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Sometimes I Trip On How Happy We Could Be (Paperback)
A passionate, magnetic memoir that explores writer and podcast host Nichole Perkins's obsession with pop culture and the challenges of navigating relationships as a Black woman through feminism and Southern mores.
A Roxane Gay Audacious Bookclub November Pick
Named "Most Anticipated Books of 2021" by Buzzfeed and Lithub
Pop culture is the Pandora’s Box of our lives. Racism, wealth, poverty, beauty, inclusion, exclusion, and hope -- all of these intractable and unavoidable features course through the media we consume. Examining pop culture’s impact on her life, Nichole Perkins takes readers on a rollicking trip through the last twenty years of music, media and the internet from the perspective of one southern Black woman. She explores her experience with mental illness and how the TV series Frasier served as a crutch, how her role as mistress led her to certain internet message boards that prepared her for current day social media, and what it means to figure out desire and sexuality and Prince in a world where marriage is the only acceptable goal for women.
Combining her sharp wit, stellar pop culture sensibility, and trademark spirited storytelling, Nichole boldly tackles the damage done to women, especially Black women, by society’s failure to confront the myths and misogyny at its heart, and her efforts to stop the various cycles that limit confidence within herself. By using her own life and loves as a unique vantage point, Nichole humorously and powerfully illuminates how to take the best pop culture has to offer and discard the harmful bits, offering a mirror into our own lives.
About the Author
Nichole Perkins is a writer from Nashville, Tennessee. She examines the intersections of pop culture, race, sex, gender, and relationships. Nichole is a 2017 Audre Lorde Fellow at the inaugural Jack Jones Literary Arts Retreat and a 2017 BuzzFeed Emerging Writers Fellow. She is also a 2016 Callaloo Creative Writing Fellow for poetry. She formerly co-hosted "Thirst Aid Kit," a podcast about pop culture and desire, with Bim Adewunmi, a producer at "This American Life," and was also a co-host of "The Waves" podcast at Slate, which looked at news and culture through a feminist lens. Her first collection of poetry, Lilith, but Dark, was published by Publishing Genius in July 2018.
"For me, the joy in reading SOMETIMES I TRIP ON HOW HAPPY WE COULD BE is in witnessing how — essay by essay, revelation by hard-won revelation — Nichole comes into awareness of her own power like a storm gaining strength just off the coast. The girl who sneaks romance novels into Sunday church services becomes the woman asking tough, keen questions about what she wants and what we all want. I hear the dark liquor of her laughter rippling behind her sentences. I hear the rich timbre of a writer who knows that vital power lives in pleasures."—Saeed Jones, award-winning author of How We Fight for Our Lives
"These essays are at once poignant, timely, and a lot of fun to read. In Sometimes I Trip On How Happy We Could Be, Nichole Perkins manages to write about Prince as brilliantly as she does her first hotmail account, and makes it look easy. This book is meant to be read in the bathtub, with good wine, and even better company on the way."
—Ashley C. Ford, author of Somebody's Daughter