Get to Know the Cameroonian Author Behind a Million-Dollar Book Deal – Okayafrica

Cameroonian-American novelist Imbolo Mbue joins ranks with authors Chimamanda Adichie of Americanah, Yaa Gyasi of Homegoing and Igoni Barrett of Blackass creating a new canon of African literature.

Mbue first captured our attention when she inked an exceptional million-dollar deal with Penguin Random House in 2014 for her eagerly awaited debut work Behold the Dreamers, released in March, that tells the story of a Cameroonian couple and their son who settle in Harlem hoping to capture their piece of the American dream amidst the 2008 financial and housing market crisis.

The ‘90s music and tennis-lover, who flashes her winning “million-dollar smile” in Glamour magazine‘s September issue, tells Essence magazine  her big idea arrived while she was taking a stroll New York City’s Columbus Circle in the spring of 2011 when she noticed chauffeurs waiting for executives in front of the Time Warner building.

Imbolo Mbue, Photo credit: Kiriko Sano
Photo credit: Kiriko Sano

“I started thinking about the relationship between the chauffeurs and the executives and the ways in which the recession might have affected the men and their families,” Mbue says.

That moment in time would inform the main conflict of protagonist Jende Jonga whose job as a chauffeur for a Lehman Brothers executive along with his ability to provide for his family becomes threatened when the financial services firm implodes, and difficult decisions must be made.

Inspired by Toni Morrison’s book Song of Solomon, and the Heinemann African Writers Series and British classics that she read growing up, Mbue began the hard work of fiction-writing at 21-years-old. In the case of Behold the Dreamers, which she began writing after that pivotal flash of genius in 2011, Mbue decided it best to write about what she knows best—the Cameroonian immigrant experience. The 35-year-old author, herself, hails from Limbe, resides in NYC with her husband and children, and has lived in the U.S. for more than a decade.

“I wrote about people like myself—Americans, non-Americans, people pursuing dreams, people questioning which direction they should go with their lives, immigrants in search of a better life, people striving to get out of poverty, get an education, and so on. In many ways I see myself in the characters even though it’s not my life story,” she shares.

And of course, no come up story is complete without rejection, and Mbue has had her fair share of it, shopping Behold the Dreamers around.

“I kept on rewriting the book and resubmitting to agents, including Susan Golomb, who was one of my dream agents,” she explains. “It was a long ride, and in the Summer of 2014, Susan Golomb agreed to represent me. A few months later, she sold the book.”

Mbue’s success along with those of her contemporaries signals the world is finally ready to embrace a new generation of African and diasporic authors who own their personal truths and deftly weave it into their storytelling. We can’t wait for what lies ahead for her.

Kerima Polotan Tuvera's The Virgin: The Feminist Approach "The Quest of Being a Woman"

Introduction

"The Quest of Being a Woman" of Kerima Polotan Tuvera's The Virgin is a perfect title that shows the same meaning of what feminist criticism is all about. Feminist approach defines the revelation of woman's real desires and struggles in the society. It aims to expose the patriarchal premises resulting to the prejudices and discovery of the story or any kind of literary piece using character analysis. This paper would give the readers a clearer view on how does feminist criticism applies its characteristics to a well-known short story called The Virgin.

Author's background and encapsulation of the story

Kerima Polotan Tuvera was a renowned Filipino author. Her works earned some of the highest literary recognitions in the Philippines, with her short story 'The Virgin' being one of her most notable literary pieces. The word "virgin" that she mentioned in her story implies somebody who is pure and unstained. As dictated by the society, in order to gain respect and dignity, a woman must be pure and virgin because it is said that a woman's virginity is equated to her dignity. The society dictates that woman must preserve her virginity until she gets married, like what Miss Mijares did to herself. She was not able to state her feelings to men because she had to protect her virginity / dignity. Hence, the story presents Miss Mijares' struggles caused by the social dictates on her individuality that hindered her to find her own identity as a person and as a woman through the feminist type of perspective.

