counter create hit Cack-Handed: A Memoir - Download Free eBook
Hot Best Seller

Cack-Handed: A Memoir

Availability: Ready to download

The British comedian of Nigerian heritage and co-executive producer and writer of the CBS hit series Bob Hearts Abishola chronicles her odyssey to get to America and break into Hollywood in this lively and humorous memoir. According to family superstition, Gina Yashere was born to fulfill the dreams of her grandmother Patience. The powerful first wife of a wealthy busines The British comedian of Nigerian heritage and co-executive producer and writer of the CBS hit series Bob Hearts Abishola chronicles her odyssey to get to America and break into Hollywood in this lively and humorous memoir. According to family superstition, Gina Yashere was born to fulfill the dreams of her grandmother Patience. The powerful first wife of a wealthy businessman, Patience was poisoned by her jealous sister-wives and marked with a spot on her neck. From birth, Gina carried a similar birthmark—a sign that she was her grandmother’s chosen heir, and would fulfill Patience’s dreams. Gina would learn to speak perfect English, live unfettered by men or children, work a man’s job, and travel the world with a free spirit. Is she the reincarnation of her grandmother? Maybe. Gina isn’t ruling anything out. In Cack-Handed, she recalls her intergenerational journey to success foretold by her grandmother and fulfilled thousands of miles from home. This hilarious memoir tells the story of how from growing up as a child of Nigerian immigrants in working class London, running from skinheads, and her overprotective Mom, Gina went on to become the first female engineer with the UK branch of Otis, the largest elevator company in the world, where she went through a baptism of fire from her racist and sexist co-workers. Not believing her life was difficult enough, she later left engineering to become a stand up comic, appearing on numerous television shows and becoming one of the top comedians in the UK, before giving it all up to move to the US, a dream she’d had since she was six years old, watching American kids on television, riding cool bicycles, and solving crimes. A collection of eccentric, addictive, and uproarious stories that combine family, race, gender, class, and country, Cack-Handed reveals how Gina’s unconventional upbringing became the foundation of her successful career as an international comedian. 


Compare

The British comedian of Nigerian heritage and co-executive producer and writer of the CBS hit series Bob Hearts Abishola chronicles her odyssey to get to America and break into Hollywood in this lively and humorous memoir. According to family superstition, Gina Yashere was born to fulfill the dreams of her grandmother Patience. The powerful first wife of a wealthy busines The British comedian of Nigerian heritage and co-executive producer and writer of the CBS hit series Bob Hearts Abishola chronicles her odyssey to get to America and break into Hollywood in this lively and humorous memoir. According to family superstition, Gina Yashere was born to fulfill the dreams of her grandmother Patience. The powerful first wife of a wealthy businessman, Patience was poisoned by her jealous sister-wives and marked with a spot on her neck. From birth, Gina carried a similar birthmark—a sign that she was her grandmother’s chosen heir, and would fulfill Patience’s dreams. Gina would learn to speak perfect English, live unfettered by men or children, work a man’s job, and travel the world with a free spirit. Is she the reincarnation of her grandmother? Maybe. Gina isn’t ruling anything out. In Cack-Handed, she recalls her intergenerational journey to success foretold by her grandmother and fulfilled thousands of miles from home. This hilarious memoir tells the story of how from growing up as a child of Nigerian immigrants in working class London, running from skinheads, and her overprotective Mom, Gina went on to become the first female engineer with the UK branch of Otis, the largest elevator company in the world, where she went through a baptism of fire from her racist and sexist co-workers. Not believing her life was difficult enough, she later left engineering to become a stand up comic, appearing on numerous television shows and becoming one of the top comedians in the UK, before giving it all up to move to the US, a dream she’d had since she was six years old, watching American kids on television, riding cool bicycles, and solving crimes. A collection of eccentric, addictive, and uproarious stories that combine family, race, gender, class, and country, Cack-Handed reveals how Gina’s unconventional upbringing became the foundation of her successful career as an international comedian. 

