A David Sedaris-style family memoir, "Dark at the Roots" is the hilarious true story of a girl who was often too precocious for her own good. Given the nickname "little liar" by her father around the time she started talking, Sarah Thyre was the second of five children to be born into a southern family of Roman Catholics. Confused by this endearment, but eager to live up to it, Sarah quickly managed to get herself into precarious situations. Whether it is small Sarah accidentally going "poddy" in the garage during a game of hide-and-seek, medium-sized Sarah surviving a fishing trip with her volatile father, or full-sized Sarah unwittingly stealing a car from her boyfriend's employer, grown-up Sarah shares each story with self-effacing sincerity and a seemingly invincible sense of humour. The ability to turn pain to punch lines is a skill that Sarah honed by necessity: Her father was unpredictably moody and routinely lashed out at his young family until eventually Sarah's mother moved her four girls and newborn son out of the "comfort" of marriage and into the uncertainty of single parenting.
The regular meals and the indoor heating were soon drained from their middle-class lifestyle. Still, Sarah boldly tried to maintain a facade of wealth - fooling no one but herself. This memoir flees from Sarah's childhood with the high-wire urgency of improv comedy and the ever-teetering forward momentum of a runaway toddler while holding tight to the bits that made her the wry, deeply funny person she is today.
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(210mm x 140mm x 29mm)
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US Kirkus Review »
Witty, mildly raunchy memoir of a precociously perceptive child who grows into a smart and smart-mouthed adolescent.Comedian Thyre (Late Night with Conan O'Brien; Strangers with Candy) uses caricature and exaggeration to create a funny picture of growing up in the 1970s and '80s. At first, she's part of a middle-class Catholic family with a quick-tempered, blue-collar father and an environmentally correct mother, but when her parents divorce, the Thyres slip down a notch or two on the economic scale. To keep up appearances, her resourceful mother resorts to reattaching the same Lacoste alligator to garment after cheap garment. Thyre derives much humor from bodily functions, writing about vomit, asthma attacks, the contents of her sibling's diapers and feminine-hygiene products. Her youthful explorations of pornography and the mental and physical shortcomings of others provide further grist for her humor mill. She has a sharp ear for dialogue and a keen eye for the slights and cruelties that children and adolescents blithely inflict on each other and on the adults around them. Her wit turns what might, in other hands, have been a self-pitying memoir into a bright, amusing story. When shit happens - her father is disappointingly indifferent to her needs, the family vacation ends disastrously - Thyre doesn't bemoan the situation. Rather, she reports it with zest and a twist of wry.Chick-lit with zingers. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Sarah Thyre
Sarah Thyre is an actress, comedienne, and writer who has performed on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," "Strangers with Candy," "Upright Citizens Brigade," and "TV Funhouse." She has written and performed her own work on National Public Radio, freshyarn.com, live onstage at New York's Luna Lounge, UCB Theatre, L.A.'s Comedy Central Stage, and ImprovOlympic. Her acting credits include "The Real Live Brady Bunch," as well as plays by Amy and David Sedaris, including the Obie-winning One Woman Shoe and Lincoln Center's Incident at Cobbler's Knob. For many years, she also published her own humour-zine, "Thyrezine." She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and child.