Discussion (application of the feminist approach)

Miss Mijares, the main character of the short story titled The Virgin, as a writer and as a woman revealed her desires through her metaphors and symbols in her writing. Despite her being a responsible daughter of her family, she also wished to be loved by others, especially, she has always been dreaming to have a man in her life. But her duties as a daughter and as a member of the society hindered her in fulfilling her dreams. The following lines show her desire to have a man:

"But neither love nor glory stood behind her, only the lurking, empty shadows, and nine years gone, nine years. In the room of her unburied dead, she held up her hands to the light, noting the thick, durable fingers, thinking in a mixture of shame and bitterness and guilt that they had never touched a man. "

There was also one scenario in the story that shows her romantic feelings when she felt angry to find out that the carpenter has a son and thought that he was married. But after the carpenter admitted that he is not married with his son's mother, she felt relieved. After that event, it suddenly rained and the ambiance became unhappy. The scenario reveals the emotions of Miss Mijares about the carpenter. It was illustrated that she was emotionally affected with the carpenter's revelations. With the rain and the weather as a metaphor to her feelings; it proves her hidden emotions with the man.

There was also a symbolic revelation about her desire of being loved. The paperweight which was shaped by the carpenter into a dove symbolizes intercourse for it flies. The carpenter offered it to her, which shows that the carpenter was offering something to Miss Mijares. The fact that Miss Mijares laughed about it shows that she likes the offer. Thus, it confirms that Miss Mijares is attracted to the carpenter as implied by her acceptance and fondness with the flying object that symbolizes the love making in the psycholoanalytic approach.

All of Miss Mijares' life was spent in accomplishing her responsibilities like finishing college, sending her niece to school, and taking care of her mother. That was her duty as a woman, to unconditionally nurture her family. This role that was dictated by the society and perhaps her own family shaped her to be a woman for other people and not a woman with her own self. The society dictates that women should protect their virginity that is equated to their dignity which Miss Mijares respectfully accepted. Miss Mijares was portrayed not only as a woman who wanted to go beyond her roles but also as a woman who wanted to build her own life.

Moreover, Tuvera shows the inner struggle of a woman in the story. Miss Mijares' struggle to stick to the societal expectations of a woman and to hide her own self was exposed and reiterated. Her struggle was symbolically shown by her encounter with unfamiliar places and the jeepney's diversion. It symbolizes her own lost because she can not be herself and she has to be a woman that the society dictates her to be.

In the society, women are the ones responsible of taking care of the people in the family. This was the case of Miss Mijares, when she was the only one left to take care of her sick and old mother. She did all the responsibility that she forgot her own life. Miss Mijares in the story can be characterized as the old maid. At an age of 34, she has not still touch a man. Her description in the story and her life really fits her as the old maid archetype who is still untouched.

The three stages of women's history, feminine stage, feminist stage, and female can be identifiable to Miss Mijares' life. The feminine stage according to Showalter's theory is the stage that involves imitation of the prevailing modes of the dominant tradition and internalization of its standards. Indeed, Miss Mijares at the very beginning has gone through this stage wherein she allows the dictates of the society to rule her life. She responsibly took care of her mother and she had protected her virginity for a long time. However, as the story evolves, her character has been slowly evolving that she already approaches the feminist stage. The feminist stage can be described as a stage involving protest against the minority rights.