30 review for Cack-Handed: A Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Vicky "phenkos"

    If you don't know who Gina Yashere is, you're missing out! I didn't have a clue and only picked up this book after reading an article in anewspaper about Gina's career as a stand-up comedian. I'm not a massive fan of stand-up comedy, in fact until recently I only knew three stand-up comedians (all women): Ellen Degeneres, Margaret Cho and a friend who attended a weekend course in stand-up and did a gig before returning to her country of origin and diseappearing from my life forever. Well, I've n If you don't know who Gina Yashere is, you're missing out! I didn't have a clue and only picked up this book after reading an article in anewspaper about Gina's career as a stand-up comedian. I'm not a massive fan of stand-up comedy, in fact until recently I only knew three stand-up comedians (all women): Ellen Degeneres, Margaret Cho and a friend who attended a weekend course in stand-up and did a gig before returning to her country of origin and diseappearing from my life forever. Well, I've now added a fourth to my paltry list! Gina Yashere is daughter to Nigerian parents who arrived in the UK in the late 60s for better jobs and education. This particular dream of theirs did not end well. Her mother was unable to make use of her teaching qualifications due to mounting racism in the UK and her father had few prospects of getting a job that matched his qualifications. When her father received a call from his sister in Nigeria asking him to go back home on the grounds that he would be much better off there, he didn't waste time. But her mother refused to go back with him. She had made her home in London and was determined to make the most of the opportunities available for herself and her three children, Gina and her two boys, Dele and Sheyi. This book is Gina and her family's journey from the council flats of Bethnal Green to international fame in the US as a comedian and writer. To say that the Yashere family had it hard in the UK would be an understatement. An incident that highlights racist attitudes at the time really poignantly is the following: when Gina was 9 years old she happened to be leaning on a car when a grown man's voice was heard: 'Get the fuck off my car, you black bastard!" Despite being very young, Gina replied in kind: "Piss off you white bastard". The man chased her and beat her up really badly. Young Gina tried to find refuge in her school but the gate was closed and she banged on the door while a teacher inside was trying to open it, all the while the man hitting and punching her! He was arrested and cautioned. Gina's mother pursued a private prosecution against him but the judge gave the man an absolute discharge. It was like saying none of this happened, and if it did, well, it's not a big deal. Perhaps the child deserved it! Gina's childhood and adolesence are described in vivid detail, and although my own experience of growing up was very different from Gina's, there were so many themes and cultural motifs I recognised! A strict parent not allowing you to go to friends' parties because they saw risks everywhere! Bullying and alienation at school, made worse in Gina's case by racism and even by rivalries between Carribean and African people owing to internalising the white narrative of lazy blacks. Despite the difficulties, Gina was very resourceful and enterprising and managed to get small crumbs of freedom wherever she could, for example by arranging to go on a trip to France as an A-Level student without her mother knowing she would be unaccompanied. Her account of racism in the BBC is sobering. She was always treated as a 'token' Black, and therefore had few hopes of moving up despite being very talented and popular among viewers. She explains that she thought that if she worked hard, played by the rules and proved her popularity, she would get her own show, get to make her own decisions about her programmes. The reality coudn't have been more different. Despite working her back off and being ambitious and determined, Gina was suffocating in the UK. The decision to move to the US was a gamble because she would be starting from scratch but one that paid off. A couple of niggles I had with the book: Gina starts off with an account of the history of Benin (which I am very familiar with and I believe showcases poignantly the deeply racist and colonial attitudes of the British in the 19th century) but which is told in an overly simplified language as if the book is addressed to an audience that can barely read. Fortunately, this eases off as we move on to Gina's birth and upbringing. Another niggle was that some characters are introduced at odd points in the story. Gina's step-father, for example, is introduced long after we've read about Gina's childhood with her two brothers and have formed a mental image of how they all lived at home. This disrupts the reader's expectations somewhat, but I can see that the narrative might have been too messy otherwise. Finally, the title: cack-handed. 'Cack-handed' means left-handed but also, a Gina explains in the Foreword, clumsy and awkward, which, she says, she is. 'It also represents the unconventional track [her] life and career have taken'. Fair enough. Gina also explains in the book that her left-handedness caused her a fair amount of trouble when she was a child because her mother tried to knock it out of her. Why? Because we eat with the right hand and use the left hand to ... you guessed it! Ok, not the most appealing title! Having said all this, I loved this book to bits! Gina has a talent for story-telling and this comes through very clearly. I read the book in two sittings and really wished there was more! I learnt so much about African culture in the UK in the 70s and 80s (the time when Gina was growing up). I also got reminded of funny little details most of us have now probably forgotten, such as the removable cassette-players people used to have in their cars and take out with them for fear of theft! Overall, I highly recommend this, it's well-written, it's poignant and it's huge fun! Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for an advance copy.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Monica **can't read fast enough**

