Samantha Irby. Photo Courtesy of Los Angeles Times.

Who is she? Samantha McKiver Irby is a comedian, author, and blogger. She runs the blog bitches gotta eat, which transitioned into her first book of essays. She currently has two books, Meaty and We Are Never Meeting in Real Life. In 2016, FX announced that they had purchased the television rights to her memoir (Meaty) and her blog with the intent to adapt them into a series.


What does she do? Samanda Irby grew up in Evanston, Illinois. The youngest of three daughters by more than a decade, she had a difficult relationship with her parents; her father, an alcoholic, was rarely present in her life, while her mother worked as a nurse at a nearby hospital. She grew up poor, as she writes in both books, and did what she could as a child to make ends meet. She worked frequent babysitting jobs in order to buy school supplies and lived on canned vegetables and pastas for most of her childhood.


Irby attended college for two years, but dropped out after the death of her parents. She moved back to the Chicago area and settled in the far north neighborhood of Roger’s Park. It was here, at the behest of a close friend, where she began to write her blog, bitches gotta eat. The blog discusses her personal life and comments on broader cultural issues, and it has received notable recognition for its humor and pointedness.


Irby’s writing was picked up by Curbside Splendor Publishing, an independent Chicago publisher. Pieces from her blog were then selected and turned into essays to comprise Meaty, her memoir and 2013 book. The book was then republished in 2018 with Vintage Books. Sam Irby has co-hosted on The Sunday Night Sex Show, performed in The Paper Machete and Story Club, and written for The Rumpus, In Our Words, and Jezebel.


In 2017, Irby’s second book, We Are Never Meeting in Real Life, was published to critical acclaim. Put out by Vintage Books, it made The New York Times best-seller list for paperback fiction.


Why watch? Irby’s first book, Meaty, is in development for adaptation as a television show on FX called Guts and Glory with comedian Abbi Jacobson and writer Jessi Klein. Irby is also a writer for the television adaptation of Lindy West’s Shrill. Irby’s voice is hilarious and powerful, and she continues to comment on ongoing political and cultural happenings. We can’t wait to see what her blog produces next.