The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl

In the bestselling tradition of Sloane Crosley’s I Was Told There’d Be Cake and Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, a collection of humorous essays on what it’s like to be unabashedly awkward in a world that regards introverts as hapless misfits, and black as cool.

My name is “J” and I’m awkward—and black. Someone once told me those were the two worst things anyone could be. That someone was right. Where do I start?

Being an introvert in a world that glorifies cool isn’t easy. But when Issa Rae, the creator of the Shorty Award–winning hit series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl,” is that introvert—whether she’s navigating love, work, friendships, or “rapping”—it sure is entertaining. Now, in this debut collection of essays written in her witty and self-deprecating voice, Rae covers everything from cybersexing in the early days of the Internet to deflecting unsolicited comments on weight gain, from navigating the perils of eating out alone and public displays of affection to learning to accept yourself—natural hair and all.

A reflection on her own unique experiences as a cyber pioneer yet universally appealing, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl is a book no one—awkward or cool, black, white, or other—will want to miss.
  • Atria / 37 INK | 
  • 224 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476749051 | 
  • February 2015

Video

Behind the Book: The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl

Dawn Davis, editor of 'The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl', tells about adapting the Shorty Award–winning hit web series of the same name starring Issa Rae into a book.

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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

Introduction

Issa Rae has never felt comfortable in the middle of a Save the Last Dance–style circle. She’s always worn the wrong pants, kissed the wrong boy, felt the wrong way, or simply been the wrong girl. The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl is a dazzling collection of essays about growing up learning to love the things in your life that make it unique, even when those things also make it mighty awkward. She writes about being a black girl who just can’t dance, about being unhappy working in a cubicle as her Web series was taking off, about (not) arriving at a personal fashion sense, about the difficulty of her parents’ divorce, and about finding and losing love, again and again. Throughout the book, Rae is honest, insightful, and laugh-out-loud funny—and of course, arrestingly awkward.

Questions and Topics for Discussion

1. Rae writes candidly about her family in nearly all of her essays. How does she use humor to write about very private family stories in a very public way? see more

About the Author

Issa Rae
Photograph by Kat Contreras

Issa Rae

With her own unique flare and infectious sense of humor, Issa Rae’s content has garnered more than twenty-five million views and more than 200,000 subscribers on YouTube. In addition to making the Forbes“30 Under 30” list twice and winning the 2012 Shorty Award for Best Web Show for her hit series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, Issa Rae has worked on web content for Pharrell Williams, Tracey Edmonds, and numerous others. She developed a TV series with Shonda Rhimes for ABC and is currently developing a half-hour comedy, Insecure, for HBO. Issa has received national attention with major media outlets including The New York Times, CNN, Elle, Seventeen, Rolling Stone, VIBE, Fast Company, MSNBC, Essence, and more.

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