Lizz free or die : essays / Lizz Winstead.

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    • Abstract:
      Summary: "Lizz Winstead, co-creator of The Daily Show and one of today's most hilarious comedians and insightful social critics, pens a brilliant account of how she discovered her comedic voice.In this collection of autobiographical essays, Winstead vividly recounts how she fought to find her own voice, both as a comedian and as a woman, and how humor became her most powerful weapon in confronting life's challenges.Growing up in the Midwest, the youngest child of conservative Catholic parents, Winstead learned early in her life that the straightforward questions she posed to various authority figures around her-her parents, her parish priest, even an anti-abortion counselor -prompted many startled looks and uncomfortable silences, but few answers. Her questions rattled people because they exposed the inconsistencies and hypocrisies in the people and institutions she confronted. Yet she didn't let that stop her from pursuing her dreams. Funny and biting, honest and poignant, this no-holds-barred collection gives an in-depth look into the life of one of today's most influential comic voices. In writing about her childhood longing to be a priest, her role in developing The Daily Show, and of her often problematic habit of diving into everything head first, asking questions later (resulting in multiple rescue-dog adoptions and travel disasters), Lizz Winstead has tapped an outrageous and heartfelt vein of the all-too-human comedy"-- Provided by publisher.
    • ISBN:
      9781594487026 (hardback)
      1594487022 (hardback)
    • Accession Number:
    • Accession Number:
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  • Citations
    • ABNT:
      WINSTEAD, L. Lizz free or die : essays. [s.l.] : Riverhead Hardcover, 2012. Disponível em: . Acesso em: 27 maio. 2019.
    • AMA:
      Winstead L. Lizz Free or Die : Essays. Riverhead Hardcover; 2012. Accessed May 27, 2019.
    • APA:
      Winstead, L. (2012). Lizz free or die : essays. Riverhead Hardcover. Retrieved from
    • Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date:
      Winstead, Lizz. 2012. Lizz Free or Die : Essays. Riverhead Hardcover.
    • Harvard:
      Winstead, L. (2012) Lizz free or die : essays. Riverhead Hardcover. Available at: (Accessed: 27 May 2019).
    • Harvard: Australian:
      Winstead, L 2012, Lizz free or die : essays, Riverhead Hardcover, viewed 27 May 2019, .
    • MLA:
      Winstead, Lizz. Lizz Free or Die : Essays. Riverhead Hardcover, 2012. EBSCOhost,
    • Chicago/Turabian: Humanities:
      Winstead, Lizz. Lizz Free or Die : Essays. Riverhead Hardcover, 2012.
    • Vancouver/ICMJE:
      Winstead L. Lizz free or die : essays [Internet]. Riverhead Hardcover; 2012 [cited 2019 May 27]. Available from:


Booklist Reviews 2012 April #2

Political satirist and stand-up comedian Winstead, cocreator and former head writer of The Daily Show, is not only a funny personal essayist. She's also shrewdly observant, linguistically adept, bravely soul-baring, and caustically smart. Her memories of her Catholic childhood in Minneapolis are pegged to her fear of the creepy, "severed" praying-hands plaque hanging in her home, her disgust over the endless cavalcade of babies in her extended family, her thwarted ambition to be an altar boy, and a traumatic teenage pregnancy. Minneapolis' dynamic music scene in the days of Prince and punk rock and funky comedy clubs with open-mic nights became her havens and creative incubators. While tracing the arc of her comedic evolution, Winstead dissects the opposition women comics face, tells piquantly hilarious tales of disastrous gigs (worst wardrobe malfunction ever) and rescue dogs, and recounts the eruption of her "media skepticism" while watching CNN's coverage of Desert Storm, the impetus for her founding roles in both The Daily Show and Air America Radio. Open-hearted, incisive, and droll, Winstead celebrates the sustaining power of humor and truth. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

LJ Reviews 2011 December #1

Cocreator and former head writer of The Daily Show, Winstead doesn't just make folks laugh; she's also a sharp social critic. This collection of essays considers how she found her voice, starting with childhood as the outspoken daughter of strict Catholic parents. Winstead has worked mostly behind the scenes, so this book is like a coming-out party; expect lots of media—obviously, given her connections.

[Page 96]. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

LJ Reviews 2012 May #1

Comedian Winstead's debut collection of "messays" (memoir plus essays) offers a funny, thoughtful look at her life and work. She's not afraid to explore topics like her childhood fear of a praying hands plaque (she thought they were the real severed hands of a sinful child), a wardrobe malfunction that left her "she-joy" exposed, or career low points like opening for Frankie Avalon. Recognizable from appearances on comedy and news commentary shows, Winstead also co-created Comedy Central's The Daily Show (this is covered in one of the book's longer essays) and was part of Air America radio's starting lineup. While she takes the high road in glossing over her departure from The Daily Show, her Air America essay reveals the network's mismanagement, which resulted in her being replaced by Jerry Springer. VERDICT Winstead's showbiz connections will draw in readers, especially those who share her progressive point of view, but poignant essays about an unwanted pregnancy and the loss of her parents resonate most strongly. Recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 11/14/11.]—Terry Bosky, Palm Beach Cty. Lib. Syst., FL

[Page 83]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

PW Reviews 2012 May #3

Co-creator of Comedy Central's The Daily Show and all-around champion of smart, topical humor, Winstead's debut is an intelligent and witty collection of essays cataloging her trajectory from a Catholic childhood in Minneapolis to her current work as comedian and television producer. The book starts off a bit slow, strolling through Winstead's precious but mostly generic youth. Arriving at young-adulthood, the essays become immediately funnier and more compelling. Stories from Minneapolis' "Punk Rock Ghetto"—about rooming with a very young Michele Norris (of NPR fame), witnessing the early moments of Rosanne Barr and Tom Arnold's romance, and listening to Prince perform hometown shows at a local club—are vicarious fun. An essay about an early, disastrous gig is hysterically funny, and her first-hand accounts of the early days of The Daily Show and Air America Radio are fascinating. The collection is inconsistent, and Winstead acknowledges that the book is an experiment of sorts, but frankness about your intentions and experience doesn't save you from the duds. That said, the good ones are very good, addressing the ups and downs of career, family, and friendship with honesty and humor. (May)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC