How To Be A Person In The World: Ask Polly's Guide Through The Paradoxes Of Modern Life by Heather HavrileskyHow To Be A Person In The World: Ask Polly's Guide Through The Paradoxes Of Modern Life by Heather Havrilesky

How To Be A Person In The World: Ask Polly's Guide Through The Paradoxes Of Modern Life

byHeather Havrilesky

Hardcover | July 12, 2016

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*A New York Times Love and Relationships bestseller*

For readers of Cheryl Strayed and Anne Lamott, a collection of brand new, impassioned, and inspiring letters by the author of the beloved advice column Ask Polly, featured weekly on New York Magazine's The Cut

Should you quit your day job to follow your dreams? How do you rein in an overbearing mother? Will you ever stop dating wishy-washy, noncommittal guys? Should you put off having a baby for your career? 

Heather Havrilesky, the author of the weekly advice column Ask Polly, featured in New York magazine’s The Cut, is here to guide you through the “what if’s” and “I don’t knows” of modern life with the signature wisdom and tough love her readers have come to expect. 

How to Be a Person in the World
is a collection of never-before-published material along with a few fan favorites. Whether she’s responding to cheaters or loners, lovers or haters, the depressed or the down-and-out, Havrilesky writes with equal parts grace, humor, and compassion to remind you that even in your darkest moments you’re not alone.
HEATHER HAVRILESKY is the author of the memoir Disaster Preparedness. She has written for New York magazine, The New York Times Book Review, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times Magazine, Bookforum, The New Yorker, NPR's All Things Considered, and several anthologies. She was a TV critic at Salon for seven years. She lives in Lo...
Title:How To Be A Person In The World: Ask Polly's Guide Through The Paradoxes Of Modern LifeFormat:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 8.5 × 5.8 × 0.9 inPublished:July 12, 2016Publisher:Knopf Doubleday Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0385540396

ISBN - 13:9780385540391

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from For any girl and every girl I started reading Heather's columns in NY Mag as Ask Polly years ago and I'm still amazed at how with every sentence you can feel how invested she is. She doesn't try to tell you what you want to hear but explains solutions to abstract problems in a tangible and often empowering way, sparing you any flowery cheese.
Date published: 2016-11-22

Read from the Book

Author’s Note In the fall of 2012, I pitched an existential advice column to The Awl, a website that publishes smart, original takes on modern culture. At the time, I was a regular contributor to the New York Times Magazine, writing mostly essays about pop culture, and I had a column called the Best-Seller List in Bookforum. I’d spent seven years as a TV critic for, I’d written a cartoon called Filler for (the Internet’s first daily website!) for five years before that, and I’d answered advice letters on my own blog as early as 2001. But this was something new. I’d never dished up advice to a wider audience. When The Awl’s co-founder, Choire Sicha, said yes to my idea, he made it clear that the column could be anything I wanted it to be. But what did I want it to be? Obviously, I had all kinds of outspoken, sometimes unwelcome advice to offer friends, family, and complete strangers alike. I’d been handing out unsolicited advice for years. But did I want the column to be funny? Did I want to use the column to rail against the scourge of passivity and avoidance in modern relationships or to address our culture’s burdensome fixation on constant self-improvement? Did I want to sneak in some commentary on troubled friendships, Kanye West, weddings, rescue dogs, luxe brands, commitmentphobic men, property ownership, the artist’s life, pushy mothers-in-law, or Game of Thrones?As it turned out, I wanted to do all of these things, and eventually I did. But when I was sitting down to write my first weekly column, I just felt scared. “Who do I think I am, giving other people advice?” I thought. “I’m not qualified for this! I don’t have it all figured out. What the hell am I doing?” I’ve been asking myself that same question every week for four years now. And when Stella Bugbee, the editorial director for New York magazine’s website The Cut, approached me about taking my advice column over to her site, I wondered what she was thinking. Sure, this meant a much larger audience for Ask Polly and more money for me. But did she really know what she was signing on to? “You know my column is three thousand words long every week, and half of those words are ‘fuck,’ right?” I asked her. Somehow, this didn’t scare her off. I don’t always feel qualified to guide other people to a better life. As a writer, even when I’m sitting down to start a book review or a cultural essay, as I’ve done professionally for years now, the blank page mocks me. “What could you possibly have to say?” it asks. “When are you going to give this up and do something useful with your life?” The blank page can be a real asshole sometimes. Still, nothing I do brings me more happiness than writing Ask Polly. I’m not always sure of the right answer for any letter, whether someone is dealing with depression and anxiety, a go-nowhere job, a series of not-quite boyfriends, or an overly critical parent. But I do know for certain that when I reach out as far as I can to another person, using my words—my awkward, angry, uplifting, uncertain, joyful, clumsy words (half of which are still “fuck”)—some kind of magic happens. There is magic that comes from reaching out. I don’t believe in many things, but I believe in that, with all of my heart.

