Sure, I'll Join Your Cult: A Memoir of Mental Illness and the Quest to Belong Anywhere (Hardcover)
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
From “weird, scary, ingenious” (The New York Times) stand-up comedian Maria Bamford, a brutally honest and hilariously frenetic memoir about show business, mental health, and the comfort of rigid belief systems—from Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, to Suzuki violin training, to Richard Simmons, to 12-step programs.
Maria Bamford is a comedian’s comedian (an outsider among outsiders) and has forever fought to find a place to belong. From struggling with an eating disorder as a child of the 1980s, to navigating a career in the arts (and medical debt and psychiatric institutionalization), she has tried just about every method possible to not only be a part of the world, but to want to be a part of it.
In Bamford’s signature voice, Sure, I’ll Join Your Cult, brings us on a quest to participate in something. With sincerity and transparency, she recounts every anonymous fellowship she has joined (including but not limited to: Debtors Anonymous, Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, and Overeaters Anonymous), every hypomanic episode (from worrying about selling out under capitalism to enforcing union rules on her Netflix TV show set to protect her health), and every easy 1-to-3-step recipe for fudge in between.
Singular and inimitable, Bamford’s memoir explores what it means to keep going, and to be a member of society (or any group she’s invited to) despite not being very good at it. In turn, she hopes to transform isolating experiences into comedy that will make you feel less alone (without turning into a cult following).
About the Author
Maria Bamford is the star of The Maria Bamford Show, Ask My Mom, and Lady Dynamite. She was deemed Breakout Comedy Star at Just for Laughs, and her critically acclaimed work includes her stand-up specials Weakness Is the Brand, Old Baby, and Maria Bamford: The Special, Special, Special!, as well as two Comedy Central Presents specials. Maria’s writing has been featured in The New York Times, LA Weekly, and more. She is the author of the audio original You Are (A Comedy) Special. Maria has contributed comedic voice-overs for Big Mouth, BoJack Horseman, Adventure Time, Word Girl, Kung Fu Panda, Legend of Korra, and Teenage Euthanasia. For her mental health advocacy, she’s been presented with The OCD Foundation’s Illumination Award and featured at the Psychotherapy Networker Symposium, The Chautauqua Institution, and the Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy and Ethics Symposium. She’s not always right for these rooms, but she’s on time and pleasant. (From Maria: This was all in the third person. My apologies. If you need help, dial 911 or 988 or call Delta airlines Diamond line. Health care can be expensive and sometimes, super shitty. Go get yourself that shitty-ass help and tell me how it went!)
“Bamford creates an effective mix of introduction (or reintroduction) to a fascinating comedian, a guide to the self-help industry, and an encouragingly lighthearted, respectful assessment of mental health, reminding readers that they are not alone. Laugh-out-loud funny, weird, and touching—a great example of what a celebrity memoir can bring to readers.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred)
“There’s an authenticity to her words that elevates them into something beyond the category of comedy memoir… Bamford has created a work destined to shine much-needed light on mental illness. Illuminating those serious moments with humor is her true triumph.”
“In her signature oddball style, [Bamford] honestly and hilariously discusses all…while offering some weighty (yet somehow still funny) analysis of mental health stigma, our broken health care system, and those that take advantage of people in genuine need of help. Those who love Maria Bamford will love this, and those who don’t might by the end.”
—Booklist (starred review)
“[T]he book shines with Bamford’s brilliance, relentless humor, and insatiable instinct for survival … Raw and discomfiting, but completely compelling. This is an essential read for Bamford fans.”
“[H]ilarious, devastating, fascinating… Celebrated comedian Maria Bamford is a winsome and unapologetic tour guide through her own life, reflecting on her search for achievement, belonging and healing.”
“[A] hilarious, eyebrow-raising debut memoir … It’s all delivered with Bamford’s trademark blend of disarming intimacy and dark whimsy. The result is a consistently funny and occasionally heartbreaking glimpse into a unique comedic mind.”
“Sure, I'll Join Your Cult is a wry, blunt, service-y, sometimes cranky, and largely exuberant stroll through the modern self-help and support-group scene.”
“Maria Bamford’s writing is laugh-out-loud funny. Her brain is a national treasure.”
—Jennette McCurdy, #1 New York Times bestselling author of I’m Glad My Mom Died
“If Maria Bamford had a cult, I'd join it.”
—Rachel Bloom, author of I Want to be Where the Normal People Are
“Maria is the kind of comedian you watch and think, ‘I’ve gotta write more and I’ve gotta think deeper.’ I’m glad she’s in the world.”
—Patton Oswalt, New York Times bestselling author of Zombie Spaceship Wasteland and Silver Screen Fiend
“Maria Bamford is deeply funny. her understanding of the world and her place in it is so specific to her brain and the many beautiful, bizarre voices that live inside it. Read this book to better understand one of our most special minds.”
“A brutal and honest look at battling mental health. Is it funny?…Of course…It’s Maria, but it’s also gut wrenching. Take Maria’s hand and walk with her through good times, bad times, and coocoo for coco puffs times.”
“Maria Bamford is my absolute favorite comedian. Read this book NOW!”
—Tig Notaro, author of I’m Just a Person