Dear Girls by Ali Wong

eBook Dear Girls by Ali Wong download

08/17/2019   |   by admin

Ali Wong’s heartfelt and hilarious letters to her daughters (the two she put to work while they were still in utero), covering everything they need to know in life, like the unpleasant details of dating, how to be a working mom in a male-dominated profession, and how she trapped their dad.

Dear Girls by Ali Wong

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Dear Girls by Ali Wong details:

  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Random House (October 15, 2019)
  • Publication Date: October 15, 2019
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B07PZ4H1N2

eBook summary Dear Girls by Ali Wong

In her hit Netflix comedy special Baby Cobra, an eight-month pregnant Ali Wong resonated so heavily that she became a popular Halloween costume. Wong told the world her remarkably unfiltered thoughts on marriage, sex, Asian culture, working women, and why you never see new mom comics on stage but you sure see plenty of new dads.

The sharp insights and humor are even more personal in this completely original collection. She shares the wisdom she’s learned from a life in comedy and reveals stories from her life off stage, including the brutal singles life in New York (i.e. the inevitable confrontation with erectile dysfunction), reconnecting with her roots (and drinking snake blood) in Vietnam, tales of being a wild child growing up in San Francisco, and parenting war stories. Though addressed to her daughters, Ali Wong’s letters are absurdly funny, surprisingly moving, and enlightening (and disgusting) for all.

I truly feared this book would be fluff. Instead it is fearless and real.

Ali Wong says how we all feel: I’m not fine. Yet in her resilience and grit she is able to turn childhood resentment, male rejection, discrimination, getting boo’d offstage, the fear of a prenup, and a bushy pussy into the best things that could have happened to her.

I laughed out loud as I imagined Ali’s exaggerated comedy voice confessing life moments like this one when she was pregnant:

After a while, I couldn’t see my vagina when I looked down, because all I could see was my belly. But when I stared at myself in the mirror, my vagina just looked like an ancient wise Chinese man from a fairy tale that got stuck in a cave and survived off yams. The hair was so damn long and neglected. My nipples became progressively bigger and darker. One day I noticed the tips were starting to look a little scaly and naturally rubbed them. Some bits started to flake off like tiny brown boogers. And I just sat on the bathroom floor completely naked, with a garbage can between my thighs, picking at my nipples. Daddy walked in on me while I was completely focused on this important activity and asked , “Are you harvesting your nipples?” I didn’t even look at him and just responded, “Well, obviously.”

So many times I said YES I totally get that. It wasn’t just because we shared a common Asian experience but often because we shared a common human experience. I applaud her courage in sharing so nakedly (sometimes literally nakedly so be prepared for some frank language).

Asian women live forever and having kids is like a 401(k) for companionship YES
If a man rejects you once you’ve physically made a move on him, he’s not going to change his mind. The dick don’t lie. YES
What I have in common with stay-at-home moms: We are all just doing our best.YES
I’ve felt an increasing amount of jealousy and resentment from certain white male comics… I hear that line a lot: ‘Me, I’m just another white guy.’ Here’s a solution: Try being a funnier white guy. YES
It broke my heart. I said, ‘This is torture. I can’t handle this anymore. ‘ YES
The most important part of parenting, relationships, pretty much anything – is just actually being there. YES

A friend and I worried because in the intro Ali tries to set our expectations low about her writing. But while her prose isn’t exquisite in that way where you can rhapsodize over gloriously minute details, it is weighted with truth which far exceeded my expectations. 5 stars.

P.S. I have a secret hope that Ali and I are meant to be good friends, for her sister is also named Mimi and her best friend has half my name Miya. But wait would that make me superfluous? I am not too proud to be a 3rd Mimi.

(I got my hot little hands on an ARC from secret sources.) I really liked the book except for the last chapter from the author’s husband, which ended up making me like the whole book less.

First, the chapter was insipidly self-congratulatory and he is boring so I do not care what he has to say. Congratulations on being okay with being rich?

Second, the rest of the book is so funny and vulgar – a lot like Ali Wong’s standup – and suffused with so much love for the titular girls. There are so many extremely gross and hilarious stories about giving birth and babies and childcare…and then in the husband’s chapter there’s a brief throwaway mention of the girls’ Ukrainian nanny who is not mentioned even once in the rest of the book and I was just like “hmm”. Okay. So I get that if you are Ali Wong, discussing your nanny (who you were able to hire because, again, you’re rich) disrupts the narrative that you’re ~just like the rest of us~ with career insecurities and family struggles and whatever. And I understand that it’s difficult to walk the line of maintaining the authentic, crassly down-to-earth voice that’s made you famous but also now you’re famous. Still, it really made me re-think the whole book, and the clearly strategic choice to leave out discussion of the nanny. Somewhere during the (many) paragraphs where she’s lauding her husband for somehow managing to co-parent their children despite having a job, she couldn’t have thrown in a little bit of gratitude for the woman whose job it is to care for their children? It left a bad taste in my mouth and I knocked off a star because of it.

