Is It Hot in Here (or Am I Suffering for All Eternity for the Sins I Committed on Earth)?
Zach Zimmerman. Chronicle, $16.95 trade paper (220p) ISBN 978-1-79721-757-4
In his cheeky debut, comedian Zimmerman charts his path from “conservative, Southern Baptist carnivore” to “gay vegetarian atheist” and his life struggles along the way. Raised in a deeply religious family, Zimmerman was taught from a young age that homosexuality was a sin. But at Princeton he found “the place... to explore my identity and passions,” and when a close high school friend died in the Virginia Tech shooting, Zimmerman began questioning his faith. This led to a reckoning with his mother, who quasi-accepted his gay identity while asking “can we not make this the discussion of the weekend?” His blossoming life as a gay, irreligious man in the hipster set of Chicago and New York City leads to the memoir’s more raucous scenes, including a date that goes horribly wrong (the chapter title sums it up: “The Twink on the Fire Escape”). More poignant segments deal with his relationship with an ex, who after years living together breaks up with Zimmerman on the plane during what was supposed to be a romantic trip to Europe. He later experiments with meeting men at the sauna, but ultimately decides he’s looking for something more lasting, even though he can’t be sure if his parents would attend his wedding. The tonal changes can occasionally feel abrupt, but Zimmerman’s good humor makes this slice of modern life a charmer. [em]Agent: Robert Guinsler, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Nov.) [/em]
Reviewed on: 08/05/2022