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

Hardcover | July 12, 2016

byHeather Havrilesky

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By the author of the popular advice column Ask Polly, featured weekly on New York Magazine's The Cut, this is a collection of brand new, impassioned, and inspiring letters

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.

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From the Publisher

By the author of the popular advice column Ask Polly, featured weekly on New York Magazine's The Cut, this is a collection of brand new, impassioned, and inspiring lettersShould 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...

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...

other books by Heather Havrilesky

Disaster Preparedness: A Memoir
Disaster Preparedness: A Memoir

Kobo ebook|Dec 30 2010


Format: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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Editorial Reviews

"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“Heather Havrilesky is that rare writer who can dish out tangy snark but never fails to aim the knife back at her own damaged, hilarious heart. She’s dealing, brilliantly, with the curse of having too much insight—into herself and the world around her. Required reading.”  —Patton Oswalt, New York Times bestselling author of Silver Screen Fiend“Sometimes I think Heather Havrilesky’s Ask Polly column is the only true thing on the Internet. Week after week, while everyone else parrots and postures, she addresses the foibles and ennui of strangers, bucking up someone here, giving a kick in the pants there. Along the way, she offers up a slyly powerful critique of the ways in which culture shapes the individual. How To Be a Person In the World distills her salty, expansive wisdom into a guide for better living that's both pragmatic and philosophical, 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. At a time when we’re all navigating so many cheap and conflicting messages of how to be cooler, smarter, and happier, Ask Polly is a powerful reminder to listen to ourselves. 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“Under her Ask Polly moniker, Havrilesky dishes radically honest, no-nonsense advice tempered with self-deprecating humor, gleeful profanity and an unfettered voice… It doesn't feel like schadenfreude to read Ask Polly because she meets her reader's vulnerability with her own.”—Los Angeles Times“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…. Deeply personal [and] funny…. If you are even a little bit interested in people and the world, then this book will interest you. And if you think you aren't interested in people or the world, then you should read this book anyway because it might surprise you by proving that there's a lot to reward such interest—and compassion and empathy—after all.” —Chicago Tribune"A few years ago I wouldn’t be caught dead reading a self-help I’m toting around How to Be a Person in the World... in broad daylight, around other humans, without a deceiving book jacket! Whether you’re already an Ask Polly fangirl or new to her tough-love approach to advice, this collection of old and new letters with responses, plus fun existential cartoons, will light a fire under your butt in the warmest, most loving way possible." —New York Magazine's The Cut"Among a certain set of mostly young people, mostly women, the mindset that Havrilesky preaches – in short, be yourself and ask for what you want – is almost gospel. (“What would Heather Havrilesky tell you to do?” another friend asked me recently, in response to some romantic quandary.) But Havrilesky’s columns aren’t really peddling advice. They offer empathy...What Havrilesky does so effectively is to mimic, as closely as a stranger can, the sort of back-and-forth talking-through that you would have with a friend."—The New Statesman"'There is such warmth and honesty in Heather Havrilesky’s writing,' says Astoria Bookshop owner Lexi Beach. 'Reading this collection makes me wish I could sit down with her for coffee or drinks and get her take on my own life.'"—New York Post, A Summer Must-Read"I never send group emails and I especially don't send "quotes" (because I am not yet a mom), but I once sent a quote from Havrilesky's Cut column and every single woman wrote back, 'I needed to read that.'"—Man Repeller (Best Summer Beach Read)[E]qual parts humor, tough love and genuinely solid advice.—The Houston Chronicle"If you believe advice can’t be a summer read you’ve never encountered Havrilesky, who has the amazing ability to entertain while also helping you feel so much better about absolutely everything."—Health Magazine - 12 Best Books to Read at the Beach (or Anywhere)"The piquant, beautiful, vital Ask Polly started as a column on internet curio cabinet The Awl before finding a home on The Cut, but the kind of advice that Heather Havrilesky slings is way too important to live hidden away in browser tabs. Like a more profane, less precious Dear Sugar, Havrilesky’s advice is strident just where it needs to be, without sacrificing empathy. It is the kind of book you should keep on your bedside table to turn to in times of duress or when you just need someone with a little more sense to tell you how it is and what it looks like and how it should be." —The Frisky"Jam-packed with hilariously frank and useful words of wisdom on everything from jobs and relationships to overbearing mothers (and mothers-in-law).... Havrilesky’s voice is a breath of fresh air."—PureWow"With the caring but no-holds-barred voice of a close friend who knows you all too well...[Havrilesky's] answers are often full of irreverent commentary and always contain some well-placed cursing, but at the heart of each is a plea to graciously accept the juddering path of mere existence, even at its worst moments, and embrace the vulnerability of the moment just as it is...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"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"Havrilesky will tell it straight...Funny, frank advice for people searching for solutions to a myriad of relationship issues." —Kirkus Review