Saturday, May 5, 2018

#20 [2018/CBR10] "The Last Black Unicorn" by Tiffany Haddish

I'm not sure how I'd missed Tiffany Haddish before, but I first saw her on The Daily Show promoting her new book, The Last Black Unicorn (2017). She was energetic, hilarious, and optimistic. You could see Trevor Noah was delighted by her, and so was I. I immediately got myself on the wait list for her audio book. I usually prefer to read books, but I figured since Haddish was reading her own book, she would bring something more to it. And I was right. I was finally able to pick up the CD's right before a road trip, which was perfect timing. The Last Black Unicorn is funny, moving, and entertaining. Even as Haddish talks about some incredibly difficult times she's had, she remains kind and optimistic. I am impressed by her intelligence, drive, and ability to overcome.

Middle school was a trying time for Tiffany Haddish. Her mother suffered a brain injury in a car accident, causing some severe mental illness. After many beatings, Haddish was placed in foster care before being placed with her grandmother. She had a wart on her forehead that her classmates made fun of her for, saying it was a horn. She became more popular in high school, but couldn't initially read. She managed to get by with the help of classmates and faking illness when necessary. It is amazing that she was able to go as long as she did without being discovered. Her grandmother turned her out when she was eighteen, saying she was an adult now and had to take care of herself. Haddish had always been interested in comedy but could not afford to work at it when she was trying to survive.

And yet she did manage. Haddish says that being a comedian is an outlet for her. She said that being on stage is the only place she really feels safe. She worked hard at it for years and her intelligence, talent, and hard work has made her the success that she is. One of my favorite stories is when she takes Will and Jada Smith on a Groupon tour of the Louisiana swamps. I also liked Haddish's very short experience with Scientology.

Haddish spends a good portion of the book speaking about some failed relationships. One was a serious boyfriend who had cheated on her. It ends badly, to say the least. The other is her horrible, abusive ex-husband. They were both difficult to read about. I hate drama, and I wanted her to just leave, but it was never that simple.

This was an interesting and entertaining look into Tiffany Haddish and her life. I'm glad I learned of her and was able to listen to her book.

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