Mirror Books scoops Lederer’s ‘riotously funny’ memoir
Tuesday 29th August 2023
Paul Dove, executive editor for Mirror Books, acquired world English language rights from James Wills at Watson Little.
Lederer rose to fame in the 1980s as one of the first female stand-ups at the Comedy Store in London, and is known for her role as Catriona in TV series “Absolutely Fabulous”, as well as being a novelist. She is also the founder of the Comedy Women in Print prize.
The publisher description of the book reads: “What was it like as one of a handful of women at the heart of the right-on alternative comedy scene in the 1980s? Piece of cake? Bit of a laugh? Well, yes, and no. It had its ups – but also its downs. Helen Lederer was a regular on the stand-up circuit and new-wave sketch shows in the decade that launched the careers of today’s comedy household names and national treasures.
“She shared stages with comedy pioneers such as Ben Elton and John Hegley, and TV screens with Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Harry Enfield, and many others. Not That I’m Bitter, her powerful, frank, moving and characteristically funny memoir, reveals exactly how choppy the waters could be. Even in those ground-breaking, anti-Thatcher days, there was only room at the top for so many women.
“For the rest, it was as much a struggle to be seen and heard in the world of comedy as in any boardroom or workplace, and just as difficult to avoid the predators. This is more than the story of one decade, however.
“The child of a Jewish-Czech wartime refugee, Helen Lederer was never part of the mainstream. How do you make humour from a lifelong battle against problems with weight and low-self-esteem? Where are the jokes in addictions to diet-pills and steroid injections? How can laughter defeat the darker moments, like a child’s anorexia or PTSD? How do you cope with constant self-sabotage when, despite enormous success, you still feel like a failure? Helen raises an important and open discussion around mental health alongside the evolved attitudes to women today. There’s something in Helen Lederer’s life-story that everyone can relate to.”
Mirror Books describes the book as “a riotously funny memoir with lots of heart (and just the right amount of bitterness!)”.
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