How to Make White People Laugh

Negin Farsad. Grand Central, $26 (272p) ISBN 978-1-4555-5822-3
This collection of nonfiction essays from Farsad, a stand-up comedian and director/producer of the documentary The Muslims Are Coming!, offers a look at the social issues that plague America today, including racism, sexism, and media bias. Farsad tackles these ideas head-on with clear facts and a wit that will keep the liberal reader engaged. Using her own experiences as an Iranian-American, Farsad offers a glimpse at what life is like as a “third thing,” or a group that doesn’t quite fit into one world or another, from her Palm Springs, Fla., childhood, where she tried to identify as Mexican, to her collegiate years at Cornell, where she identified more with black culture. The comic hits her stride when she focuses on the personal rather than polemic. The insight that Farsad offers regarding modern Iranian life is much more nuanced than her quick takes on more general topics, such as Jainism. Farsad’s fresh and funny voice is perfect for presenting tactics to fight anti-Muslim sentiment in the U.S., and her work is intriguing and enjoyable to read. Agent: Daniel Kirschen, ICM. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/11/2016
Release date: 05/24/2016
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-4555-5820-9
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-1-4555-5821-6
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