cover image I’ll Show Myself Out: Essays on Midlife & Motherhood

I’ll Show Myself Out: Essays on Midlife & Motherhood

Jessi Klein. Harper, $26.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-06-298159-2

Comedian Klein (You’ll Grow Out of It) takes a moving look at motherhood in this bold and irreverent collection. The 22 essays offer a refreshing take on parenthood, mixing brutal honesty, candid emotion, and humor. “Mom Clothes” considers the author’s experience hanging on to baby weight post-labor and “the sheer unending exhaustion” of motherhood, while “The Car Seat” is a heartfelt take on the author’s frustration with car seats, and the loss of self as she sees “Baby on Board” car stickers and wonders why she can’t have one that simply reads “Me on Board.” “Bread and Cheese” is an ode to the insanity of picky eaters: “Of all the childhood behaviors that trigger me... Asher’s refusal to eat is the one that makes me most want to tantrum myself.” “In Defense of Drinking” is a response to anti “Mommy Drinking” sentiment, in which she labels alcohol an “ongoing epidural.” Klein is full of surprises, and moments of hilarity often dissolve into unexpected glimpses of joy: her reminder that “being a parent is a lot like having a dream.... Most of it, even when it’s ugly, is beautiful,” for example, lands with grace. Funny, clever, and full of heart, this one’s a gem. Agent: David Kuhn, Aevitas Creative Management. (Apr.)