Miss Mijares did not protest explicitly or politically but there is an inner protest within her. Her experiences of being lost and the rainy days symbolize her inner protest that she has to go beyond what is expected to her. This symbolic protest actually created confusion within her, because she is torn between the social dictates and her own self. The last stage was which is the female stage can be described as the phase of self-discovery, a search for identity. The last part of the short story shows that Miss Mijares has undergone the female stage. The proceeding lines really imply that she was freed from the societal roles being dictated around her:

"In her secret heart, Miss Mijares' young dreams fluttered faintly to life, seeming monstrous in the rain, near this man – seeming monstrous but also sweet and overwhelming. I must get away, she thought wildly, but he had moved and brushed against her, and where his touch had fallen, her flesh leaped, and she recalled how his hands had looked that first day, lain tenderly at the edge of her desk and about the wooden bird (that had looked like a moving, shining, dove) and she turned to him: with her ruffles wet and wilted, in the dark she turned to him. "

The last paragraph proves that in her heart, she has gone through the protesting stage and now, she's able to express her own self, her own feelings, and her own desires. It shows that she is now capable of going beyond her social roles as she reveals that she is ready to surrender her virginity. Her virginity is indeed a symbol of dignity; however, it is part of the woman's purpose is to have a man who will be able to consume that long preserved virginity.

Conclusion:

The short story depicts the success of woman in overcoming the men's stereotypical world. The main character was able to defy the dictates of the society and was able to establish her own self in the quest of being a woman.

‘A marketer’s dream’: Andy Lee’s kids’ book crashes website, sells 40000 in two days – The Guardian

A website crash isn’t something you’d usually welcome, but for small independent children’s book publisher Lake Press it was a sign of triumph.

The company’s bandwidth was flooded after the surprise release of a children’s book from the radio personality and comedian Andy Lee, who co-hosts the radio show Hamish & Andy with Hamish Blake. Titled Do Not Open This Book, it has sold approximately 40,000 copies since Lee announced it on radio on Wednesday evening.

Illustrated by Heath McKenzie, the book was conceived by Lee as a surprise gift for his sister Alex Miles for her son’s first birthday. Miles is a children’s book author in her own right, penning eight novels in the Zac Power series under the pseudonym HI Larry.

— Andy Lee (@andy_lee)
September 7, 2016

Holding a secret from my sis @byAlexMiles for 5 months was worth it.

George didn’t say a bad word about it either.https://t.co/C3PrDXQxpm

Lee originally intended to make only a single copy of the book, which he told Fairfax on Thursday that he wrote during a plane trip: “When you don’t think something is going to be published you have less worry about it,” he said.

But after he handed it over to the publisher, they recommended a wider release.

Overnight success of this kind is rare for a children’s book author in Australia – according to the Australian Society of Authors chief executive, Juliet Rogers, most would be lucky to see a first print run of 3000. Lee’s book, on the other hand, had a starting print run of 60,000, even with a moratorium – imposed by Lee – on any pre-publicity.


Andy Lee wrote Do Not Open This Book for his nephew George. Photograph: Andy Lee and Heath McKenzie/Lake Press

“It’s a marketer’s dream,” Rogers said, explaining how difficult it was for most authors to break into the Australian market. “Children’s publishing has had a bit of a renaissance in the last couple of years so it’s not been any worse [than other genres],” she said. “But it’s always tough.”

The Lake Press spokeswoman Sarah Ryan told Guardian Australia that the publishing company welcomed the boon brought by such a big name. “It’s great for us,” she said. “We’re a small children’s book publisher and it means we get exposure and means our books can be distributed more widely.

“It’s a great book on its own merits,” she continued. “It’s not just a good book because Andy Lee wrote it.”

The challenge to sell a book will always be harder for unknown names, but Rogers didn’t fear a backlash from disgruntled authors: “On the whole, this is a very generous-hearted industry,” she said.

A Common Sense Approach to a Not So Common Topic – The After Life

Not many engineers who know how to write would author a book attempting to prove the existence of an After Life. But Chuck Swartwout is no ordinary author and is certainly no ordinary engineer.

I found that out when I read his wonderful book, "You Do not Die – You Just Change Channels !: A Common Sense Guide to God Our Creator and Eternity in Heaven."

After spending a career as an electrical engineer, a film maker, entrepreneur and advertising producer, Chuck faced one of life's unavoidable and inevitable events when Gretchen – his wife of 54 years – died in 2006. That motivated the author to combine his Christian faith and professional background as an engineer and creative problem solver to write his "common sense" analytical exploration of life after death and heaven.

