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"That would just be the worst way to be broken up with."
Meet December Guest Judge Abbi Jacobson
Book of the Month, Abbi Jacobson
Book of the Month: For your Book of the Month selection, you chose Whatever Happened to Interracial Love. What do you love most about that book?
Abbi Jacobson: I found it so relevant to where we are as a country today. I felt a lot while reading her stories and that's what I'm looking for right now, to find content that makes me feel something.
Whatever Happened to Interracial Love captures a very specific moment in time -- the 1960s in New York City. Your hit television show Broad City does the same in current day NYC. Reading this book, did you draw any parallels to your own work?
Definitely. I found her characters had such specific points of view and the situations she wrote about were serious and important, but also weirdly comical. I think New York can do that to any situation.
Kathleen Collins maintains a distinctive voice throughout her story collection. How do you move through various projects (books and TV and comedy) and make sure your own voice remains distinctive throughout?
This is something I've been thinking a lot about lately. It's more subconscious for me. If I think about maintaining a through line with my voice in various mediums it doesn't happen as much. When I forget about my body of work-- and just create, I find my voice more clearly and can draw more parallels.
You recently published your own book, Carry This Book, your own sort of fan fiction. Has anyone ever sent you fan fiction? Any highlights?
Not really. It's weird, in TV, you're not really supposed to read any spec scripts of your own show, because if someone happens to come up with a similar joke and they see it on TV, they can sue you'¦ So I tend to specifically NOT read fan fiction of Broad City. I know it's out there, which is so flattering. It's amazing to think of all the other storylines our characters might be living in other people's minds.
In your book you pick up on many important pop culture references - like the post-it note left for Carrie in Sex in the City 'œI'm sorry I can't don't hate me.' Is there a modern day analogy to that post-it?
I suppose it would now be a text? Even though a post-it is such an absurd and cowardly way to break up with someone. Maybe a Snapchat? I don't use Snapchat, but I imagine that would just be the worst way to be broken up with.
You've got an awesome squad - Lena Dunham, Ilana Glazer, Carrie Brownstein, Amy Poehler! They've all been by your side on your book tour. What's it been like having this amazing support system?
It's been so incredible. I pinch myself a lot thinking about the amount of brilliant women I've met and gotten to know over the past 5 years. I also had Sam Irby and Mike Perry as part of the tour'”who were and are fantastic as well. I feel very lucky and inspired by my peers. The book tour was one of the best weeks I've had. I still haven't been able to fully process it.
Broad City is about the friendship between Abbi and Ilana. Our BOTM Judge Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney writes of female friendship - 'œFriends are our first loves'” the first time we get to say to another person, 'I choose you.' The first time we feel ourselves chosen. It's such a rush, that recognition, the thrill of a kindred spirit.' Is Abbi and Ilana's friendship based on any of your own?
The friendship on the show is based on our friendship in real life. When Ilana and I met in 2007, it was an immediate friendship. We were on the same indie improve practice group and we all went to get a drink at a bar afterwards. I remember we sat at the bar and just talked the night away. I have a lot of amazing friends in my life that happen to be women, but Ilana was the first on in New York that really felt important. I guess we were right.
You're open about your love for New York. What's your ideal NYC weekend?
Fall in New York. Walking. Stopping for coffee. Walking. Reading in a park. Walking. Going in and out of stores, window shopping. Meeting friends for a bite. Walking. Popping into a cafÃ© and writing a bit. Walking. Amazing dinner. Drinks'¦ Walking.
Reading is incredibly important to Book of the Month members! How important is reading in your own life?
It's very important. I go through waves of reading more or less. Depending on where we are in production of the show, I'm writing and reading a lot of drafts of scripts, so I tend to not read as much for leisure during those periods. When I'm not in that zone, I have a bunch of books going at a time. If I have an afternoon to go sit in a coffee shop and read, well there's nothing better than that. What a luxury.