    Insightful and funny. I'm glad that I had an opportunity to read this memoir. I knew very little about Gina Yashere beforehand but after reading this I'd want to be a fan of hers even if I weren't familiar with her professional work. I received an ARC from the publisher Where you can find me: •(♥).•*Monica Is Reading*•.(♥)• Twitter: @monicaisreading Instagram: @readermonica Goodreads Group: The Black Bookcase Insightful and funny. I'm glad that I had an opportunity to read this memoir. I knew very little about Gina Yashere beforehand but after reading this I'd want to be a fan of hers even if I weren't familiar with her professional work. I received an ARC from the publisher Where you can find me: •(♥).•*Monica Is Reading*•.(♥)• Twitter: @monicaisreading Instagram: @readermonica Goodreads Group: The Black Bookcase

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah

    In terms of comedian memoirs, I found this one to be quite lacking, even though I like Gina Yashere's standup, because unlike other comedian memoirs I've read that are quite personal, this is primarily a memoir of Gina's early career rather than being about her personal life. The first half of the book is about her upbringing in a British Nigerian family and the conflicts and cultural differences that come with living with an immigrant parent, but the second half is very much a deep dive into ho In terms of comedian memoirs, I found this one to be quite lacking, even though I like Gina Yashere's standup, because unlike other comedian memoirs I've read that are quite personal, this is primarily a memoir of Gina's early career rather than being about her personal life. The first half of the book is about her upbringing in a British Nigerian family and the conflicts and cultural differences that come with living with an immigrant parent, but the second half is very much a deep dive into how Gina cultivated her comedy career. I admit that since I wasn't very familiar with Gina's beginnings in UK comedy, I found myself zoning out during the latter half of the book. Obviously it's up to her how much she wants to divulge about her life, but despite acknowledging her girlfriend in the Acknowledgments, she doesn't talk at all about how they met or came to become a couple - you would probably need to watch her standup to even gets pieces of that story - and as a reader, that's something I would have been more curious to read about than the nitty gritty of how she clawed her way up in UK comedy. This book also ends with her about to make the move to the American comedy market, but since she's been active over here in the US for a bit - Netflix special, Bob Hearts Abishola, etc - now it felt strange to not have any reflections on that in a book coming out now in 2021; it seems like this book was ready for publication a couple years ago. For me, this was not a noteworthy memoir, but I did enjoy Gina's narration because her vocalizations are always hysterical.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Julie H.

    Gina Yashere's Cack-Handed: A Memoir is a mostly-hilarious and stealthily serious read. It's part stand-up routine but also a sober commentary for up and comers on the structural racism and sexism of the world in general and in particular as developed here, in the entertainment world--esp. as relates to a willbe actor and standup comic (trust me, there is no would be about Ms. Yashere). I won an uncorrected proof of this book as a Firstreads giveaway and would like to note to the publisher that Gina Yashere's Cack-Handed: A Memoir is a mostly-hilarious and stealthily serious read. It's part stand-up routine but also a sober commentary for up and comers on the structural racism and sexism of the world in general and in particular as developed here, in the entertainment world--esp. as relates to a willbe actor and standup comic (trust me, there is no would be about Ms. Yashere). I won an uncorrected proof of this book as a Firstreads giveaway and would like to note to the publisher that in trawling through the daily list of giveaways, it was the title that first caught my attention. Then, I recalled that I'd seen Gina on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah where she'd killed. The book arrived within a day or two of my notification (h/t HarperCollins!) and was a superfast and highly enjoyable read. If your Mom is cool, might I recommend that you get her this book for Mother's Day? She'll love Gina's Mom, possibly even finding a little of herself in there, particularly if she sacrificed for you and your siblings and placed enormous expectations on you. Of course, you'll want to read it yourself, first, so that when Mom starts citing some of the random lines at you you'll get the jokes. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go get caught up on her appearance in Season 2 of The Standups on Netflix. Bottom line: funny, timely, and informative book. Read it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jay Duran

    Sharing my original review (initially posted on @ginayashere Instagram page) of this book. "I just finished listening to your book on audible and am still buzzing from the badassery that is #cackhanded. I found your memoir to be powerful, inspiring and very freaking infuriating (not infuriated with you, infuriated with the shit people that tried to hold you down). It evoked emotion and pride for your representation in this community. #lgbtq Thank you for sharing your story. I laughed my ass off, Sharing my original review (initially posted on @ginayashere Instagram page) of this book. "I just finished listening to your book on audible and am still buzzing from the badassery that is #cackhanded. I found your memoir to be powerful, inspiring and very freaking infuriating (not infuriated with you, infuriated with the shit people that tried to hold you down). It evoked emotion and pride for your representation in this community. #lgbtq Thank you for sharing your story. I laughed my ass off, cursed the a-holes and gained an even bigger respect for you and your culture." P.S. If you haven't yet, read this book, you won't regret it. Gina Yashere is not just a funny lady, she is a brilliant writer and an excellent storyteller.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Zibby Owens

    The memoir is about the history of the author's life and what it was like growing up as the daughter of two Nigerian immigrants in the U.K. during the 80s. We see the first twenty-five years of the author's life growing up in London, England, where racism was at the forefront of everything. She became the first woman engineer at Otis elevators in over one-hundred-year history. This is a very humorous memoir, but it also covers some pretty dark subjects. The author shares how she navigated her rel The memoir is about the history of the author's life and what it was like growing up as the daughter of two Nigerian immigrants in the U.K. during the 80s. We see the first twenty-five years of the author's life growing up in London, England, where racism was at the forefront of everything. She became the first woman engineer at Otis elevators in over one-hundred-year history. This is a very humorous memoir, but it also covers some pretty dark subjects. The author shares how she navigated her relationship with her mother and how her mother's moods and parenting affected her life. We also learn that she turned to comedy as a way to mitigate some of the racialized violence she experienced and how writing this book helped her understand her mother and her history in a brand-new way. It's always great learning about somebody else's experience. That's how we all grow as people, is something not similar to our lives, To listen to my interview with the author, go to my podcast at: https://zibbyowens.com/transcript/gin...

  7. 4 out of 5

    Niamh

    My first exposure to Gina Yashere's hilarity was as a child when she presented 'Gina's Laughing Gear' on CBBC and then later, as a panellist on Mock the Week. Having now read this and seen a clip of 'Bob Hearts Abishola' on Stephen Colbert, I'm counting down the moments until it broadcasts in the UK (or I can watch it...completely legally...on the internet...) 'Cack-Handed' is Yashere's memoir of growing up in a British-Nigerian family in the heart of London and her lifelong quest to get the hell My first exposure to Gina Yashere's hilarity was as a child when she presented 'Gina's Laughing Gear' on CBBC and then later, as a panellist on Mock the Week. Having now read this and seen a clip of 'Bob Hearts Abishola' on Stephen Colbert, I'm counting down the moments until it broadcasts in the UK (or I can watch it...completely legally...on the internet...) 'Cack-Handed' is Yashere's memoir of growing up in a British-Nigerian family in the heart of London and her lifelong quest to get the hell out of England. She speaks candidly about the racism and tokenism at the heart of British entertainment and the comedy scene and her own experiences working in two industries (engineering and then comedy) that are deeply sexist, racist and homophobic. I would highly recommend the audiobook as Yashere reads it herself and you can hear all the wonderful nuances and hilarious lines as they're supposed to be read. It's a great audiobook filled with proverbs (Yashere explains they're proverbs her mother has repeated throughout her life and some are very useful) and both hilarious and sobering stories about her life.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Glenda Nelms

    Gina Yashere is a good storyteller and good writer. Yashere writes about growing up in Nigeria and migrated into the UK. Going deep into Black LGBTQ culture.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Taiwo Williams

    It was good reading it, plus my mother and her mother were good friends; it took me back to my own Nigerian-British upbringing, and I chuckled inwardly with some of her descriptions growing up, because my mother was identical to Gina's mother. Only us who have Nigerian mothers know! I wish Gina had developed more on the private fostering side when she was placed in foster care, because this issue of Black British history is still relatively unknown. I felt that her memoir could've been a bit more It was good reading it, plus my mother and her mother were good friends; it took me back to my own Nigerian-British upbringing, and I chuckled inwardly with some of her descriptions growing up, because my mother was identical to Gina's mother. Only us who have Nigerian mothers know! I wish Gina had developed more on the private fostering side when she was placed in foster care, because this issue of Black British history is still relatively unknown. I felt that her memoir could've been a bit more rounded, and would've loved to hear about when she chose to publicly come out; so much more could be been written on this issue, especially with her mother and the community she was raised in. It was briefly mentioned, but to reiterate, it wasn't fully developed. I was a bit disappointed when I came to the end, because I was expecting more about her life in America, but maybe it's going to be written about in another memoir? All in all, it was an ok read, but I really expected more. I'm happy that Gina has found her success across the pond, as she has put in a lot of work to get there.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Anthony

