Why I love The Bloggess AKA Jenny Lawson


Hanoi Airport, 2009

This is the second installment in the year of Women’s Voices series and the featured voice belongs to Jenny Lawson aka The Bloggess. Her book Let’s Pretend This Never Happened ( A Mostly True Memoir  is funny, heartbreaking and full of weirdness.  Her memoir is an open discussion of her struggles with depression, distraction, and anxiety. I adored her twisted tales of family, love, death, and taxidermy.

As someone who has had my share of weird adventures that are tragic/comic, reading this book felt like I was a sitting in a bar with an old friend. In our family and in my circle of friends, when things are bleak, we always find something to laugh about, even if we end up crying at the same time. This book is like that. Be warned, some might find her humor and style offensive. If you are at all freaked out by discussions of taxidermy, this is not the book for you.  If you want to sample her writing style before committing to the book, check out her blog here  thebloggess.com .

As a writer, the lessons of story and craft that I gleaned from this book are:

  1.  Be honest, except when an exaggeration will make better copy.
  2. Swearing is okay if done artfully, and she is a freaking Picasso with curse words. For those of you who know me: she swears more than I do, which is saying a lot!
  3. Do not be afraid to talk about the hard things, for example: exhuming dead pets, losing a baby, and taxidermy puppets.
  4. No matter how weird it gets, it can get weirder, and funnier.
  5. Truth can be funnier than fiction.
As a fiction writer I don’t have any plans to write a memoir, but after reading Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir),  I know that if I did, I would strive to be as funny and as honest as Jenny Lawson.