"In this surprisingly upbeat memoir, Annabelle Gurwitch writes about the financial curveballs that can hit you in midlife . . . Somehow, Ms. Gurwitch manages to find humor in these setbacks. Ultimately, this is a story about harnessing resilience and learning how life’s disappointments can teach you about the things that matter most." —Tara Parker-Pope, The New York Times
“Annabelle Gurwitch is wry, witty, and a master of the bon mot...Her new book gathers a series of connected essays that will make you laugh out loud. (But)This is not a romp through privileged Los Angeles-these are scary stories of America in 2021, (being) too young for Medicare but too old to get that tenure-track job at a fabulous university."
“[Gurwitch] trains a skeptical eye on her era’s foibles in the manner of a Dorothy Parker, leavens it with the housefrau elan of an Erma Bombeck, and spices it with her own witty, irrepressible personality... She can be as deadly tackling the siren song of consumer culture, the pervasiveness of wellness fads. Yet all with a breezy touch, delivering the occasional razor-sharp bon mot.”
—Charleston Post and Courier
“Reading...You’re Leaving When? will most likely feel like a long, intimate chat with your funniest friend. Gurwitch connects deeply with both a life stage—middle age—and our current cultural moment."
—San Francisco Chronicle
"A hilarious and honest collection of essays. Gurwitch’s perspective on both the major and the mundane will be relatable to anyone who understands how the American Dream has devolved into a fever dream. Her stories are as personal as they are universal...The latest from Gurwitch will have readers rolling with laughter one minute and picking up the phone to commiserate with friends or family the next."
"Gurwitch's account of temporarily housing a homeless young couple through a Host Home program. The piece is a worthy short-form counterpart to Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, but with better jokes."
"Droll, self-deprecating Gurwitch is very funny – like Rhoda Morgenstern on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, but delivering not so much one-liners or gags as stories that shift life’s viewfinder. Misadventures in the gig economy, fashions, wellness fads, and parenting might sink another writer, but Gurwitch’s wit, warmth, and generosity universalize them."
—National Book Review 5 Hot Books!
“Everyone needs a friend to guide them through the American middle class in decline, and you couldn't do better than Annabelle Gurwitch. She is sharp-eyed, un-foolable, and hilarious.”
—Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed
"Annabelle Gurwitch’s You’re Leaving When? is a pure delight, full of ambivalence, regret, laughter, rage, melancholy, and most importantly, honest observations about grappling with life’s bewildering cavalcade
of surprises and disappointments.”
—Heather Havrilesky, New York Magazine’s Ask Polly columnist
“Annabelle Gurwitch tells stories from her life that coalesce into a kind of literary comic opera. These may feel like the worst of times, but her wit, wisdom, and inimitable weirdness (that’s a compliment) will get us through the madness. I’ll happily follow her wherever she takes me.”
—Meghan Daum, author of The Problem With Everything
“Annabelle Gurwitch’s You’re Leaving When? is beyond hilarious! This “Grey-Divorced” yoga pants-wearing landlady should just invite us all into her home so we can curl up like cats around her (surely soon to be installed) wine bar for rap sessions about vaginal rejuvenation and radical swiffering. I loved it. A cheering midlife romp!”
—Sandra Tsing Loh, author of The Madwoman in the Volvo
“Annabelle Gurwitch has an amazing—and very welcome—knack for wringing humor from pathos and locating sublimity in absurdity. A breezily hilarious but deeply affecting exploration of loss, human connection, and mortality, You're Leaving When? spins the humorous indignities of middle-age into something like a profound meditation on the human condition.”
—Carina Chocano, author of You Play the Girl
"Gen X was promised the American Dream but instead found downward mobility, job insecurity, and non-stop caregiving. In her timely essays about boomerang kids, pandemic coworking, and post-divorce dating, Annabelle Gurwitch mines our generational ill luck for humor and insight as only a resilient latchkey kid can: with an arched brow and a gimlet eye."
—Ada Calhoun, author of the New York Times bestseller Why We Can't Sleep
Erma Bombeck meets Dorothy Parker in this topical and often laugh-out-loud funny take on our modern malaise.
