Ten Steps to Nanette

Hannah Gadsby     Recommended by Luka    

Like many of us, I was heartbroken and uplifted by Gadsby’s 2018 comedy special, Nanette, so I was eager to learn more about the craft of her comedy in this memoir.

Gadsby is quick to explain that Ten Steps will not be ‘inspiration porn’, leading us instead through snapshots of her life. Through the context of Hannah’s upbringing in rural Tasmania, I learned a lot about the history of Australia’s homophobia, and the long and ongoing battle with discriminatory legislation that forced so many into dark and isolated closets, especially surrounding the 2016 plebiscite. I also learned about the joy of Gadsby’s autism diagnosis, and about how this unlocked clarity and healing.

Her humour underpins her stories in a way that makes me feel less lonely, less weird, and importantly, makes me feel seen. As a young, similarly “gender not-normal” person, her affinity for fierce self-compassion and acceptance was, truthfully, very inspiring (sorry, Hannah, it was!).

I found Ten Steps extremely readable, despite the fact that I don’t usually read memoirs. Gadsby is clearly a born storyteller. – Luka

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