    Gina Yashere (2021) CACK-HANDED - A MEMOIR (AUDIOBOOK) Audible - HarperCollins Publishers ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5 out of 5 stars Audible write, "According to family superstition, Gina Yashere was born to fulfill the dreams of her grandmother Patience. The powerful first wife of a wealthy businessman, Patience was poisoned by her jealous sister-wives and marked with a spot on her neck. From birth, Gina carried a similar birthmark - a sign that she was her grandmother’s chosen heir, and would fulfill Patience’s dr Gina Yashere (2021) CACK-HANDED - A MEMOIR (AUDIOBOOK) Audible - HarperCollins Publishers ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5 out of 5 stars Audible write, "According to family superstition, Gina Yashere was born to fulfill the dreams of her grandmother Patience. The powerful first wife of a wealthy businessman, Patience was poisoned by her jealous sister-wives and marked with a spot on her neck. From birth, Gina carried a similar birthmark - a sign that she was her grandmother’s chosen heir, and would fulfill Patience’s dreams. Gina would learn to speak perfect English, live unfettered by men or children, work a man’s job, and travel the world with a free spirit. Is she the reincarnation of her grandmother? Maybe. Gina isn’t ruling anything out. In Cack-Handed, she recalls her intergenerational journey to success foretold by her grandmother and fulfilled thousands of miles from home. This hilarious memoir tells the story of how from growing up as a child of Nigerian immigrants in working class London, running from skinheads, and her overprotective Mom, Gina went on to become the first female engineer with the UK branch of Otis, the largest elevator company in the world, where she went through a baptism of fire from her racist and sexist co-workers. Not believing her life was difficult enough, she later left engineering to become a stand-up comic, appearing on numerous television shows and becoming one of the top comedians in the UK, before giving it all up to move to the US, a dream she’d had since she was six years old, watching American kids on television, riding cool bicycles, and solving crimes." ===== Speechless when it comes to the 'Step Bastard'. Honest to God! Jesus. Love the fact this book gives a bit of education on Race here and abroad. Gina doesn't hold back when describing her experiences. I loved Gina before I listened to this audiobook. I love her all the more now. She's just great. ===== #GinaYashere #CackHanded #GinaYashereCackHanded #Book #Books #Read #Reads #Reading #BookShelf #Library #Review #Reviews #BookReview #BookReviews #GoodReads #Kindle #Audible #Audiobook #Audiobooks

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sophia

    Cack-Handed: A Memoir by GINA YASHERE Published June 8th 2021 <3 I usually finished my books quicker but between the hysterics and the sadistic behavior of the people she dealt with--I had to keep rewinding it to LOL at her hilarity or just shake my head in disgust and disbelief of some of the treatment she endured. I love the history lessons she infused throughout her memoir. I never even heard of her until I seen her on the CBS hit series Bob <3 Abishola, a show she co-created. Anyone who seen Cack-Handed: A Memoir by GINA YASHERE Published June 8th 2021 <3 I usually finished my books quicker but between the hysterics and the sadistic behavior of the people she dealt with--I had to keep rewinding it to LOL at her hilarity or just shake my head in disgust and disbelief of some of the treatment she endured. I love the history lessons she infused throughout her memoir. I never even heard of her until I seen her on the CBS hit series Bob <3 Abishola, a show she co-created. Anyone who seen the show, will see/hear a lot of it in this memoir. Behind every great comedienne there is a great deal of pain and this certainly made a lot of that pain public. I only hope the #StepBastard and all those other evil doers are still alive to see her success. The best revenge is Good Living! This is a #MustRead<3 #DrivingWhileBlack #DomesticViolence #CulturalNorms #Nigeria #Carribean #London #SelfHatred #NigerianApproved #MentalHealth #GenderNorms #TopShop #StepBastardFather #doubleStandards #stereotyping #Discipline #enslavement #systemicracism #bullyingprevention #bullyingawareness The British comedian of Nigerian heritage and co-executive producer and writer of the CBS hit series Bob Hearts Abishola chronicles her odyssey to get to America and break into Hollywood in this lively and humorous memoir. According to family superstition, Gina Yashere was born to fulfill the dreams of her grandmother Patience. The powerful first wife of a wealthy businessman, Patience was poisoned by her jealous sister-wives and marked with a spot on her neck. From birth, Gina carried a similar birthmark—a sign that she was her grandmother's chosen heir, and would fulfill Patience's dreams. Gina would learn to speak perfect English, live unfettered by men or children, work a man's job, and travel the world with a free spirit. Is she the reincarnation of her grandmother? Maybe. Gina isn't ruling anything out. In Cack-Handed, she recalls her intergenerational journey to success foretold by her grandmother and fulfilled thousands of miles from home. This hilarious memoir tells the story of how from growing up as a child of Nigerian immigrants in working class London, running from skinheads, and her overprotective Mom, Gina went on to become the first female engineer with the UK branch of Otis, the largest elevator company in the world, where she went through a baptism of fire from her racist and sexist co-workers. Not believing her life was difficult enough, she later left engineering to become a stand up comic, appearing on numerous television shows and becoming one of the top comedians in the UK, before giving it all up to move to the US, a dream she'd had since she was six years old, watching American kids on television, riding cool bicycles, and solving crimes. A collection of eccentric, addictive, and uproarious stories that combine family, race, gender, class, and country, Cack-Handed reveals how Gina's unconventional upbringing became the foundation of her successful career as an international comedian. Amistad HarperCollins

