cover image Mighty Gorgeous: A Little Book About Messy Love

Mighty Gorgeous: A Little Book About Messy Love

Amy Ferris. She Writes, $17.95 trade paper (168p) ISBN 978-1-64742-553-1

Funny Valentines screenwriter Ferris (A Is for Ambien) answers “the New Age old question, What would I tell my younger self?” in no-holds-barred essays that draw insight from life’s “mistakes, messes, fuck-ups and fuck-downs.” Reflections on the author’s younger days are especially stirring, as she recalls dropping out of high school due to paralyzing depression; using an early pregnancy “as a weapon to try and get [a] young boy-man to love me” before undergoing a harrowing abortion; and, in one of the collection’s standouts, watching her father sweep factory floors while his boss hurled insults at him—“I watched my dad lose whatever faith he was clinging to while I was clinging to him,” even as “my eyes were saying, you’re my hero, Daddy, you’re my hero.” While the author’s boisterous prose sometimes runs off the rails, especially when she’s delivering adjective-heavy advice (“we’re gonna have to reject others so we can... fall madly fucking crazy-ass in love with our own glorious, messy, complicated, imperfect, stunning, well-worn lives”), readers will be charmed by Ferris’s irrepressible humor (as a young woman, she’s hospitalized with a presumed brain tumor—which ends up being sinusitis—and is asked if she’d like to call anyone: “Yes, I say, I want to call Betty. ‘Your sister?’ No. My psychic”) and unabashed praise of self love. This has more than enough spunk for readers to forgive its flaws. (Oct.)