You will not find heaven, eternity or the After Life discussed anywhere else as Swartwout does in this short, highly annotated, and very readable book. The book cover is a copy of an original work of art by his deceased wife Gretchen Swartwout of a Hopi Indian Kachina doll, believed to be the spirit of a deity.

While talking about the relationship between faith and science, Swartwout makes this interesting observation in the book: "It is important to understand that scientists are trained to speak in terms of 'theories,' which are carefully-considered interpretations of observable facts. As they accumulate more facts, scientists modify the theories or propose new ones. "

Swartwout welcomes inputs from his readers on this book and invites them to go to his website and click on "Feedback." If he gets enough feedback from readers, Chuck will publish a second book based on that feedback. Interesting approach.

The author's discussion of eternity, the nature of God, heaven and the After Life is easy to understand because he takes a common sense approach rather than a more traditional theological, doctrinal approach. It is a refreshing approach and, believe it or not, makes sense.

You can read this book in one setting – just make sure you read Appendix I on Chuck's dream to end all world wars. And do not set the book own without referring to the bibliography. I discovered I once bowled and attended church with one of the co-authors cited in the bibliography.

Creative collaboration in historical fantasy – Leader-Telegram

When a retired teacher unexpectedly bumped into one of her former students, an unlikely partnership began. 

Graphic artist Dan Thiede and Eau Claire author Delaney Green, the pen name of Debra Peterson, first met at Memorial High School in 2006 in a class Green was teaching. However, they lost touch after Thiede graduated in 2007. 

When they ran into each other almost a decade later at the gym, they reconnected. 

“I recognized her and it was like, ‘What in the world are you up to these days?’ and we caught up quick,” Thiede said. 

Thiede had recently returned to Eau Claire from Boston to start Kaze Studios, a creative agency focused on design, videography and motion graphics located on Grand Avenue. When Green mentioned her most recent book, he immediately latched on to the project. 

The result of the collaboration was “Jem, a Fugitive from London,” the second in Green’s historical fantasy series centered around a young girl with magical powers named Jem. Green authored the book, and Thiede served as the book’s cover artist and designer. 

The idea for the book cover came to Green in a dream, which she spent time describing in detail to Thiede. 

“After the gym, she ended up going into my office and exploded with all of these details from her dream,” said Thiede, who also studied art at UW-Stout. “I sat and I sketched it out, and we talked.” 

The “Jem” series will be about six books in total, Green said. Both she and Thiede said they hope to continue working together on the future books, and Green also added she hopes to have Theide redesign the original book cover. 

The series follows Jem who, disguised as a boy, works for a physician and makes medicine on the side in 1758. Jem has magical powers, including an ability to hear what animals are thinking and know, by touch, what illnesses the physician’s patients have. “Jem, A Fugitive from London,” picks up as Jem leaves London in an effort to learn how to control her powers. 

The idea for the series came to Green while she was still working at Memorial following a discussion with students about King George III and the Revolutionary War. 

“That night I dreamed about a girl who was assisting a physician to care for King George III,” Green said. “… I thought, well, who is that and why would a girl be in the king’s bedchamber because girls didn’t get to do anything back then except get married and have babies and be maids and what not.”

The girl kept coming up, so Green decided to “sit down and let her talk,” and Jem was born. The first book in the series, “Jem, A Girl From London,” won Green a 2015 North Street Book Prize. 

Green, who retired from the Eau Claire school district in 2012, said she hopes the book leaves readers with an open mind and sense of hope. 

“Our culture is very good at dismissing something that doesn’t have an scientific proof, and we’re very good at dismissing other people’s religions and myths and everything else if it doesn’t fit into the mainstream,” she said. “I hope the books make people go, ‘Well, maybe I don’t have to be so rigid. Maybe I can believe what I believe and look at this other thing and it won’t destroy me to just learn something different.’ ”

Green leaves on Tuesday to visit England and see some of the places she wrote about and donate copies of the book to local libraries.  