  12. 4 out of 5

    Runwright

    I first saw Gina Yashere's comic routine on YouTube several years ago so I was happy when the publisher offered me a copy of her memoir. I loved it! Yashere has a really funny bit that she does about her Nigerian heritage including how she struggled for acceptance when she pursued being a comedian instead of the doctor/engineer career her mother had chosen for her. It all comes to a head when her mother finally attends one of her comic shows and the host recognizes her outfitted in all her tradit I first saw Gina Yashere's comic routine on YouTube several years ago so I was happy when the publisher offered me a copy of her memoir. I loved it! Yashere has a really funny bit that she does about her Nigerian heritage including how she struggled for acceptance when she pursued being a comedian instead of the doctor/engineer career her mother had chosen for her. It all comes to a head when her mother finally attends one of her comic shows and the host recognizes her outfitted in all her traditional garb so Mom stands up in the crowd and confirms that yes, she is the mother of the clown. Trust me. It's comedy worth watching and in this memoir, Yashere introduces her family and the hardship that she laughed her way out of and into making a name for herself as an entertainer in England, traveling the world and finally landing a dream position in the US. She describes the prejudice she faced growing up in 1980s England, discrimination that came from whites and other Blacks alike, and even within her own household with a step-father who treated her like Cinderella. She talks about the gender discrimination of breaking into a traditional male-dominated career as an engineer and how that all heralded her leaving for the uncertainty of the entertainment industry. Despite the sad stories, at its heart, Cack-Handed is a comic routine and Yashere adds funny bits to every story. I also love how she pays homage to her Nigerian ancestry using African proverbs or idioms as chapter and topic headings all through the book. If you like family stories, or feminist ones where the princess saves herself, or even if you just like to laugh, then you will enjoy this one.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    Really great engaging memoir. As a first generation black Brit with parents who emigrated to the UK in the 60's from one of the then colonies, but at least 10 years older than Gina, I was really interested in her story and journey. I have known and liked Gina since she first broke out on the UK comedy scene. I was sad to read about the racism she experienced as a child and adult, plus the prejudice from fellow black kids of west indian descent in school, making some of her school days a nightmar Really great engaging memoir. As a first generation black Brit with parents who emigrated to the UK in the 60's from one of the then colonies, but at least 10 years older than Gina, I was really interested in her story and journey. I have known and liked Gina since she first broke out on the UK comedy scene. I was sad to read about the racism she experienced as a child and adult, plus the prejudice from fellow black kids of west indian descent in school, making some of her school days a nightmare and also the antagonism from her fellow black male counterparts in the the UK comedy arena - this was really eye opening (hey Gina, how envious all these people must be of you now, you have made it big in the US, what are they actually doing now....you got the last laugh). This is truly an enlightening and insightful book, particularly if you come from any privileged background. I am really pleased and proud of everything Gina has achieved thus far. One small point - I found it interesting and even slightly amusing that as Gina is now a US resident, and clearly the book is also written for her US fan base, she had to explain all the British nuances and London locations in great detail, which clearly a Brit would understand, however she did this really well and it didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Claire

