Book Reviewed: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? And Other Concerns, by Mindy Kaling
I've liked Mindy Kaling for some time now. Although I gave up on The Office (where Kaling was a head writer since the beginning) three seasons ago, it used to be one of my favorite shows. And the character of Kelly Kapoor, played by Kaling, is really funny. So when I heard that Kaling had written a book of short and humorous personal essays, I knew I'd have to read it.
This is a minor book. It's not going to end up on my year's-best list, and it's most definitely not the most well-written memoir I've ever read. I enjoyed it anyway. It's very funny, which is no surprise, but it's also quite candid. I especially appreciate the way Kaling writes about relationships and how she mocks marital and family conventions out loud but underneath really, really wants a conventional marriage and family. I rarely read memoirs by women who are willing to laugh at their anxieties over being the ideal "modern woman." Kaling does this like no one's business.
I read Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (a title, by the way, that all too accurately describes my own inconsequential identity crisis) while in the middle of writing a long research paper about how 18th-century obstetrical engravings affected the male medical gaze which in turn affected Romantic British poetry. Yeah, it was a doozy. So when I curled up after hours of writing about some unpleasant topics, it felt nice to curl up with Kaling's book. When I finished it, I just wanted to call her up and be like "Men, am I right?!" Because if you can read this book and not want to be BFFs with Mindy Kaling, then you are made of sturdier stuff than me.