No Happy Endings: A Memoir (Hardcover)
The author of It’s Okay to Laugh and host of the popular podcast Terrible, Thanks for Asking—interviews that are “a gift to be able to listen [to]” (New York Times)—returns with more hilarious meditations on her messy, wonderful, bittersweet, and unconventional life.
Life has a million different ways to kick you right in the chops. We lose love, lose jobs, lose our sense of self. For Nora McInerny, it was losing her husband, her father, and her unborn second child in one catastrophic year.
But in the wake of loss, we get to assemble something new from whatever is left behind. Some circles call finding happiness after loss “Chapter 2”—the continuation of something else. Today, Nora is remarried and mothers four children aged 16 months to 16 years. While her new circumstances bring her extraordinary joy, they are also tinged with sadness over the loved ones she’s lost.
Life has made Nora a reluctant expert in hard conversations. On her wildly popular podcast, she talks about painful experiences we inevitably face, and exposes the absurdity of the question “how are you?” that people often ask when we’re coping with the aftermath of emotional catastrophe. She knows intimately that when your life falls apart, there’s a mad rush to be okay—to find a silver lining, to get to the happy ending. In this, her second memoir, Nora offers a tragicomic exploration of the tension between finding happiness and holding space for the unhappy experiences that have shaped us.
No Happy Endings is a book for people living life after life has fallen apart. It’s a book for people who know that they’re moving forward, not moving on. It’s a book for people who know life isn’t always happy, but it isn’t the end: there will be unimaginable joy and incomprehensible tragedy. As Nora reminds us, there will be no happy endings—but there will be new beginnings.
About the Author
As the host of American Public Media’s Gracie Award winning podcast Terrible, Thanks for Asking, Nora McInerny brings empathy and wit to difficult subjects from gun control to sexual assault and the #MeToo movement. She is a contributor to Elle.com, Cosmopolitan.com, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Buzzfeed, Time.com, Slate, and Vox, where she’s often tapped for her essay pieces highlighting the emotional landscape and humor in complex topics, like the financial impacts of healthcare and grief in our digital age. She is the founder of the non-profit Still Kickin and the Hot Young Widows Club, an online group for people who have lost their significant other.
“An alternately funny and wrenching (but mostly funny?) as well as brutally frank story of life after death.”
“No Happy Endings is the book for anyone who’s fallen down and is trying to pick themselves back up again. An emotionally honest and thoughtful read.”
“This new book blends her forthright sense of humor, storytelling gifts, and astute observations—all set in addictive, caffeinated prose.”
— Minnesota Monthly
“It’s a comforting read for those who have experienced losses, and an inspiring one for anyone looking to appreciate and see life from an exceptional angle.”
— Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Powerful… Everyone faces tragedy. McInerny shows you how to do it with strength and grace.”
“McInerny delivers a highly emotional—but not overly somber—story that will appeal to anyone who has suffered a significant loss and is seeking a path toward life’s next chapter. Reflective and tender writing on finding new meanings and a different life after heartbreaking loss.”
— Kirkus Reviews