    A memoir written as a selection of short chapters connected to her mother's sayings, which is a clever structure. Much of this will be familiar to anyone who knows Gina Yashere's work, she describes a difficult upbringing partly due to her mother's experience of being Nigerian in the UK and partly due to her abusive step-father, (she protests that she never thought of this as abuse though, it was just how it was). Not always an easy read, her trademark humour shines through, as does her resilien A memoir written as a selection of short chapters connected to her mother's sayings, which is a clever structure. Much of this will be familiar to anyone who knows Gina Yashere's work, she describes a difficult upbringing partly due to her mother's experience of being Nigerian in the UK and partly due to her abusive step-father, (she protests that she never thought of this as abuse though, it was just how it was). Not always an easy read, her trademark humour shines through, as does her resilience and her admiration at her mother's strength. We know that she left the UK to find success in the US and this is clearly written with her American fans in mind, as she often explains and/or translates British sayings or experiences for them. I found this a little grating and maybe unnecessary, surely there is enough cultural cross over now, if not a glossary at the end would have been preferable. That said, this is an important piece of Black British history, her experience of racism in the 70's and 80's and of being the only female lift engineer in Canary Wharf! America's gain is definitely our loss, I am happy that she has found success and happiness there, I look forward to reading more about that in the sequel. With thanks to the publisher and Net galley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lee Rush

    Yashere is both a deft comic and soulful author I have loved Gina’s comedic prowess for some time, and social media has allowed me the opportunity to see a small piece of the 3D person she is. When she started promoting this book months before release, I immediately preordered a copy. I wanted to know more about where she me from, and how it shaped her edgy comedy. And I wasn’t disappointed. This biography maintains her wonderful edgy tone, and also allows us entry into the events that shaped her Yashere is both a deft comic and soulful author I have loved Gina’s comedic prowess for some time, and social media has allowed me the opportunity to see a small piece of the 3D person she is. When she started promoting this book months before release, I immediately preordered a copy. I wanted to know more about where she me from, and how it shaped her edgy comedy. And I wasn’t disappointed. This biography maintains her wonderful edgy tone, and also allows us entry into the events that shaped her professional presence, as well as her humanity. Through her book, she has inspired me to be aware of my own privilege, and know that my perspective comes from a lens vastly different than hers. And I’m more of a fan girl than ever!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Crunchy

    I really enjoyed this book. It wasn’t as hilarious as the reviews suggested, but it was a really easy, enjoyable and entertaining read. I kept going back to it to read more and didn’t want to put it down. I found Gina’s sketch about the nosey woman in the first class train carriage (thinking Gina was lost) really funny, but haven’t seen a huge amount of her work otherwise. Her childhood was interesting and the way she made it in the comedy world was insightful. Gina shares her challenges - and a I really enjoyed this book. It wasn’t as hilarious as the reviews suggested, but it was a really easy, enjoyable and entertaining read. I kept going back to it to read more and didn’t want to put it down. I found Gina’s sketch about the nosey woman in the first class train carriage (thinking Gina was lost) really funny, but haven’t seen a huge amount of her work otherwise. Her childhood was interesting and the way she made it in the comedy world was insightful. Gina shares her challenges - and approaches to glass ceilings - for which I have great respect for and I now want to watch more of her stand up and character sketches. Gina is a great writer, providing personal insights to her life snd career as a black LGB woman. Thoroughly recommend this book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kristine

    Cack-Handed by Gina Yashere is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early June. Chaptered with friggin' awesome parables, this book is about Yashere's ancestry into Nigeria, being discriminated against during child and adulthood, yet also being disciplined, protected, and filtering through the best music and tv that England & the US has to offer, working and finding herself during her teens and twenties, diving deep into black LGBTQ culture, performance, and comedy, and traveling around the worl Cack-Handed by Gina Yashere is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early June. Chaptered with friggin' awesome parables, this book is about Yashere's ancestry into Nigeria, being discriminated against during child and adulthood, yet also being disciplined, protected, and filtering through the best music and tv that England & the US has to offer, working and finding herself during her teens and twenties, diving deep into black LGBTQ culture, performance, and comedy, and traveling around the world.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Karen Chapelle

    I loved it but I need to hear more! Interesting stories about a remarkable Woman and her upbringing and drive to have the life she's always known she deserves and sees clearly. She's so interesting there wasn't time to share some parts of her life I'm so curious about, so I hope there's a follow-up to this book because she's already had enough life in the few years post these stories for an entire new book and she's not that old! 😂 Highly recommend this book for its humour, political awareness a I loved it but I need to hear more! Interesting stories about a remarkable Woman and her upbringing and drive to have the life she's always known she deserves and sees clearly. She's so interesting there wasn't time to share some parts of her life I'm so curious about, so I hope there's a follow-up to this book because she's already had enough life in the few years post these stories for an entire new book and she's not that old! 😂 Highly recommend this book for its humour, political awareness and heart. I just love her 🙂

