Jen Kirkman is a world-touring stand-up comedian and the author of the New York Times bestseller I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales of a Happy Life Without Kids and I Know What I’m Doing—And Other Lies I Tell Myself: Dispatches from a Life Under Construction. Her Netflix original comedy special I'm Gonna Die Alone and I Feel Fine streams worldwide, and she has released two comedy albums, Self Help and Hail to the Freaks (which hit #13 on the Billboard charts). She was a longtime writer and panelist on the E! Network’s Chelsea Lately and the narrator of many episodes in the award-winning TV show Drunk History on Comedy Central.
A wunderkind producer of pirated stage productions for six-year-olds
Not the queen of the world
An underage schnitzel-house dishwasher
The kid who stood up to a bully and almost passed out from the resulting adrenaline rush
A born salesman
Capable of willing her eyesight to be 20/20
That girl who peed her pants in the gas station that one time
Totally an expert on strep throat
Incapable of making Leonardo DiCaprio her boyfriend
A certified therapy assistant who heals with Metallica mixtapes
"Not fat enough to be super snuggly." —Bea, age four
Not above using raspberry-studded sh*t to get out of a speeding ticket
"Bitingly funny. But everybody knows that." —Roger Ebert
Sad that David Copperfield doesn't own a falcon
A terrible liar
One of the main topics of cultural conversation during the last decade was the supposed "fertility crisis," and whether modern women could figure out a way to have it all-a successful, demanding career and the required 2.3 children-before their biological clock stopped ticking. Now, however, conversation has turned to whether it's necessary to have it all (see Anne-Marie Slaughter) or, perhaps more controversial, whether children are really a requirement for a fulfilling life. The idea that some women and men prefer not to have children is often met with sharp criticism and incredulity by the public and mainstream media.
In this provocative and controversial collection of essays, curated by writer Meghan Daum, sixteen acclaimed writers explain why they have chosen to eschew parenthood. Contributors include Lionel Shriver, Sigrid Nunez, Kate Christiensen, Elliott Holt, Geoff Dyer, and Tim Kreider, among others, who will give a unique perspective on the overwhelming cultural pressure of parenthood.
Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed makes a thoughtful and passionate case for why parenthood is not the only path in life, taking our parent-centric, kid-fixated, baby-bump-patrolling culture to task in the process. What emerges is a more nuanced, diverse view of what it means to live a full, satisfying life.