cover image So Sad Today: Personal Essays

So Sad Today: Personal Essays

Melissa Broder. Grand Central, $15.99 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-4555-6272-5

In this delightful collection of 18 essays, Broder embarks on an earnest, sophisticated inquiry into the roots and expressions of her own sadness. Already known as a poet (Last Sext) and author of the @SoSadToday Twitter account, here she joins a new generation of essayists whose voices have been shaped by the conventions of digital communication. Quoting generously from chat logs and sexts, Broder’s deeply confessional writing brings disarming humor and self-scrutiny to secrets that include embarrassing sexual fantasies and her habit of eating a “whole pint of diet ice cream with six packets of Equal poured into it.” The essays span an impressive range of topics: abortion and the decision not to have children, substance abuse and sobriety, experiments with antidepressants, and monogamy with a chronically ill partner. They can occasionally border on the self-indulgent, but even during these rare lapses, Broder’s central insight is clear: it is okay to be sad, and our problems can’t be reduced to a single diagnosis. All of the essays are linked together by the art of learning to love oneself, sadness and all. Agent: Meredith Kaffel Simonoff, DeFiore and Company. (Mar.)