The last biography I read was about Golda Meir. I was in 7th grade, and it was for a book report.
Sara Benincasa literally never ran Israel. In fact, she’s been Prime Minister of exactly zero countries. However, even in the face of such bleak statistics, her autobiography, Agorafabulous, is riveting.
Also, she’s hilarious.
Full disclosure: Sara and I are friends from college and I’ve been well aware of her writing prowess for a number of years. The unique thing for me, in reading about her experiences and struggles with Agoraphobia and panic attacks, is that I was kind of there for some of it.
There, and aware to a degree that she was going through something, but way, way too narcisistic and too 20 to be of any help at all. I was mostly thinking about Me. Me with a capital “M”. I don’t think this is unique, really, but seeing a time of your life through someone else’s eyes is a pretty unbelievable experience.
So, some of this highly entertaining and deftly written book made me sad. Because it’s sad when you learn that someone you care about has gone through a lot of pain. And kind of awful to reflect on how you were way too worried about a stupid comedy show or a dumb boy to be of any use.
But, girlfriend made it through. And, what a book.
Tomorrow night at Brookline Booksmith, Sara is having a book event. I’m going to be there to cheer her on and read a little something of my own. Also, Maria Ciampa will be performing, so…this is a pretty easy sell.
If you can’t make it tomorrow night but would like to buy her book, buy her book. Especially if you’ve ever freaked out on a bus, panicked in class, or had a really terrible time anywhere.
She gets it. She makes it funny. And making it funny makes everything more okay.