Please Don’t Sit on My Bed in Your Outside Clothes: Essays

Phoebe Robinson. Tiny Reparations, $27 (320p) ISBN 978-0-593-18490-5

2 Dope Queens comedian and actor Robinson (Everything’s Trash but It’s Okay) serves up, in her characteristic laugh-out-loud voice, what it means to be a young, Black success story in this inimitable, comedic tell-all. Robinson gleefully dips into the cultural artifacts of the pandemic and beyond with earnest insights on America’s racial and political developments, skyrocketing to fame while building her “mini empire,” her fully self-possessed “worship at the altar of Angela Bassett,” and quarantining while in a relationship. In “2020 Was Gonna Be My Year! (LOL),” Robinson recounts bingeing Mad Men to catch up on American cultural currency, because “well, we can’t all be goop,” while “Guide to Being a Boss from Someone Who Has Been Building a Mini Empire for the Past Two Years and Counting” offers 11 business tips that “Warren Buffet Should’ve Told Ya,” including that everyone lies during job interviews. (Her former employers believed, for example, that she “could put together a PowerPoint presentation like Don Draper.”) And the title phrase, Robinson writes, is “a directive I’ve said to almost every white being entering my space.” Her no-holds-barred essays are deliciously confessional—no topic is deprived of caps lock or gushing footnotes. Robinson’s legions of fans are in for a treat. Agent: Robert Guinsler, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Sept.)