Autobiographies are by nature selfish. It is where authors have free reign to divulge all they want in their one sided argument and to hide whatever they don’t want the world to see. They have the privilege to say the right things and show themselves in the best light.
This is where Amy Poehler’s book was a shocker; to start off she shares her wonderful thoughts on writing and the challenge that writing the book was for her. She details the events of her life from infancy to today and what is most striking is the brutal honesty she carried out throughout the course of the book.
When you read ‘Yes Please’ you aren’t struck by the level of panache that went into writing it, nor are you blown away by the great underlying themes of her sentences calling to you to delve further into the personality she has cultivated all these years. What you are struck by is the sheer simplicity in the manner that she addresses the reader.
‘Yes Please’ is a memoir discussed among friends over a cup of coffee, or over the phone. ‘Yes Please’ is a conversation and an honest outpour of all that makes Amy, Amy.
Before we even begin the book itself, the unabashed preface takes you off into a direction where you find that someone millions of miles away from you feels just as vulnerable when penning down her thoughts. She describes the exhaustion and physical toll that writing a book has on you and piles on the humor along with it.
But don’t be misled. Yes Please isn’t a book about comedy. It is littered with humor because it is the very essence of the author but it is strictly not a book about comedy, but it is also shy of an autobiography.When writing she even overlooks her divorce because she didn’t want to share the details. If you’re going to read the book to understand more about Amy Poehler’s life, then you might feel shortchanged.
What Amy’s Book is – a catharsis. It seems as if she has purged her soul and left it within pages to be distributed to the world so that others may learn from it.
If you wanted an older wiser sister who would guide you through minuscule problems of your life, this would be it. She talks about friendships and love and pain and wraps them up so brilliantly within her writing that you can’t help but like her.
Likability, however, isn’t something that creates authors.With all the redeeming aspects of the book and the conversation that she carries with the reader until the very end, it is easy to begin to think of the book as much more than it is. And so we return to our very first point, Memoirs are in fact selfish but ‘Yes Please’ harnesses that in splendid and often deceptive ways.