Both books in the “Jem” series are available on Amazon and at The Local Store, 205 N. Dewey St. Green currently is working on the third book, “Jem, A Novice in Philadelphia,” which she expects to be released next summer. 

Contact: 715-833-9214, [email protected], @EmilyMiels on Twitter

For more information about author Delaney Green visit delaneygreenwriter.com. For more information about artist Dan Thiede and Kaze Studios, visit kazefilms.com.

The Law of Attraction and the Sweepstakes

This is an account of my own experience with “The Secret”! If you haven’t read the book by Rhonda Byrne yet I highly recommend it. It explains how the Universal Law of Attraction works! How we create our own reality by what we think feel.

“Like Attracts Like”

As soon as I read this book I began to put methods to test to make it work for me. I used it to start my own spiritual journey of awakening, to find my purpose. This attracted me to a lot of different programs about this subject. Not to mention a lot of self help information. As a result of all this I have grown tremendously as a person. I have definitely seen this law in action!

I thought all I had to do was “Desire exactly what I wanted” to the point of obsession (total focus). Believe it to be mine beyond a shadow of a doubt, Take “inspired action” towards it… & It would be mine!

I wrote my affirmations everyday… “My life is perfect now that I make ____$ a week. I am so Grateful for all this success! I went through my visualization exercises many times a day… (imagining my dream as if it were happening at that moment and Feeling it)! I have my “vision board” with all my goals & dreams & pictures of exactly what I want right beside my desk so I can Focus on them…I even started meditating! I Asked, Believed, & Took Inspired Action & then waited to Receive. I even had the exact date! Because my dream was to win the Publishers Clearing House $5000 a week for life sweepstakes! I had every thing all figured out how this would get me to my dreams! I was already writing the affirmation of that amount… & then all of a sudden, instead of it’s giveaway date in Feb. 2009, they were going to” Take an early look and give it away on Feb 29th 2008! I got so excited… I just knew the universe was rearranging things to grant my dream!

I began visualizing the Winning Moment on my porch! How we would spend the money… how I could use it to help people… (this was my biggest dream… to find a way I could give back in a way to help others) I was convinced to the point of obsession that this would be my answer to how I could give. I had no other idea of anything special I could do that would be My individual way I could accomplish this.

I figured my “inspired action” was entering everyday online, all places I could find to enter! I even watched a video clip of past winners on You Tube every day just to help Feel the win. I had the pictures out of the mailings sitting here on my desk & would imagine Dave Sayer at my door, then at the kitchen table to work out the details!

I put all my focus and belief in this dream…. to the point of holding it so tight I was smothering it. I was so afraid if I didn’t concentrate my total focus on this it wouldn’t happen.

Then in the many conflicting studies I read; one said you have to release the dream into the universe &” Trust” it will bring it to you. Here is where I had a problem! I would say the words to release it… but I was so obsessed at this point I couldn’t let it go! I was so convinced that this was mine I told everyone I knew. I even had them playing the “imagine this” game with me. I told them to watch for me on TV! I even had my “don’t believe it till I see it” husband believing I’d win!

Then the day came… I was so excited… I could not contain myself…I knew it was to be on the NBC evening news… which meant they would have to be there by 7 PM!

Well the time came …and the time went…and nothing!!! I just could not believe it! All I could think is what did I do wrong? This just can’t be so!Maybe I was mistaken on the date or time. I ran in & looked it up…I was not the winner!

I was DEVASTATED…to say the least. I could not get a grip on anything. My beliefs were shattered and scattered all over & I didn’t even want to pick up the pieces. I just stayed outside on the patio by myself trying to understand. And bless his heart, my husband, felt that disappointment right along with me, but just let me be. He knew my spirit was crushed!

I WENT DOWN…

This is when I started seeing the Law work! It really seems to work quick with negative emotions!

