Sarah Silverman: ‘This Was My First Book and Last’

By Maryann Yin 


Comedian Sarah Silverman told a Brooklyn Book Fair audience yesterday that she probably won’t write another book. “For me, this was my first book and last,” she explained.

Silverman shared the stage with humorist David Rakoff at the book fair, reading from her memoir, The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and PeeBedwetter.

She read a chapter derived from her father’s recorded messages on her answering machine, mimicking his strong New England accent. During the Q&A period, she described her writing experience: “It was really lonely. And it’s not like stand-up where you get kind of immediate feedback … I found myself writing the way I felt writers write. Using big fancy words and metaphors. And that’s all good, but it didn’t sound anything like me.

She continued: “It was like, you know when you go on Terry Gross. When I first went on Terry Gross [in a blase, yet sophisticated tone] I felt like I had to talk like this. ‘You know Terry…’ [Back in normal voice] What am I doing? This is not me. But, you have to break out of what you picture someone who writes a book. Just really write the way you talk only with less ‘likes.'”

She concluded: “Writing at home did not work for me. And I realized that after a long time. There’s way too many distractions, especially my bed … I would go to hotel lobbies because they’re clean and empty and they’ll bring you coffee and there’s plugs. And that became a secret for me because anyone who’s around, you feel like you want them to think you’re working on something so it forces you to work on something. So, that was my experience.”

Silverman released her memoir in April. We reported on her multimillion dollar book deal last year. Later this month, Rakoff will publish his third anthology of autobiographical essays, Half Empty.