How to write like Tina and Mindy: constructing persona in female celebrity memoir
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The primary goal for this project was to demonstrate that celebrity memoir, specifically female comedian memoir, examines the self in a similar manner as memoirs traditionally studied in creative nonfiction. Tina Fey's Bossypants and Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? were primary works. Chelsea Handler's memoir, My Horizontal Life, was a foil for Fey and Kaling, as the persona presented to the reader is static and unconcerned with the public's view of the writer. The analysis of the three memoirs shows that Fey and Kaling use style as a way to combat their “celebrity” personas. Through anecdotes, advice, and numerous visual aids in the form of personal photographs, hand drawn charts, and reprinted professional photos, Fey and Kaling craft personas separate from the preconceived “celebrity” persona. Through their manipulation of persona, these women provide ample themes and writing strategies that can be used by other memoirists in the genre of creative nonfiction.