Those only familiar with Gurwitch’s tenure (1996-2002) on the TV show Dinner and a Movie will find that it only hinted at the Thurber Award nominee’s deceptively literate talents. Not just an accomplished actress, the author is also a contributor to NPR, and her essays and satire have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the New Yorker, and the Los Angeles Times, among other publications.
Despite her becoming modesty, her accomplishments are of considerably greater import than she often allows, even if her performance and writing gigs aren’t always as remunerative as she would like. Gurwitch possesses an appealingly cockeyed sense of humor, and she offers incisive takes on consumer culture and our contemporary confusions and lighthearted (though pointed) opinions on the travails that beset many middle-age women. In a consistently engaging narrative rich with personal anecdotes, the author pokes fun at her misadventures in love, work, and home maintenance, but she also addresses other pressing matters—economic vulnerability in the gig economy, social inequities, raising nonbinary children, friendship, homelessness, wellness fads, the challenges of a life in the arts, and the mysteries of Zoom—with a similarly breezy touch that is surprisingly effective. Her account of her sudden onset of financial and emotional downward mobility is leavened with a sense of the far greater issues faced by others and punctuated with witty asides. Moonlighting as a film critic in what may be the most irresistible chapter, Gurwitch offers a wonderfully droll skewering of such fluffy wish-fulfillment movies as Something’s Gotta Give and Under the Tuscan Sun.
Gurwitch is a likable exemplar of the I’d-rather-laugh-about-it-than-cry-about-it philosophy.
National Book Review:
Droll, self-deprecating Gurwitch is very funny – like Rhoda Morgenstern on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, but delivering not so much one-liners or gags as stories that shift life’s viewfinder. Misadventures in the gig economy, fashions, wellness fads, and parenting might sink another writer, but Gurwitch’s wit, warmth, and generosity universalize them. “My kid entered college a music major,” she writes, and she “lost a son, but gained a gender nonbinary kid. The summer that Ezra got sober, they began identifying as a grammar-defying queer person, and I began relearning my pronouns one day at a time.” Onward, learning how to monetize the family nest, with a generous wit that’s welcome in this pandemic.
“The latest from Gurwitch will have readers rolling with laughter one minute and picking up the phone to commiserate with friends or family the next.”
New York Times best-selling author Gurwitch (I See You Made an Effort) is back with a coming-of-a-certain-age memoir about what it means to be part of the American middle class in steady decline. Home sharing with people experiencing homelessness, dating while gray, boomerang parenting, caring for aging parents, and eco-anxiety are just a few of the topics covered in this hilarious and honest collection of essays. Gurwitch’s perspective on both the major and the mundane will be relatable to anyone who understands how the American Dream has devolved into a fever dream. From parenting during the age of COVID-19 and Zoom meetings to living with anxiety to running out of gas on the way to celebrate family milestones, her stories are as personal as they are universal. The author is at her best when including a series of unsent letters to various people, including girlfriends, relatives, and even her mortgage company.
The latest from Gurwitch will have readers rolling with laughter one minute and picking up the phone to commiserate with friends or family the next. The author is a delightful eccentric aunt-to-all with her wit, caring, and unbeknown-to-her wisdom. For fans of Nora Ephron and Sloane Crosely alike.
“Gurwitch is an excellent companion to navigate the fraught future with.”
After writing all about her family in her last book of humorous essays, Wherever You Go, There They Are (2017), author and actor Gurwitch focuses her latest on herself. Navigating a divorce, Gurwitch finds herself alone in her house struggling to pay the bills while piecing together a career in the gig economy. She takes in renters (her first chosen simply because he is French and leaves her home smelling like bacon and cigarettes), applies to a program that pays a stipend to people providing temporary housing to homeless youth, tries to convince her girlfriends to build a compound of tiny houses, and gets creative about saving money. While her general take on all this is humorous, she writes with empathy and knowledge that her situation is nowhere near rock bottom. There are also many heartfelt moments, especially surrounding her nonbinary child. This is mostly fun stuff, but it's also honest, confronting difficult and unexpected situations that many middle-aged women may find themselves in. Gurwitch is an excellent companion to navigate the fraught future with.