quietly Hostile by Samantha Irby (Wow, No Thank You; Meaty; We Are Never Meeting in Real Life) present entertaining slices of the author's personal and professional life: her work on And Just Like That, the Sex and the City reboot; her weakness for Dave Matthews's romantic songs; tips on how to look cool in front of teenagers; and more. Irby's fourth essay collection finds the comedian settled into cozy domesticity, celebrating her "many years cheating death on this rotten planet" with her wife, Kirsten.

Unapologetically blunt, Irby's strength lies in her brilliant, self-deprecating ability to laugh at the most humiliating situations and her willingness to be vulnerable in front of readers. Philosophically enriched humor is the conduit through which she makes sense of health challenges like poor bladder control and, though Quietly Hostile is not an "advice book," Irby does have a special brand of wisdom to share with fans. In the essay "I Like It!" she reveals a winning strategy for dealing with "smartypants" who like to make her feel bad about her music choices, and in "Shit Happens," she addresses bathroom etiquette questions with her signature brash honesty. "My Firstborn Dog," an essay showcasing Irby's marvelous storytelling, features Abe, the dog she and Kirsten adopted during the pandemic, and how his antisocial behavior contrasts disconcertingly--and also hilariously--with the obedient pups at his daycare.

The 17 pieces in Quietly Hostile, catnip for Irby's admiring fans, serve as a thoroughly entertaining introduction for those as yet unfamiliar with her irresistible, subversive style of comedy. --Shahina Piyarali, reviewer

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