“like attracts like”! Everything was soon spiraling out of control & fast! I knew I had to get off that frequency… but I just didn’t have a clue how to get up! But, I knew I had to turn it around and get the positive back or it was going to cause some major damage! (There’s a whole other article to explain all the steps I used to come back.)

I finally decided that God has a better way for me to get to my dreams. And maybe this devastation is what I need to go through to find answers. Everything happens for a reason! I believe that reason was to point me to the original question I had, which was what can I do to give back and help other people?

I can write!

I don’t have to have money to “Give”! I can give of myself! And I never quit believing in the actual dreams and goals, I just had to turn around in the maze and take a different direction to get out to my dreams. It’s not my job to figure out how it’s going to happen. My job is to stay focused on the end result! At least now I feel like I am contributing again, and I feel I have found my place, or my thing to give and share with the world. So, that dream is becoming a reality without having to have a bunch of money!

I really enjoy sharing my stories! Especially if they can help someone else!!! So the outcome of all this is a happy ending, because I am doing what makes me happy, and hopefully helping others in some way! And I am still a very big believer of the higher power that works for the greater good,

that we are all connected to, and now, I reach out to share Love, Peace, Happiness and Joy with everyone I can!

Just remember, you don’t need to look outside yourself for answers. The answers are all WITHIN!

Thank The Good Lord; We don’t always get what we want, or we’d miss the things we are supposed to learn along the way! And who knows… maybe I just needed to let go and it will happen! Never Lose Sight Of Your Dreams!!! Just remember , there is more than one way to get to them! And I believe If you are Meant to have them… you WILL!

Jay Gatsby, Hero or Villain?

Most people have heard of the book The Great Gatsby. A lot of people have read it although I assume most of them were made to read it on school. Whatever the case if you have read it you must have wondered about the title. Was not Gatsby a materialistic gangster who made millions from selling illegal alcohol then tried to steal someone's wife. Does not sound very 'great.'

Its supposed to be all okay because he was only doing it so he could win Daisy's love back, but Daisy is married with a child and some people, myself included, think he does not even really love her, He just wants her as a status symbol to show off like his new car. Why should we like this guy again?

It because of how pure he is. When he was younger he thought he would never achieve success as James Gatz, so he destroyed that identity and became a new man, free from all the vices that halt everyone else. He became the ideal candidate to achieve the American Dream.

Ever since then he has had one goal in life, to overcome every obstacle that stood between him and his dream. Since he had already created a whole new identity why not go a step further. If he needed to be educated, cultured and rich to impress Daisy then he would. Its like watching a pitcher throw a perfect game, its something you could never do yourself, but you really want the guy to succeed because you want to watch something special. That's why the reader should be cheering him on, this is a once in a generation chance to prove everybody wrong and show the American Dream is attainable.

Is we look at some Great Gatsby quotes you see all the bad he did was because of the corruption of others. He had to lie about his past because of the upper classes notion that they were the 'dominant race' and they had to 'beat down' all challengers to their title. 'Daisy would not marry' him if he was poor, but if she was not so shallow he never would have had to start his illegal business. He does not even want his material possessions, the only worth he sees in them comes from 'the measure of response it drew from [Daisy's] well-loved eyes.

You feel sorry for him because he had such a clear and noble goal. He thought if he only worked hard enough that he could live the life of his dreams, but everyone else could not accept that, they had to drag him down to their level and down their in the dust and corruption, Gatsby's dream died, and so did he.

So maybe it he was a gangster, and maybe he lied about his past, but he only did it because it was the only way to survive in the broken and corrupt world that he lived in.

The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer – review – The Guardian

A common criticism of Amy Schumer’s self-written 2015 movie blockbuster, Trainwreck, was that it got off to a good start before running out of steam. If that is true, the opposite can be said of the comic’s debut book (“not a memoir,” she insists).

