You Can't Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain (Paperback)

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You Can't Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain By Phoebe Robinson, Jessica Williams (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Phoebe Robinson, Jessica Williams (Foreword by)
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Staff Reviews

Comedienne and co-host of podcast Two Dope Queens, debuts with a stunning book of essays including ‘Tips for the First Black Female President’ and my personal favorite ‘Token Black Friend.’ Robinson uses her charm, wit, and playful banter to create empathy and understanding for the reader on social issues that they may not have experienced before. Robinson's intersectional feminist framework not only covers everyday social issues that plague black women and the black community, but also shines an honest spotlight on the status and mistreatment of black women in media and culture. And, yes, Robinson finally answers the all-so-elusive question: can I touch her hair?


— Teasha Kirkwood


A NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • “A must-read...Phoebe Robinson discusses race and feminism in such a funny, real, and specific way, it penetrates your brain and stays with you.”—Ilana Glazer, co-creator and co-star of Broad City

A hilarious and timely essay collection about race, gender, and pop culture from comedy superstar and 2 Dope Queens podcaster Phoebe Robinson

Being a black woman in America means contending with old prejudices and fresh absurdities every day. Comedian Phoebe Robinson has experienced her fair share over the years: she's been unceremoniously relegated to the role of “the black friend,” as if she is somehow the authority on all things racial; she's been questioned about her love of U2 and Billy Joel (“isn’t that...white people music?”); she's been called “uppity” for having an opinion in the workplace; she's been followed around stores by security guards; and yes, people do ask her whether they can touch her hair all. the. time. Now, she's ready to take these topics to the page—and she’s going to make you laugh as she’s doing it.

Using her trademark wit alongside pop-culture references galore, Robinson explores everything from why Lisa Bonet is “Queen. Bae. Jesus,” to breaking down the terrible nature of casting calls, to giving her less-than-traditional advice to the future female president, and demanding that the NFL clean up its act, all told in the same conversational voice that launched her podcast, 2 Dope Queens, to the top spot on iTunes. As personal as it is political, You Can't Touch My Hair examines our cultural climate and skewers our biases with humor and heart, announcing Robinson as a writer on the rise.

One of Glamour's “Top 10 Books of 2016”

About the Author

Phoebe Robinson is a stand-up comedian, actress, and the New York Times bestselling author of Everything's Trash, But It's Okay and You Can't Touch My Hair. Most recently, she and Jessica Williams turned their hit WNYC Studios podcast, 2 Dope Queens, into four one-hour HBO specials. Robinson has appeared on The Late Show with Stephen ColbertLate Night with Seth MeyersConan, Broad CitySearch PartyThe Daily Show, and the Todayshow; she was also a staff writer on the final season of Portlandia. When not working in TV, she's the host of the critically acclaimed WNYC Studios interview podcast Sooo Many White Guys. She recently made her feature film debut in the Netflix comedy Ibiza.

Praise For…

Praise for You Can’t Touch My Hair
Featured in NPR Weekend Edition, New York Magazine, Refinery 29, and Cosmo

“A must-read...Phoebe Robinson discusses race and feminism in such a funny, real, and specific way, it penetrates your brain and stays with you.”—Ilana Glazer, co-creator and co-star of Broad City

“Phoebe Robinson has a way of casually, candidly rough-housing with tough topics like race and sex and gender that makes you feel a little safer and a lot less alone. If something as wise and funny as You Can't Touch My Hair exists in the world, we can't all be doomed. Phoebe is my hero and this book is my wife.”—Lindy West, New York Times bestselling author of Shrill

“You Can't Touch My Hair is the book we need right now. Robinson makes us think about race and feminism in new ways, thanks to her whip-smart comedy and expert use of a pop culture reference. The future is very bright because Robinson and her book are in it.”—Jill Soloway, creator of Transparent

“Smart, funny, and insightful.”—Carrie BrownsteinNew York Times bestselling author of Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl

"Honest, touching, laugh-out-loud funny.”—Kevin Bacon, actor and musician

“A must read! So funny!”—Danielle BrooksOrange is the New Black actress

“You Can't Touch My Hair is one of the funniest books about race, dating, and Michael Fassbender. The world is burning, and Phoebe Robinson is the literary feminist savior we've been looking for.”—Hasan Minhaj, senior correspondent on The Daily Show

“Trenchant and hilarious.”—St. Vincent, musician

“Phoebe Robinson says the things that need to be said, and does so eloquently and hilariously.”—Mara Wilson, author of Where Am I Now?

“[Robinson’s] essays range from the political to the personal to the pop-cultural—sometimes encompassing all three at the same time...[with a] highly distinct, personable voice that makes you feel like she's your high-school BFF.”—ELLE

“[A] hilarious yet thought-provoking collection of essays...[Robinson’s] writing covers both serious (i.e. race, gender, etc.) and lighthearted (e.g. pop culture) issues, all with her unique flair. In a nutshell, her book is a grab bag of entertainment and insight.”—Bustle

" of the most promising nonfiction voices to emerge this year.”—Essence 

“[B]y sharing her less sublime experiences with her signature blend of honesty and humor we're used to from 2 Dope Queens…she offers amusing insights that don't come off as heavy-handed.”—Mother Jones

“Moving, poignant, witty, and funny…a promising debut by a talented, genuinely funny writer.”—Publishers Weekly

“Uproarious...Robinson reflects on the annoying parts of black life in America with humor and soul.”—RedBook
You Can’t Touch My Hair achieves the impressive feat of being an accessible, fun read covering some serious issues; half of it is hilarious and the other half (see: the title) makes you think, 'It sucks this needs saying at all.'”—The Portland Mercury

“[a] biting and hilarious debut.”—Refinery29, "The Best Books Of 2016 So Far" 

“[M]ore like a conversation than a set of essays — one that [Robinson] and many other people of color are sick of having. [Robinson] confronts critical subjects like the historical representations of black hair in media, problematic casting calls for people of color, and which member of U2 she’d like to sleep with in descending order of hotness. In other words, this is not a definitive tome on race and hair politics, nor is it trying to be. It is clear that Robinson’s comedy background is at the forefront of the collection. If she is going to have to have this conversation, she is going to do it on her own terms.”—Los Angeles Review of Books

“Raw, authentic, and seriously funny...Robinson clearly is one of the most influential voices of her generation.”—Bitch Media

Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9780143129202
ISBN-10: 0143129201
Publisher: Plume
Publication Date: October 4th, 2016
Pages: 320
Language: English