Dear Girls by Ali Wong is a heartfelt, humorous, and extremely raunchy series of letters to her young daughters about growing up Asian, trapping their father, and finding the balance between motherhood and a successful career in comedy. I must admit that I knew very little about Ali Wong before reading this book, but seeing her name trending with regularity on my Netflix account, I knew that I had to investigate the hype.

Dear Girls is written with all of the profanity and crassness that you would expect from this author, yet at its heart there is an underlying tenderness in the way that Ali expresses her wishes for her daughters, and also for her family of origin, who evoke mostly fond memories. But despite her graphic descriptions of giving birth, and recounting many a sexual escapade that easily fall into the category of ‘too much information’, Ali manages to convince us that it is her deep love of family that informs everything that she puts out creatively. I especially enjoyed the afterword by Wong’s husband, Justin, who pens a ‘dear girls’ letter to his daughters that is truly touching. In the letter, he explains to the girls that their mother is unabashedly true to who she is, and will continue to forge her own unique path in life. And whether or not you appreciate Wong’s comedic stylings, isn’t that a truly positive legacy?

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an arc for review, this in no way influenced my opinion.

I really enjoyed this collection of letters written by Ali to her daughters, it was much more personal than I anticipated while still retaining the raunchy humour that is her trademark. Even if you somehow haven’t enjoyed/discovered her Netflix or ABC work, I think this book will be of interest – the focus on family, being a global citizen, the immigrant/minority experience, and forging your own path regardless are all messages we need reinforced at any age.
The only part of the book that is tonally off is her husband’s letter to their daughter’s at the end – it’s very well written and heartfelt, but for me it was a bit of a lead balloon to end on. I think if his writing had been integrated more throughout (as like a counter to each chapter or even as a preface) it would’ve worked better for me. Just generally, non-fiction of this nature doesn’t have someone else wrap it up unless the author died in the middle of writing – again the letter is fine, it’s just the placement that isn’t right.

I’m a sucker for a good celebrity memoir, and I knew based on her standup, Ali Wong’s new book “Dear Girls” would be a fun read. This memoir is *unsurprisingly* raunchy with a capital R, but it’s also hilarious and heartfelt – and I like her even more now that I’ve read it! Each chapter is written as a letter to her two daughters – a unique and fun way to set up these stories that chronicle Ali’s life. ⠀

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair review.
I laughed out loud reading Ali Wong’s Dear Girls! This book is presented as a series of letters from the comedians to her two daughters, and it is a perfect combination of warm, sincere, vulgar (in an explicit way, not an offensive way), and funny. If you liked Bossy Pants (Tina Fey), Yes, Please (Amy Poehler), or Why Not Me? (Mindy Kaling), you’ll love this book. If you haven’t read any of these but are looking for entertainment and laughs, you should read it too!

About author Ali Wong

Ali Wong

Chinese + Vietnamese/American



Instagram: @aliwong

Born in the Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco, Ali Wong is the youngest of four children, and the daughter of an American-born Chinese father and Vietnamese mother who immigrated to the U.S.

Growing up, Ali’s household was dominated by Chinese culture, and the Vietnamese side was subdued. Ali attributes her mother’s lack of pride in Vietnamese culture to several things. Particularly in the U.S., her mother came alone in 1960 and had to grow up with hardly any other Vietnamese people. And when she attended Duchesne college in Omaha, Nebraska (defunct in 1968), nuns at the “college taught her that in order to survive and assimilate in America, she had to forget her Vietnamese culture.”

In high school, Ali gained a better understanding of her Vietnamese side and later decided to major in Asian-American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). And in junior year, she studied abroad in Hanoi, Vietnam in order to learn the language. “I wanted to gain access to the Vietnamese-American community, my mother’s history and my own identity.”

UCLA is also where she discovered her love for performing as a member of Lapu, the Coyote that Cares Theatre Company (LCC) – the longest running Asian-American theater company in the United States. In 2004, Ali stated: “By creating complex characters and relationships through dialogue, I have the power to portray Asian Americans as multidimensional human beings.”

After graduating in 2005, Ali moved to New York to pursue her stand-up comedy career. And by 2011, Variety named her one of “10 Comics to Watch.”

She has appeared in numerous TV series and films, including: The Tonight Show (2011), Breaking In (2011), Chelsea Lately (2012), Hey Girl (2013), Best Week Ever (2013), The Angry Birds Movie (voice, 2016), American Housewife (2016), and Baby Cobra (a stand-up special, which she performed while 7-months pregnant; it was released on Netflix in 2016).

Ali has also headlined Comedy Works in Denver, Caroline’s on Broadway in New York, and since 2014, has writing credits on ABC’s critically acclaimed series “Fresh Off the Boat.”

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