From the acclaimed writer, director, and star of the hit documentary The Muslims Are Coming! comes a memoir in essays about growing up Iranian-American in a post-9/11 world and the power of comedy to combat racism.
How To Make White People Laugh
From the acclaimed writer, director, and star of the hit documentary The Muslims Are Coming! comes a memoir in essays about growing up Iranian-American in a post-9/11 world and the power of comedy to combat racism. How to Make White People Laugh Negin Farsad is an Iranian-American-Muslim female stand-up comedian who believes she can change the world through jokes. And yes, sometimes that includes fart jokes. In this candid and uproarious book, Farsad shares her personal experiences growing up as the “other” in an American culture that has no time for nuance. In fact, she longed to be black and/or Mexican at various points of her youth, you know, like normal kids. Right? RIGHT?
Writing bluntly and hilariously about the elements of race we are often too politically correct to discuss, Farsad takes a long hard look at the iconography that still shapes our concepts of “black,” “white,” and “Muslim” today—and what it means when white culture defines the culture. Farsad asks the important questions, like: What does it mean to have a hyphenated identity? How can we actually combat racism, stereotyping, and exclusion? Do Iranians get bunions at a higher rate than other ethnic groups? (She’s asking for a friend.) HOW TO MAKE WHITE PEOPLE LAUGH tackles these questions with wit, humor, and incisive intellect. And along the way, you might just learn a thing or two about tetherball, Duck Dynasty, and wine slushies.
“A hilarious and personal take on the complexities of being non-white in America today. This book makes racial politics a bit easier to swallow.”
— REZA ASLAN, bestselling author of No god but God and Zealot
“Apparently, Negin did not spend her childhood in the Irish countryside. She was never a beat jazz innovator, and her marriage to Douglas Fairbanks was unconsummated. This long overdue book not only ‘sets the record straight’ but also improves the whole structure of society. I thank Ms. Farsad for that. You should do the same.”
— JANEANE GAROFALO, comedian
“Negin Farsad whips out some smart racial politics . . . with a side of fart jokes and the result is a hilarious and pungent book.”
— AASIF MANDVI, Daily Show correspondent, actor, and author of No Man’s Land
“This book is more than funny—it’s on David Sedaris–level first-class perfect fucking hilarious funny. I laughed so hard, I made a spectacle of myself.”