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Wednesday, 16 March 2016

New and notable: So Sad Today by Melissa Broder

Melissa Broder, poet and mastermind behind the amazing twitter account @sosadtoday has published a new collection of personal essays, out this week. @sosadtoday has long been one of the funniest, and simultaneously excruciatingly sad, corners of the internet. For years, Broder ran the account anonymously, and only revealed her identity at the behest of her publisher when the book deal came together. As Broder hashed out her daily struggles and insecurities in 150 character doses of pure gold, @sosadtoday's popularity grew exponentially. Her blend of undiluted anxiety, existential dread and razor-sharp humour with struck a chord which continues to resonate today, with over 300K followers and counting on twitter.

An undisputed master of the tweet, as well as a highly acclaimed poet, in So Sad Today, Broder proves that her writing chops also extend to the essay form. The collection is confessional to a degree that few authors are brave enough to attempt. Broder reveals her most "shameful" obsessions with relentless honesty - spoiler alert: a nightly pint of diet ice cream with with six packets of artificial sweetener on top is, surprisingly, far from the grossest thing she admits eating! 

That being said, these essays do not feel gratuitous. They are riveting, but not in a grotesque, celebrity meltdown, spectacle kind of way. Much of the subject matter is salacious, but Broder's candid discussion of her sexual (mis)adventures, addictions, and ongoing mental health struggles comes across as relatable, insightful and heartfelt. Misery porn this is not; there is profound comfort to be found in being offered a glimpse into another person's struggles with anxiety and depression. Broder has been breaking the silence around sadness for years online, and with her new book of darkly funny essays, she is shattering more barriers surrounding taboo subjects. Being a human in this weird world is hard, and in So Sad Today, Broder puts into words our darkest fears, but somehow also manages to make them funny - a rare feat indeed!

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