"This is so well written. [When a book like this] comes along, it's, like, 'Thank you!' What a great way to spend an afternoon, an evening, reading these essays. . . . Absolutely great."—Jon Stewart "[Merrill] Markoe is easily as funny as David Sedaris. She's capable of manic riffs and acerbic skewering. Still, her good nature shines through."—The Washington Post
In this hilarious collection of candid essays, including two pieces new to this edition, New York Times bestselling author Merrill Markoe reveals much about her personal life—as well as the secret formula for comedy: Start out with a difficult mother, develop some classic teenage insecurities, add a few relationships with narcissistic men, toss in an unruly pack of selfish dogs, finish it off with the kind of crystalline perspective that only comes from years of navigating a roiling sea of unpleasant and unappeasable people, and—voilà—you're funny! Cool, Calm & Contentious is honest, unapologetic, sometimes heartbreaking, but always shot through with Merrill Markoe's biting, bracing wit.
"This has been a great year for funny women. . . . Let's call Tina Fey and Mindy Kaling exhibits A and B. Both owe a debt to those who came before, including Merrill Markoe."—The Boston Globe
"Markoe's goal is to find the absurdity in everyday life. That, coupled with her sharp wit, makes her writing sublime."—BookPage "Laugh-out-loud humor."—Tampa Bay Times "Not only crazy-funny, but crazy-heartbreaking."—The New York Times