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Stocks

    I have always liked Gina Yashere. I have seen her perform twice live (laughed so much I had a sore jaw for days! ) and followed her on social media. Whilst I was aware of some of her background this was an insightful, honest account of her upbringing and career up to the move to the US. Racism, glass ceilings, more racism… is hard to read. I am angry/sad that such a talent had to move abroad to get the recognition that she should have had here in the UK. Yes Gina, I want to read more!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Betheliza

    I love Gina. The memoir really benefits from her being such a great storyteller. She has taken care to explain systems and peculiarities that are specific to England to open up to an American / international readership. Some of the stories make your blood run cold but you end up admiring her drive and resilience, and her knowing when to cut her losses and change tack. I would certainly like to read the next installment about her success in America.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Hana Faber

    A couple of weeks later and I'm still thinking about some of Yashere's stories*; she really makes you feel the double binds & competing emotions that she navigates, and the injustices she overcomes, all while making you laugh (no mean feat). Read it and weep (with laughter). *it probably helps that her life began in across the parts of East London where my family lived but that only adds to the charm. A couple of weeks later and I'm still thinking about some of Yashere's stories*; she really makes you feel the double binds & competing emotions that she navigates, and the injustices she overcomes, all while making you laugh (no mean feat). Read it and weep (with laughter). *it probably helps that her life began in across the parts of East London where my family lived but that only adds to the charm.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Father

    As good as expected. Having seen Gina Yashere perform ( on YouTube), and knowing that I REALLY like her comedy, I am extremely pleased to find that her memoir is even more articulate and fun than I had hoped. Thank you, Gina. You have been the bright spot of every opportunity I've had to read this memoir. As good as expected. Having seen Gina Yashere perform ( on YouTube), and knowing that I REALLY like her comedy, I am extremely pleased to find that her memoir is even more articulate and fun than I had hoped. Thank you, Gina. You have been the bright spot of every opportunity I've had to read this memoir.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Patricia Garvey

    This memoir was a funny look back on Gina's life that delved into life as an immigrant in Britain in the late 80s through to today. It was incredibly inspirational reading about how she worked up the ladder of engineering and then how she moved into comedy. I really loved getting to know more about Gina Yashere and her life, and look forward to seeing her next comedy special! This memoir was a funny look back on Gina's life that delved into life as an immigrant in Britain in the late 80s through to today. It was incredibly inspirational reading about how she worked up the ladder of engineering and then how she moved into comedy. I really loved getting to know more about Gina Yashere and her life, and look forward to seeing her next comedy special!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Merenwen

    I loved Gina Yashere when she was on Last Comic Standing, and I adore Bob Hearts Abishola, so it's only natural that I'd read her book. This is one of those rare memoirs that actually feels like you're hearing her read her story aloud. I loved Gina Yashere when she was on Last Comic Standing, and I adore Bob Hearts Abishola, so it's only natural that I'd read her book. This is one of those rare memoirs that actually feels like you're hearing her read her story aloud.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Gill

    An eye-opening read about her childhood and the obstacles faced by Yashere, both in her first career as an engineer and then as a comic. Unfortunately it ends as she moves to the US; from the epilogue it's apparent that Gina hopes to publish a second volume at some point. An eye-opening read about her childhood and the obstacles faced by Yashere, both in her first career as an engineer and then as a comic. Unfortunately it ends as she moves to the US; from the epilogue it's apparent that Gina hopes to publish a second volume at some point.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kristina

    Hilarious! I was already laughing out loud after the intro page -- "It's not one of those self-help ladi-dadi, anything is possible if you just believe, and eat nothing but almonds and kale-type books." Hilarious! I was already laughing out loud after the intro page -- "It's not one of those self-help ladi-dadi, anything is possible if you just believe, and eat nothing but almonds and kale-type books."

  27. 4 out of 5

    Bri Neptin

    I thoroughly enjoyed learning about Ms. Yashere's experiences. This is such a rich selection of stories, I am only disappointed that it ended when it did. I hope there is a call for a second book because we know there is more to tell! I thoroughly enjoyed learning about Ms. Yashere's experiences. This is such a rich selection of stories, I am only disappointed that it ended when it did. I hope there is a call for a second book because we know there is more to tell!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Alison Clarke

    Brilliant read reminded me of my childhood in Bethnal Green Read it in three days could not put it down. So disappointed when I got to end, I wanted more. Fantastic 1st book hope there are more to come!

  29. 4 out of 5

    DrCookie

    Funny and absolutely brilliant

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cecily

    Love her comedy...listened to this on audio and it was like listening/watching one of her specials.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.