Mike Birbiglia’s The New One is staying fresh.
The beloved comedian and best-selling author will publish a memoir about his experiences in fatherhood in 2020, based on his acclaimed stage show of the same name, EW can exclusively announce. The book begins with the premise that “Mike Birbiglia never wanted to be a father,” and from there, unfurls his experiences in parenthood in alternately heartbreaking and hilarious fashion.
The New One recently launched on Broadway after a hugely successful off-Broadway run, and this fall, he’ll tour the show across Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., St. Paul, London, and more. Like the play, the book will be interspersed with poems written by Birbiglia’s wife, Jennifer Hope Stein, and feature anecdotes most parents will relate to. “To take nothing away from each laugh Birbiglia earns mining this territory, maybe his talent lies also in recognizing that we need to hear these stories over and over again,” Allison Adato wrote of The New One‘s original off-Broadway run in her EW review. “Who would believe them otherwise?”
Indeed, Birbiglia is set to tell these stories again in a new medium. “I’ve written a lot of personal and autobiographical work over the years but this book is definitely the closest to the bone,” the comedian tells EW. “Working with my wife [Jennifer] has really challenged me to be a better writer and to be more honest with the page. The result is something that I’m simultaneously so proud of and so embarrassed of all at once.”
Birbiglia continues: “It’s cringeworthy and funny and absurd but ultimately, we hope, it’s cathartic and healing for new parents and really anyone who is averse to change in their lives. The show is an earnest pat on the back to all parents saying, ‘It’s gonna be okay.’ The book is a hug.”
EW can exclusively present the cover for The New One, which you can see below. The book publishes May 5 and is available for pre-order.