Tina Fey talks ‘Bossypants’ and other books, zings Talese


NEW YORK — Even for someone as loved as Tina Fey, a reported $6 million advance seemed like a lot of money for a book of essays.

But five years after its publication, “Bossypants” has sold 3.75 million copies, according to Little, Brown and Co.

In an email interview, Fey discussed “Bossypants” and some books she has enjoyed recently. She also had a few words for author-journalist Gay Talese, who said last weekend that he could think of no women journalists who inspired him when he was young.

Q: When the book was first published, what were your expectations?

A: My goal was just to avoid humiliation. After years of writing character-based comedy in a group process with other writers, a book “about me written by me alone” made me feel panicky and vulnerable.

Q: Any books you’d like to recommend that you’ve read?

A: I enjoyed Diane Von Furstenberg’s autobiography. I loved “Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I’m currently reading “Dinosaurs in the Attic.” Nothing by Gay Talese has moved me.