...Higgins plunges into her life in New York, where she’s lived for several years. She reflects on parties, Manhattan summers and the differences in small talk in Ireland and America. Dogs also merit an essay. 'Rescue animals are prized possessions in New York,' Higgins tells us. 'It seems the older and sicker your animal is, the richer and greater you are.'
Higgins’ essays sparkle with humor and wry observations. But as she puts it, '[t]he sliver of shared space between comedy and tragedy is one that fascinates me.' And so Higgins lets us see into the shadows—of her life and perhaps our own. She speaks of 'the lowness of loneliness' and how it sneaks up at unexpected moments. She explores the terrain of friendships and failures, and writes about immigration, past and present.
Prepare to laugh as comedian Maeve Higgins shares tales of an Irish girl in New York. Her essays take us from that Cinderella feeling of finding the perfect dress (and then not being able to afford the rental cost) to finding (or not finding) the perfect man, to more-serious matters— LGBTQ rights, women’s rights, immigration, family life—all with humor and flair ... Maeve Higgins may not be a household name yet, but she certainly has some things to say.
As the title suggests, many of the pieces in this collection are directly or indirectly concerned with the surprising moments of culture shock one finds when moving to another country, even one as ostensibly similar as the United States is to Ireland. In one essay, Higgins admits her discomfort with the American style of small talk, which she finds too intense and high-stakes relative to the comfortable, often funny exchanges between two Irish strangers on a train ... They are funny, to be sure, but like the best comedy, nearly everything Higgins writes is tinged with just the slightest hint of melancholy, anger or self-doubt, which will endear her to readers and make them eager to seek out her variety of work in other mediums --- and maybe even her Instagram Stories.