Tina Fey, author, actress, comedy writer and Upper Darby native, shared her thoughts on female author and journalists in an AP online interview on Tuesday. Fey also jumped into the fray created by author and former reporter for the New York Times, Gay Talese, who is one of the originators of the New Journalism movement of the 1960s and 70s, was asked at a conference on 2 April to name any female writers who inspired him. “I didn’t know any women writers that I loved,” he was reported to have said, sparking criticism from women in the audience.”
Fey broke through in 1995 on Saturday Night Live as a writer and actress. She was the first female head writer for the show and since leaving the show, Fey has written hit movies, such as “Mean Girls ” in 2004 and has written and starred in the television series 30 Rock, for which she has garnered two Emmys.
In the interview, Fey, was asked about if she had any non-fiction recommendations. Fey said that “I enjoyed Diane von Furstenberg’s autobiography. I loved ‘Americanah’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I’m currently reading ‘Dinosaurs in the Attic’ — non-fiction about the American Museum of Natural History.” She then went on to give Talese a bit of a jab by saying, “Nothing by Gay Talese has moved me.”
In the email interview Fey gave readers an insight into her book “Bossypants,” which has sold 3.75 million copies, according to Little, Brown and Co. Fey told of how all she wanted from the publication of the book was not to be humiliated. She stated that “My goal was just to avoid humiliation. After years of writing character-based comedy in a group process with other writers, a book “about me written by me alone” made me feel panicky and vulnerable. I kept telling my husband, “This is going to ruin me.”
Fey may have balked at the $6 million advance that she received for “Bossypants” but her book of essays helped to prove that there is a market for other female comedy writers such as Amy Poehler’s “Yes Please” and Mindy Kaling’s “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?” The market shows that smartly written nonfiction by such female authors Chelsea Handler is in demand. Never one to let a laugh pass Fey in answer to this question, why do you think it has done so well, beyond, of course, your fame and the quality of the writing? Fey said that “It’s also edible. Well, I guess all books are if you’re hungry enough.”