The memoir from Australia's much-loved comedian, Hannah Gadsby, whose stand-up show and self-described swan-song, Nanette, played to sold-out houses in Australia, the UK and the US. Its launch on Netflix, and subsequent Emmy and Peabody wins, took Nanette (and Hannah) to the world.
Multi-awardwinning Hannah Gadsby transformed comedy with their show Nanette, even as they declared that they were quitting stand-up. Now, they take us through the defining moments in their life that led to the creation of Nanette and her powerful decision to tell the truth - no matter the cost.
'There is nothing stronger than a broken woman who has rebuilt herself.' -Hannah Gadsby, Nanette
Gadsby's unique stand-up special Nanette was a viral success that left audiences captivated by their blistering honesty and their ability to create both tension and laughter in a single moment. But while their worldwide fame might have looked like an overnight sensation, their path from open mic to the global stage was hard-fought and anything but linear.
Ten Steps to Nanette traces Gadsby's growth as a queer person from Tasmania - where homosexuality was illegal until 1997 - to their ever-evolving relationship with comedy, to their struggle with late-in-life diagnoses of autism and ADHD, and finally to the backbone of Nanette - the renouncement of self-deprecation, the rejection of misogyny, and the moral significance of truth-telling.
Equal parts harrowing and hilarious, Ten Steps to Nanette continues Gadsby's tradition of confounding expectations and norms, properly introducing us to one of the most explosive, formative voices of our time.
'Hannah is a Promethean force, a revolutionary talent ...This hilarious, touching, and sometimes tragic book is all about where Hannah's fires were lit.' - Emma Thompson
'Similar to their groundbreaking comedy specials Douglas and Nanette, Gadsby's memoir reads like a conversation with a longtime friend... A can't-miss memoir that will make readers laugh, cry, and everything in between.' - Library Journal (starred review)
'A witty and provocatively written life story.' - KIRKUS
'Ten Steps to Nanette is equal parts hilarious and harrowing, confronting and comforting. Gadsby's authenticity and vulnerability shine through.' - Stuff.co.nz
In this stunning debut, Emmy Award–winning comedian Gadsby guides readers on a tour of her life that's every bit as intimate, gutting, and untidy as the performance referenced in the title. Decades before international audiences met her through her 2018 Netflix comedy special, Nanette, Gadsby was a Tasmanian girl alienated from her peers in the '80s by her autism, ADHD, and burgeoning lesbian identity—none of which, she reveals, she understood until she was much older. Though heavily affected by sexual abuse and rape in her youth and young adulthood that led to multiple misdiagnoses ("borderline personality disorder, bipolar, irritable bowel syndrome, too much fat, etc."), Gadsby resists centering her abusers, instead offering a candid, often bawdy account of her nonlinear path toward healing—shaped by a gauntlet of therapists, a career in "mak a joke out of" her mental health, and her loving yet complex relationship with her family. To discourage readers from "fall into the trap of playing truth detective," she eschews cohesive timelines and, in doing so, vividly evokes the "disorientation" of living with trauma. Meanwhile, humorous asides are scattered throughout by way of Terry Pratchett–esque footnotes—"Seriously... I am triggering all of the warnings." This stirring tale of resilience laughs in the face of the "inspiration porn" industry.