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Comic Tig Notaro, post-cancer, gets book deal

September 25, 2012|by Carolyn Kellogg

Comic Tig Notaro will publish a collection of humorous, autobiographical essays with Ecco in 2015, the publisher announced Tuesday.

Notaro, who has had her own 30-minute special on Comedy Central, has written for TV, has been heard on "This American Life" and regularly appeared on the full gamut of late-night shows, did a set at Largo in August that brought her special attention.

Scheduled to appear for her monthly show at Largo with Louis CK as a special guest, Notaro first went to a doctor's appointment. There, she was informed that she had stage 2 breast cancer. Rather than try to do her regular routine, she stepped out on stage and began by saying, "Thank you, thank you, I have cancer, thank you, I have cancer, really, thank you."

Louis CK Tweeted, "In 27 years doing this, I’ve seen a handful of truly great, masterful sets. One was Tig Notaro last night at Largo."

Kira Hessler, who was in the audience, later wrote, "For the first half of her set, even though she was telling the story in perfect grace and humor, I couldn't laugh. For the second half, for the first time in my life, as far as I can recall, I genuinely laughed and cried at the exact same time."

As Notaro explained to Conan O'Brien last week (in the clip above), she had experienced a cascade of calamities before the diagnosis. Her set became an unexpected collision of comedy and entirely real tragedy; Louis CK will be releasing an audio version of it on his site.

“Living my normal life, I already had plenty to write about," Notaro said in Ecco's announcement. "Now after experiencing the highest of highs and lowest of lows of a lifetime, crammed into a 4 month period, I have a lot more to say and it’s got to go somewhere. A book seems like the most reasonable place for it all, and I’m thrilled to have this opportunity.”

More good news: after surgery, Notaro has been told that the cancer didn't spread. In the clip above, she provides what may be the funniest audio effect ever for a double mastectomy.

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