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Comedian Shawn Hitchins explores his irreverent nature in this debut collection of essays. Hitchins doesn’t shy away from his failures or celebrate his mild successes: he sacrifices them for an audience’s amusement. He roasts his younger self, the effeminate ginger-haired kid with a competitive streak. The ups and downs of being a sperm donor to a lesbian couple. Then the fiery redhead professes his love for actress Shelley Long; declares his hatred of musical theatre; and recounts a summer in Provincetown spent working as a drag queen.
Nothing is sacred. His first major break-up, how his mother plotted the murder of the family cat, his difficult relationship with his father, becoming an unintentional spokesperson for all redheads, and
mandy moore many more.
Blunt, awkward, emotional, ribald . . . this overly personal cycle of stories reads like an anthology of humiliation with PTSD-like flashbacks that culminate in a greater understanding of love, work, and family. Like the final scene in a Murder She Wrote episode, A Brief History of Oversharing promises everyone the A-ha! moment Oprah tells us to experience. Paired with bourbon, Scottish wool, and Humpty Dumpty Party Mix, this journey is best read through a lens of Schadenfreude.
“Thank you, Shawn Hitchins, for oversharing. Any loss of dignity you experienced from writing this memoir is a laugh-out-loud funny gain for the rest of us.”
— Rick Mercer
“I am so glad I am not Shawn Hitchins, but I sure wish I could write like him. A Brief History of Oversharing is hilarious and heartwarming. Reading it is like sharing a warm bath with the man himself. At least I hope it’s the bath that’s warm . . .”
— Michael Urie, actor
(Modern Family, Ugly Betty)
“Hitchins has a gift for telling outwardly repulsive stories in a way that actually draws people in. He doesn’t gloss over hard times, but he does counterbalance them with a self-deprecating, snarky humor that trades tears for laughter. He’s not kidding when he says he’s oversharing, but somehow he makes the mix of raw emotion and salty hilarity work.”
— Foreword Reviews
CBC Radio 1, Here & Now.