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Amber Ruffin Books In Order

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Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

You'll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey (With: Lacey Lamar) (2021)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Amber Ruffin is an American comedy writer, television host, and author. She made her debut as an author in 2021 with the release of You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories About Racism. She co-wrote the book with Lacey Lamar, her sister, and the two share some absurd anecdotes about everyday experiences of racism.

Ruffin was born in Omaha, Nebraska as the youngest of five children. She grew up in Omaha where she went on to attend and graduate from Benson High School. She learned to communicate with a neighbor who was deaf at a young age by learning Signing Exact English. Amber found her way to comedy at a young age by staying up to watch Saturday Night Live. She loved performing which lead to theater and then improv where she found the people to be the most fun.

In 2001, she decide to try her hand at improv. She started by performing locally in Omaha and then her improv troupe did an event in Chicago where she met Charna Halpern. That move proved pivotal in her career at that point as Halpern encouraged her to move to Chicago. Halpern saw something special in her and believed that she woulds be doing comedy as a career within a year of moving.

While it didn’t quite work out that way, the move was good for her. She would then go to Amsterdam to work more as a writer and performer. Upon her return to the United Sates, she joined The Second City. This was another important time in her career as it was here that she met Jenny Hagel who she would later work with on Late Night with Seth Meyers. 2011 saw he head to Los Angeles where she’d have her first breakthrough on an episode of Key & Peele.

Amber would audition for Saturday Night Live in 2014, but did not get the job. However, the audition proved quite fruitful as she was called by Seth Meyers who asked her to join the writing staff of his new show, Late Night with Seth Meyers. She was a writer on the very first season and continued on there. As time has went on she has gotten a number of her own segments, including “Amber Says What?”, “Amber’s Minute of Fury”, “Jokes Seth Can’t Tell”, and “Point, Counterpoint”.

After the George Floyd murder, Late Night began their show with a series of opening monologues by Amber Ruffin where she talked about her experiences being harassed by the police. When everything started happening, she wrote the segments herself and came to them with the idea. The first one went well and she was able to keep doing them for the show.

In addition to her work on Late Night, Ruffin also wrote on Comedy Central’s Detroiters and served as narrator on Drunk History. She has also served as a writer on A Black Lady Sketch Show.

Anber was listed on Crain’s New York Business’ 2018 40 Under 40 list. She was also featured on the Time 100 Next in 2021.

She had a breakthrough in 2020 as she was given her own late-night talk show on Peacock called The Amber Ruffin Show. The show is unlike other late night shows and has more sketches instead of guests and interviews. She never thought that late night would be an option for her because of the predominance of white men hosts and there had never been a woman of color as a host. She changed all that and opened a door for many future women comedians.

The show earned nominations from the Writers Guild of America as well as in the Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series category at the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards. Because her show was launched during the pandemic, the first thirty episodes of the show took place in a room with empty chairs. However, she was finally able to welcome her first live audience on Friday, August 13th.

In 2021, Amber released her first book, You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories about Racism, which she co-wrote with her sister Lacey Lamar. The book made it onto the New York Times Best Seller List. It got some incredible reviews and blurbs. Mindy Kaling dared readers to try and read the book without becoming obsessed with Ruffin. Salon said that the book was timely and timeless while also being hilarious, insightful, aggravating, and comforting in equal parts. While Kirkus Reviews called it both maddening and funny.

You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories about Racism is the debut book from Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar. Amber lives in New York so she is long past the point of being someone’s first black friend. This is not the case, however, for her sister Lacey who lives in Nebraska and you won’t believe what happened to Lacey.

This book is filled with anecdotes like racist donut shops and strangers putting their hands in her hair. The anecdotes are told in a funny, absurd way because they are funny and absurd, but they are also shared with heart in a way that can be a learning experience for some. Lacey has been mistaken for a prostitute and Harriet Tubman in her life, she is just a magnet for these types of ridiculous stories that are told in this book. Lacey is a mix of polite, beautiful, petite, and Black in a way that disarms people and for some reason makes them think they can say whatever they want to her. That often has mixed results and Amber and Lacey shed a light on some of these entertaining, horrifying experiences in her life. The two have a great sisterly banter and the stories told in this book will be eye-opening for some and sadly relatable for others. You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories about Racism tackles the topic of racism in today’s world with a great balance of humor and heart, levity and gravity.

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