The Oscar-nominated Precious star and Empire actress delivers a much-awaited memoir—wise, complex, smart, funny—a version of the American experience different from anything we’ve read
Gabourey Sidibe—“Gabby” to her legion of fans—skyrocketed to international fame in 2009 when she played the leading role in Lee Daniels’s acclaimed movie Precious. In This Is Just My Face, she shares a one-of-a-kind life story in a voice as fresh and challenging as many of the unique characters she’s played onscreen. With full-throttle honesty, Sidibe paints her Bed-Stuy/Harlem family life with a polygamous father and a gifted mother who supports her two children by singing in the subway. Sidibe tells the engrossing, inspiring story of her first job as a phone sex “talker.” And she shares her unconventional (of course!) rise to fame as a movie star, alongside “a superstar cast of rich people who lived in mansions and had their own private islands and amazing careers while I lived in my mom's apartment.”
Sidibe’s memoir hits hard with self-knowing dispatches on friendship, depression, celebrity, haters, fashion, race, and weight (“If I could just get the world to see me the way I see myself,” she writes, “would my body still be a thing you walked away thinking about?”). Irreverent, hilarious, and untraditional, This Is Just My Face will resonate with anyone who has ever felt different, and with anyone who has ever felt inspired to make a dream come true.
GABOUREY SIDIBE is an award-winning actress who is best known for the title role of Precious, based on the novel Push by Sapphire. She has since starred as Queenie in FX’s American Horror Story: Coven and Denise in Difficult People, and can currently be seen as Becky on Fox's smash hit sensation Empire. This Is Just My Face is her first book.
1 Claw-foot Tub and Mermaid Tail 1
2 Virgin fo' Life 11
3 Why You Shouldn't Marry for a Green Card 22
4 A Psychic Told Me So 42
5 #BlackGirlMagic 50
6 Make a Wish 62
7 Parade of Ugly 73
8 A Door of One's Own 82
9 Obituary 89
10 Gabourey, But You Can Call Me Gabby 104
11 MYOB: Mind Your Own Body 118
12 Twelve Sixty-six 134
13 Is This a Date? 155
14 Another Psychic Told Me So 175
15 Head of Household 195
16 Senegalese Crown 208
17 Will I Still Be Beautiful When I'm Not Fat? 214
18 Next 231
One of Glamour's "Best Books to Read in 2017"From the Publisher
One of Entertainment Weekly's “Most Anticipated Books for 2017" and "Best Books to Read in May"
One of People's "22 Super-Revealing Celeb Memoirs to Read Right Now"
One of Hollywood Reporter's “27 Books to Watch For in 2017"
One of Elite Daily's “5 Celebs About to Light up the Red Carpet and Release Books in 2017”
One of Bustle's "20 Best Non-Fiction Books Coming in May 2017"
"This memoir [is] a book you will want to give your daughter." —The New York Times
"Sidibe’s hilarious Twitter account is no fluke—the Empire actress’ memoir about growing up in New York City and finding unexpected fame in Hollywood is sharp, witty, and wonderfully substantive." —Entertainment Weekly
"A read that lives up to the unforgettable attitude of its name...This is Just My Face will make you fall in love with this funny, talented, gorgeous, bad bitch of a woman." —Glamour
"A mix of complexity, intelligence and humor, Gabby's book promises to be as big a success as her acting." —People
"Her talent to entertain...is evident on every page...Genuine and accessible...[Sidibe] has so much material from her childhood and adolescence that she might have been able to sell a memoir before she landed her first movie role...This Is Just My Face doesn’t capture just Sidibe that celebrity, but Sidibe the storyteller." —The A.V. Club
"Funny and revealing." —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"Gabourey Sidibe's memoir isn't your average celebrity memoir. It's good. Really good. And not just because it's revealing (although that it is), but because it's well-written... Observant and funny, but not indulgent or try-hard." —Cosmopolitan Online
"Gabby hilariously, radically, and fearlessly holds nothing back in This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare. And we love her for it." —HelloGiggles, "7 Celebrity Memoirs We Can't Wait to Read This Year"
“A funny, smart memoir.” —Nylon, "50 Books We Can’t Wait To Read In 2017"
“Unflinchingly honest.” —Bustle, "9 Books By Celebrity Women Being Released in 2017 To Add To Your TBR"
“Gabourey Sidibe has a knack for speaking her mind in ways both touching and hilarious.” —Cosmopolitan, "10 Books You Need to Read in 2017"
"[Sidibe] delivers a much-awaited memoir—wise, complex, smart, funny—a version of the American experience different from anything we’ve read... Irreverent, hilarious, and untraditional, This Is Just My Face takes its place and fills a void on the shelf of writers from Mindy Kaling to David Sedaris to Lena Dunham." —BookBub
“You’re the BOMB, girl!”—President Barack Obama
“Gabourey Sidibe’s delightful memoir This Is Just My Face: Try Not To Stare offers a memorable look into what happens when a black girl’s dreams come true, from the inside out. From her unique childhood as the daughter of a subway singer mother and polygamous father to struggling with depression to getting the role of Precious, Sidibe is fearless, incredibly funny and gorgeously open. What she offers of herself in these pages is a gift.”—Roxane Gay
"Here, Gabourey Sidibe cements her status as gives-zero-effs queen of Hollywood AND perceptive best friend in your head. Frank, funny, and insanely charming, these stories reveal the girl behind the gown and show Hollywood for what it really is: a wet t-shirt contest of an industry that sometimes redeems itself by picking the right star. Gabby is that star, and you'll root for her on every pagewe are blessed by her honesty, passion and wit.”—Lena Dunham
“’I just wrote the truth, and it made me feel better.’ That is the theme of this unique and universal book by a young woman who is both a total surprise and an instant classic. Gabby combines New York and Senegal, the streets and the heights, bravery and self-doubt, laughing and seriousness. Her truth helps us to find ours—and what could be a bigger gift than that?”—Gloria Steinem
“To know Gabby is to love Gabby. To read her book is to love her even more. It is bold, brave, on-your-front-foot writing. Her story inspires you to step up and own your life with a compassion and confidence so potent that it will break down any door.”—Laura Linney
“I always knew Gabby was magic.”—Johnetta Elzie
Actress Sidibe, most recently of the TV series Empire, gives readers a glimpse into her childhood in Harlem, NY, and Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn; her early work talking on a phone-sex line; and her rise to fame with the 2009 film Precious.
11/01/2017School Library Journal
Teens who pick up this memoir by Sidibe will feel as though the actress is sitting in a room with them, chatting and telling stories. Her reflections about her high school hair mishaps and her rumored Internet death are laugh-out-loud funny, but Sidibe also shares poignant moments. Her father's Senegalese ways often confused her. Her mother's hopeful ambition, coupled with her lack of time and money, molded Sidibe and gave her character, but the author was responsible for her own happiness. Her strength comes through as she discusses forgiveness: of haters, of her family, and especially of U.S. culture. Sidibe understands that though she may have detractors who criticize her because of her weight, she has two options: run and hide, or find a way to make people see her as she sees herself. What teenager can't relate? This humorous work that details the actress's rise to fame, her trials with self-image, and her belief in herself will resonate with readers. This is a journey not to be missed. VERDICT An immersive, honest, and funny read for fans of Sidibe or celebrity memoirs.—Pamela Schembri, Horace Greeley High School, Chappaqua, NY