Schumer is right: The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo is not a memoir but a collection of essays, listicles and vignettes: the latest in a long line of books from extremely smart, talented US comedians: Tina Fey, Chelsea Handler, Mindy Kaling, Amy Poehler, Lena Dunham. Though, of course, if you’re in the market for hilarious books by brilliantly funny women, then Nora Ephron’s work is the gold standard.

It’s easy to see why Schumer’s book is billed as “confessional” – women’s writing often is. It is still the case that when a woman writes or talks candidly, her words are viewed as confessional because of how long women’s voices have been suppressed. But it’s also often the writing women are pushed into – it’s the business model of entire websites. But part of Schumer’s huge success as a comedian – the ratings smash Inside Amy Schumer; hosting MTV awards shows – is how well she skewers double standards. “Confessional” is a very gendered word. Can’t we just call her honest?

The book’s title is a play on Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo franchise. I hate titles like that. But we don’t really get down to it until the last chapter and then it makes beautiful sense. Also, when I saw that the opening chapter was called An Open Letter to My Vagina, I sighed, because: a) who isn’t sick of open letters? and b) we know a lot about Schumer’s vagina and nothing can ever top her description of it in her HBO special as looking like “an old lounge singer’s mouth”.

But, though the first 40 pages of The Girl… read as though an enterprising show runner has picked up some script notes on set and flogged them (there are too many zany asides and “anythiiiinnnnnnnnggggg”s), the rest of this book is resoundingly brilliant.

Inside Amy Schumer: One-Night Stand.

Where it shines is in the jokes less told and scenes less sketched. The writing on her father’s multiple sclerosis (which was given a subplot in Trainwreck) is both warm and devastating. “I’ve been mourning him while he’s still alive,” Schumer writes at one point of the gregarious, handsome man who struggles to find hope in recovery and who has, on more than one occasion, soiled himself in public. Then there’s this on the last time the two ever went surfing together: “We waited for a good wave. That last wave we would ever ride together. When we saw it rolling in, we made eye contact and nodded to each other like musicians agreeing to play the bridge.”

I read that line three times over it was so good; I had to fish it out of my gut. Some of the prose on her dad’s illness could rival Oliver Sacks or Paul Kalanithi. That’s probably not what you were expecting.

There’s a chapter entitled How I Lost My Virginity. Not a wheeze about broken condoms and cramp, but an account of how Schumer lost her virginity to rape. A section is dedicated to two women who were shot and killed at a screening of her film. At the back of the book, she includes practical steps on how to help in the fight for gun control. This could all come across a bit Chris Martin, but it doesn’t.

But do not worry: there are laughs. Schumer is the kind of comedian who can casually drop bombs, à la Sarah Silverman or Joan Rivers, speak about sex with a Pryor-like candour or be as physically funny as Lucille Ball. Her prose, too, is physical: it jumps and spins. (She would maybe tell you this is as close to playing sports as she gets.) There are offbeat observations. She describes a gym as “just for women – which we all know is code for sub-par”.

This might sound like an odd thing to write about a work by a comedian, but The Girl… would still be a success if it wasn’t funny, because it is so unashamed and human. It makes sense that Schumer selects Walt Whitman and Mark Twain as her favourite authors. (“No,” she recalls a boyfriend saying when she gives the latter as the name of her dream best friend, “it has to be a real person.”)

There are 35 chapters – one for each year of Schumer’s life, though I understand why she talks as though she’s 90. I am 27 and spent three hours last week Googling pension schemes, so I get it. In this world, if you are female and can’t command £5,000 per pre-roll ad for your YouTube makeup tutorials by 18, then it’s over. However, Schumer’s section of the book on her hustle, her decade-plus on the road performing and honing and crafting and sweating and learning how not to give a toss, is not a slog to read. It’s inspiring, in the way that watching a great football game on TV can make you want to sign up for a team. Go seems to be the message of this book. Play, run, try. That’s all you need to have won.

The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo is published by Harper Collins (£20). Click here to buy it for £16.40