in conversation with Julia Sweeney
“The Madwoman and the Roomba:
My Year of Domestic Mayhem“
NOTE: In honor of today’s Blackout Tuesday, we’ve postponed our event, originally scheduled for June 2 to the same time on June 3.
The event is free. RSVP below to watch the premiere. You can purchase a signed book then, if you wish.
$32 includes a signed Sandra Tsing Loh book (shipping included)
SANDRA TSING LOH is a writer and performer. Her work has been heard on NPR’s Morning Edition and This American Life. She is a contributing editor to the Atlantic and hosts the syndicated daily radio minute The Loh Down on Science. Her book, The Madwoman and the Volvo, was a New York Times Notable Book of 2014.
JULIA SWEENEY is an actress, comedian, writer and film director. She’s best known for her original comedic monologues and stand up comedy. She was on Saturday Night Live from 1990 to 1994. Her most popular recurring character was Pat, an androgynous person who caused people to become confused. She also wrote and starred in a film about Pat entitled It’s Pat! After Julia left Saturday Night Live, she became known as a monologist. Her shows include: God Said Ha!, was about a terrible year when she and her brother were both diagnosed with cancer. It played on Broadway and the audio of the show was nominated for a Grammy. Quentin Tarantino produced a film version of the show, which Julia directed. Julia’s second monologue, In the Family Way, chronicled Julia’s quest to become a mother and her eventual adoption of a child as a single person. Her third monologue, Letting Go of God, was a one- person show about her quest to find a God in which she could truly believe. The film of the show, which Julia directed, played on Showtime. Her memoir, If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother, was published in 2013. She plans to tape her new show, Julia Sweeney: Older & Wider when the pandemic has been contained and it’s safe to congregate.
“This wildly funny book proves that the more of life’s indignities that are heaped on Sandra Tsing Loh, the more we will thrill to her brilliant wit and rock-solid resilience. I laughed about seventy times, welled up twice, and cried at the end. Spectacular.”
– Henry Alford, author of Would It Kill You to Stop Doing That?
Ah, 55. Gateway to the golden years! Professional summiting. Emotional maturity. Easy surfing toward the glassy blue waters of retirement…Or maybe not? Middle age, for Sandra Tsing Loh, feels more like living a disorganized 25-year-old’s life in an 85-year-old’s malfunctioning body. With raucous wit and carefree candor, Loh recounts the struggles of leaning in, staying lean, and keeping her family well-fed and financially afloat―all those burdens of running a household that still, all-too-often, fall to women.
The Madwoman and the Roomba chronicles a roller coaster year for Loh, her partner, and her two teenage daughters in their ramshackle quasi-Craftsman, with a front lawn that’s more like a rectangle of compacted dirt and mice that greet her as she makes her morning coffee. Her daughters are spending more time online than off; her partner has become a Hindu, bringing in a household of monks; and she and her girlfriends are wondering over Groupon “well” drinks how they got here.
Whether prematurely freaking out about her daughters’ college applications, worrying over her eccentric aging father, or overcoming the pitfalls of long-term partnership and the temptations of paired-with-cheese online goddess webinars, Loh somehow navigates the realities of what it means to be a middle-aged woman in the twenty-first century. By day’s end, we just might need a box of chardonnay and a Roomba to clean up the mess.