Bookclub Guide

How To Be A Person in The World: Readers Guide 1.     If you could ask Polly any question, what would it be? 2.     Polly is known for her tough love—does this approach work for you? 3.     Even though the truth can be hard, do you see value in the author’s honesty? 4.     Polly is a self-care advocate: what are some different methods of self-care she mentions that she thinks you might be able to apply to your own life? Do you agree with her about the importance of exercise to self-discovery and betterment? 5.     Did How To Be A Person in The World leave you creatively inspired? 6.     Which essay resonated the most with you? 7.     Were there any questions that you couldn’t apply to your own life? If so, why? 8.     Why do you think the book was titled “How To Be A Person in The World”? 9.     Did you have a favorite quote from any of Polly’s answers? 10.    Why do you think Heather Havrilesky adopted the persona of “Polly” for her advice column?

Editorial Reviews

*Esquire Best Books of 2016* *Harper’s Bazaar Editors Favorite Books of 2016**PopSugar Best Books of 2016* *Nylon Best Books of 2016*"A genuinely humorous and compelling voice...Havrilesky's writerly energy and passion confirm that the exchange of best friend wisdom -- a domain that has always been considered 'female,' and therefore trivial -- can be elevated into art." —Jessi Klein, New York Times Book Review "[Havrilesky] is part Buddha and part Amy Schumer: wise, whip-smart, and profanely funny." —Entertainment Weekly"The best advice columnist of her generation"—Esquire “The title of Heather Havrilesky's How to Be a Person in the World is almost too cute.... Like: do we really need a guide to that, and is that really what this is? But it turns out the answers are yes, actually, and yes.” —Chicago Tribune   “There’s something nourishing in every column… But sometimes she writes things that are like opening up the fridge and finding the universe inside.” —The Atlantic"What I love so much about Heather Havrilesky and her new book is that, beside being her usual brilliant, hilarious, equally kick-ass and compassionate self, ‎she actually gives great advice. How to be a Person in the World will change your life, for the way better."  —Anne Lamott, New York Times bestselling author of Small Victories  “A large-hearted reminder that all of us are struggling, and none of us are alone.” —Kate Bolick, author of the national bestseller Spinster   “Heather Havrilesky’s advice leaves me laughing, nodding in recognition, pumping my fist with excitement, and furiously underlining passages to capture the wisdom that drops out of her mouth.... This is more than an advice book — it’s a life raft."  —Sarah Hepola, New York Times bestselling author of Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget  “True to its title, this collection touches on nearly every facet of living, and Havrilesky’s wit, intelligence, and candor set her apart as perhaps the best advice columnist currently in circulation.”  —Publishers Weekly   "Funny, frank advice for people searching for solutions to a myriad of relationship issues." —Kirkus Review  “Readers allergic to classic self-help will adore Havrilesky’s empowering, grounding, and utterly sincere message delivered in a lovingly unsparing, perfectly profane tone.” —Booklist (Starred Review)  “In moments of despair, Havrilesky's elegant writing and rock-solid judgment can change your entire outlook. Read How to Be a Person in the World for the advice, but stay for the pure magic that is her perceptiveness and prose.” —Paper Magazine"Saying that Havrilesky has a way with words is like saying Marilyn Monroe liked diamonds. Havrilesky doesn’t just write—she dances with the words, building empathetic responses that can’t be classified as just advice columns. They are more keen observations of human behavior." —BookPage “[Havrilesky is] an alluringly wry cheerleader, an enthusiastic volunteer offering sports drinks as we struggle past during the half-marathon of life.” —Slate Book Review  “She is not only an excellent writer and cultural critic, but the best possible agony aunt for people who don’t care for agony aunts.... And she has an exceptional ability to hit the nail on the head and fundamentally understand people.” —The Guardian“Heather Havrilesky… is both the first and last person you'd seek out for guidance. On one hand, she'll shake you by the shoulders and tell you the truth. On the other, she's the friend rooting you on, cursing (creatively) all the way… Havrilesky abandons the prim and proper and instead delivers delightfully offbeat wisdom with a side of straight talk.”—NPR"Heather Havrilesky, who if there's any justice in this unforgiving universe should become the first person to win both a Nobel and Pulitzer Prize for an advice column"—Stuff Nation (New Zealand)