If you’re heading to the beach and looking for a light, funny read, comedian Amy Schumer’s new book of essays “The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo” is not it.
Though she does it with her usual self-effacing charm, Schumer details how her life has not so much inspired her comedy but driven her to it. The book, out today, recounts painful moments like losing her virginity to non-consensual sex at age 17, nearly losing her leg in a surfing accident and a boyfriend who physically and emotionally abused her during her 20s.
But one of the most painful parts of life is when we discover our parents are only human, too, and that moment came much earlier for Schumer than most. In the book, she recounts coming home at age 13 to find her mother sobbing, then confessing to an ongoing affair with her best friend’s married father. Schumer’s own father had been battling multiple sclerosis since she was 12 years old, and last year Schumer talked about turning to comedy to keep her family’s spirits up.
“I look at the saddest things in life and laugh about how awful they are, because they are hilarious and it’s all we can do with moments that are painful,” she writes in the book. So pick it up for a masterclass in turning tragedy into comedy — and some genuinely funny bits, too, like the gold standard in one-night stands.