Agorafabulous by Sara Benincasa

You may recognize comedian and now author Sara Benincasa from her videos, blog, CNN interviews and Sarah Palin impressions. Our friends over at WIlliam Morrow sent us an advance copy of her first-ever book, Agorafabulous: Dispatches from My Bedroom, which releases February 14. In it, Sara unveils her personal struggle with agoraphobia – that is to say, she has a fear of open spaces.

Pause for a sec and read that last sentence again. Now, can you imagine living with severe anxiety, panic attacks and the fear of having a panic attack every day of your life?

In Agorafabulous, Sara rather candidly admits to a number of everyday tasks that, for her, become anxiety-ridden — even a trip to the bathroom. In chapter one, she itemizes her level of fear in an abridged chart, outlining the degree with which she’s been afraid of things like taking the bus and having a wet head. There are some truly awkward moments in her self-described “freak outs” (but hey, we all have awkward moments, right?).

Although it uses the vehicle of comedy, her work addresses a serious topic. Her book reaches out to other people who suffer with mental illnesses and screams YOU’RE NOT ALONE!

“I subscribe to the notion that if you can laugh at the sh#!&est moments in your life, you can transcend them. And if other people can laugh at your awful sh*t as well, then I guess you can call yourself a comedian.”

~ Sara Benincasa

Her comedic storytelling is exuberant. And, make no mistake, Sara is blunt. Perhaps you don’t have a fear of leaving your bedroom, but you may find yourself relating to the vulnerable nature of her confessions and laughing aloud at her honest self-assessments. There’s something wildly bare and relatable about Sara’s writing, similar in voice to that of Tina Fey.

Sara now lives in the wide open spaces of New York City, where “most people are even crazier than I am.” There, she continues to perform her one-woman comedy show on stage. And rumor has it there’s already a film adaptation of Agorafabulous in the works.

Does Agorafabulous remind you of any other memoirs you’d recommend?

— Meredith

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