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Lusty Lady

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Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Want to read: Agorafabulous! by Sara Benincasa

I saw Sara Benincasa's solo show Agorafabulous! and am a big fan of her work, video and writing and performing, and am excited to read this memoir, out in January from William Morrow, available for pre-order on Amazon. I think this book is going to be pretty big - I'm not sure if there've been other agoraphobia memoirs, but not only is Sarah everywhere, she's funny and she managed, in the show, at least, to make a very grave illness humorous and then kindof punch you in the gut with how severe it was. It's a little hard to reconcile who she is today (from what I know of her) and the person she describes in the show, and I think that discrepancy will make the book even more powerful. Also, I love the cover!

Via Harper Collins

She is “utterly hilarious” ( and “delightfully loopy” ( But comedian and radio host Sara Benincasa’s life hasn’t always been a funny joyride. Since childhood, she strugged with panic disorder, becoming by age twenty-one a ”full-on obsessive, cowering, trembling agoraphobe.” Terrified to leave her own apartment, she stacked empty cans and jars against the wall of her tiny studio apartment. Her fear eventually extended to everything but her bed. Afraid of even the sink, she began using cereal bowls as toilets. And always there was the siren song of the knives in the kitchen drawer, luring her to give herself over to emptiness.

As she neared the edge, friends and family, therapy and drugs intervened to help Sara build a new world from the ashes of her former life. Today, the acclaimed artist tours the world—a life inconceivable to the frightened, stick-thin young woman crouching in the dark whom she once was.

Agorafabulous! is her funny, unpretentious recollections of being a prisoner of fear and how she struggled to overcome her demons. Earthy and relatable, unabashedly incorrect and unsentimental, she will “break your heart in one sentence and leave you hunched over with laughter in the next” (Sam Apple, author of American Parent).

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