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The New One: Painfully True Stories from a Reluctant Dad Audio CD – Audiobook, July 14, 2020
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"Mike Birbiglia & J. Hope Stein have written the seminal parenting tome--side-splittingly funny from the first word to the last delicious bite. It's a page-turner, wise and wise-assed, the comic hit of the year. Whether you've been a parent or ever had one: you'll love this knockout!"―Mary Karr, author of The Liars' Club, Cherry, and Lit
"Life is not the same after having children. It's delusional to pretend otherwise. But Mike Birbiglia and J. Hope Stein have not only survived, they're making their most hilarious and truthful art yet. This book might save your best friend's life."―Lin-Manuel Miranda, Pulitzer Prize Winning writer of Hamilton
"This is a brilliant, funny, big-hearted version of he-said, she-said. Birbiglia and Stein trade jokes and poems and splendid storytelling about their roundabout stumble into parenthood. It's hilarious, humane, often beautiful, and absolutely captivating."―Susan Orlean, staff writer at The New Yorker and New York Times bestselling author of The Library Book
"The genius of this book is that Mike Birbiglia and J. Hope Stein have invented a totally new form. He tells incredibly funny stories. She gives a gorgeous, epic view of the same events, in poetry (she's a published poet who's been in The New Yorker). It's about what they went through together, not wanting to have kids, and then having kids, through these two very different lenses. Their diabolical writing trick: sometimes she delivers the laughs and he delivers the feelings."―Ira Glass, host of Public Radio's This American Life
"Fusing good humor and raw honesty with selections from Stein's evocative poetry, Birbiglia narrates his journey into parenting...Hilarious, relatable, cringeworthy, and effortlessly entertaining."―Kirkus (starred review)
"In a 'town where everyone is pretending to be happy and pretending to be in good marriage and pretending to be in a nice house' it takes a poet and a comedian to tell us the truth. What is this truth? That we are lost, but trying to find ourselves, that we are awkward but long for grace, we are cruel but delight at the slightest drop of tenderness. This book is hilarious because it shows us a mirror that doesn't lie. It sings because words give delight in each simplest moment. Imagine Groucho Marx and Jane Kenyon sit at the kitchen table and compose a book of days. When nothing else helps, it is a sense of humor and a beautiful song that will get us through."―Ilya Kaminsky, author of Deaf Republic and Dancing in Odessa
"I wish I had read The New One before having a kid. Mike confronts parenthood with the kind of devastating honesty that can't help but be funny, and Jen's poems capture what prose can't. In a better world, this book would be sold with every pregnancy test in America."―Bess Kalb, author of Nobody Will Tell You This But Me
"If The New One on Broadway is a raucous, tumbling tour through the many roomed house that is Mike and Jen's journey into parenthood, then this book is a long, cozy weekend inside the home. Mike makes you coffee and settles in to tell his story at a wonderfully readable pace, bringing detail and nuance impossible to contain in the stage show. Jen's poetry is the big stunner, an outrageous treasure casually presented, emeralds strewn amongst crumbs across the kitchen table, a string of pearls hanging on a doorknob."―Jacqueline Novak, author of How to Weep in Public
"Expanded from his one-man show of the same name (and including poetry by his wife), comedian Birbiglia's rueful, hilarious take on new parenthood is a treat."―People
About the Author
In addition to performing live, Mike wrote, directed, and starred in the films Sleepwalk with Me and Don't Think Twice. His first book Sleepwalk with Me and Other Painfully True Stories was a finalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor.
As an actor, Mike has appeared on Inside Amy Schumer, HBO's Girls, and Broad City, as well as in films like Trainwreck, The Fault in Our Stars, and Popstar. He played recurring roles in Orange is the New Black and Billions. He is a frequent contributor to public radio's This American Life and The Moth Radio Hour and was honored in 2017 with the Kurt Vonnegut Award for humor.
J. Hope Stein is a poet, and the author of Little Astronaut. Her work has been published in the New York Times, the New Yorker and Poetry International.
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Not a lot of people are willing to be honest and describe the struggle they had with deciding to have a child and the aftermath of raising a child. I think he does a great job describing his feelings as a new father and his insecurities that made it difficult to feel like he was parenting right. A lot of father's probably feel similar because the bond a mother creates with her child is lacking with the father, even after the child is born. The father has to build that intimate bond with his child from scratch.
Not everyone wants children, not everyone is meant to be a parent, but for many, even those that didn't want children, they eventually find the joy and meaning a child brings, no matter how difficult it is.
I like that he acknowledges he and his wife lied to themselves by claiming having a child wouldn't change things. Too many people go into parenthood with this mindset, but it's false. A child changes everything. I think Birbiglia and his wife's strong relationship is a reason they were able to overcome the struggle.
I loved many of his wife's poems that are sprinkled throughout the book, although some went over my head, and I'm not big into poetry.
Overall, a great read and recommended for those considering having a child.