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Something That May Shock and Discredit You (Hardcover)

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Named one of the most anticipated books of the year by Entertainment Weekly, O, The Oprah Magazine, BuzzFeed, Electric Literature, Yahoo Lifestyle, and Bitch Media

“A delightful hybrid of a book… Youll laugh, you'll cry, often both at once. Everyone should read this extraordinary book.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

From the New York Times bestselling author of Texts From Jane Eyre and Merry Spinster, writer of Slate’s “Dear Prudence” column, and cofounder of The Toast comes a hilarious and stirring collection of essays and cultural observations spanning pop culture—from the endearingly popular to the staggeringly obscure.

Daniel Mallory Ortberg is known for blending genres, forms, and sources to develop fascinating new hybrids—from lyric rants to horror recipes to pornographic scripture. In his most personal work to date, he turns his attention to the essay, offering vigorous and laugh-out-loud funny accounts of both popular and highbrow culture while mixing in meditations on gender transition, family dynamics, and the many meanings of faith.

From a thoughtful analysis of the beauty of William Shatner to a sinister reimagining of HGTV’s House Hunters, and featuring figures as varied as Anne of Green Gables, Columbo, Nora Ephron, Apollo, and the cast of Mean Girls, Something That May Shock and Discredit You is a hilarious and emotionally exhilarating compendium that combines personal history with cultural history to make you see yourself and those around you entirely anew. It further establishes Ortberg as one of the most innovative and engaging voices of his generation—and it may just change the way you think about Lord Byron forever.

About the Author


Daniel Mallory Ortberg is the “Dear Prudence” advice columnist at Slate, the cofounder of The Toast, and the New York Times bestselling author of Texts From Jane Eyre and The Merry Spinster.

Praise For…


“This book is clever and strange and lovely and sad and hysterical and poignant. These are the qualities that make up most of my favorite people and all of my favorite books. You really need to read this now.” —Jenny Lawson, New York Times bestselling author of Let’s Pretend This Never Happened and Furiously Happy

“A delightful hybrid of a book…blends genres with expert facility….Throughout, Ortberg's writing is vulnerable but confident, specific but never narrow, literal and lyrical. The author is refreshingly unafraid of his own uncertainty, but he's always definitive where it counts….You'll laugh, you'll cry, often both at once. Everyone should read this extraordinary book.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Ortberg brings the full force of his wit and literary depth to this genre-bending essay collection, [which] intersperses searingly honest passages about his journey as a transgender man with laugh-out-loud funny literary pastiche….an often hilarious, sometimes discomfiting, but invariably honest account of one man’s becoming.” Publishers Weekly

“Like all of his work, Something That May Shock and Discredit You is a stand-alone pillar in Ortberg’s remarkable canon, one in which the lines typically drawn around topic and genre are obliterated, resulting in a wide-open field of possibility.” —Electric Literature

“Deeply honest and often sidesplittingly funny” – Michelle Hart, O: The Oprah Magazine


Product Details
ISBN: 9781982105211
ISBN-10: 1982105216
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: February 11th, 2020
Pages: 256