Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm creator Larry David has made a career out of turning neuroses into humor, and his eldest daughter, Cazzie, follows in his footsteps in her first essay collection ... Though David’s privilege (which she readily acknowledges) is frequently evident, her frankness about her struggles with anxiety and depression will make many who suffer from the same conditions feel less alone. With a show in development for Amazon, David will be a draw.
The book is a treatise on both the vagaries of being a young woman in 2020 — talking men into wearing condoms, comparing oneself to Bella Hadid on Instagram, answering a FaceTime call without makeup — and the very specific experience of being a celebrity’s privileged child ... She addresses her issues (from stints in mental health facilities to her breakup with comedian Pete Davidson) so honestly, agonizingly and excessively that external criticism would seem cruel — not to mention useless ... To be fair, the reality seeps into the book. It opens with a copy of a neuropsychological evaluation she received in 2007, when she was 12. (A move reminiscent of another iconic essayist, Joan Didion.)
It’s unclear whether Cazzie David actually wants anybody to read her debut essay collection ... Why would someone who is embarrassed by everything she says publish a book filled with 19 intimate essays about her life and more than 100 imaginary tweets? ... David makes sure to let her reader know that she’s aware of this privilege. Throughout her essays—which revolve around her family, her self-proclaimed obsession with boys, and her five anxiety disorders—she frequently expresses remorse for finding things to complain about in a life most people couldn’t dream of having ... The author’s boldest attempt to tackle her socioeconomic status comes in 'Privileged Assistant,' which discusses David’s time working as a production assistant on Curb Your Enthusiasm—a job she asked her dad for after scoffing at her mother’s suggestion that she apply to Starbucks ... It isn’t the only essay that leaves much to be desired ... Her thesis—that social media desensitizes us and keeps us coming back for more—offers nothing that hasn’t already been said ... Not every joke misses the mark. David is quite funny at times, particularly when she’s writing about her family’s quirks ... It’s just that most people aren’t afforded a book deal to figure it out—and David’s finished book doesn’t do much to justify its existence.