Eden Robins on the Healing Magic of Comedy

1 week ago 24

Welcome to I’m a Writer But, where writers discuss their work, their lives, their other work, the stuff that takes up any free time they have, all the stuff they’re not able to get to, and the ways in which any of us get anything done. Plus: book recommendations, bad jokes, okay jokes, despair, joy, and anything else going on that week. Hosted by Lindsay Hunter.    

Today, Eden Robins (When Franny Stands Up) discusses her new novel, catharsis in comedy, how being a funny woman is STILL transgressive, the terror of writing the jokes for the book, the intermingling of trauma and pain and humor, Chicago history, and more!

From the Episode:

Eden Robins: The core of [the idea for the book] was, What if comedy could heal somebody? Laughing in a comedy show in particular–where it’s a person you dont know who’s making you laugh, whose job it is to do that–it feels magical. There’s just something about it that’s transformative. [As for the showstopper] I spent many years working in sex toy stores, so I have this very unique relationship to sex and sexuality. I don’t often see this very casual approach to sexuality in books, and I just wanted to bring it there. Like, what if this orgasm was magic?


Eden Robins loves novels best, but they take forever so she also writes short stories and self-absorbed essays at places like Catapult, USA Today, LA Review of Books, Apex magazine, Shimmer, and others. Her debut novel When Franny Stands Up was named a best book of 2022 by the Chicago Reader, a best queer book of 2022 by Autostraddle, and Best Book of the Month by Bustle and Buzzfeed. She co-hosts a science podcast called No Such Thing As Boring with an actual scientist and produces a monthly live lit show in Chicago called Tuesday Funk. Previously, she sold sex toys, wrote jokes for Big Pharma, and once did a stand-up comedy set to an audience who didn’t boo. She lives in Chicago, has been to the bottom of the ocean, and will never go to space. Find out more scintillating tidbits at monkeythumbs.com and on Twitter and Instagram @edenrobins.

I'm a Writer But

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