cover image Foolish: Tales of Assimilation, Determination, and Humiliation

Foolish: Tales of Assimilation, Determination, and Humiliation

Sarah Cooper. Dutton, $29 (288p) ISBN 978-0-593-47318-4

This witty memoir-in-essays from comedian Cooper (How to Be Successful Without Hurting Men’s Feelings) traces her trajectory from bookish child of Jamaican immigrants to social media superstar. Cooper, who rose to fame in 2020 by lip-syncing to then-president Donald Trump’s statements about Covid-19 (“I see the disinfectant knocks it out in a minute”), begins by recounting her youth in Rockville, Md., as the youngest of four children. She shares hilarious passages from the diary she kept as a 13-year-old (in which crushes and the 1990 Gulf War hold equal weight) and chronicles her devastation at being cut from the elementary school chorus (only to discover years later that her music teacher was arrested on child pornography charges). From there, she catalogs her difficulties juggling a passion for comedy with a career in tech, her unsuccessful stabs at romance (“An alternate title for this memoir was ‘Rejected by All the Right Men’ ”), and eventually, her quest to convert her viral social media videos into a bona fide entertainment career. Throughout, Cooper is unfailingly funny and consistently relatable. This is sure to please Cooper’s fans and likely to net her new ones. Agent: Susan Raihofer, David Black Agency. (Oct.)