How Do You Want Me? by Ruby Wax

This week I have been treating myself to the wit and wisdom of Ruby Wax in this outstanding memoir.

This book explores two versions of Ruby Wax; the exaggerated loud and funny TV persona that we’re familiar with, contrasted with the real Ruby who survived a dark and disturbing upbringing which she openly explores here.

The Sunday Telegraph review quoted on the cover, “Dark and dazzling”, sounds like an oxymoron; I mean, is anything ever dark and dazzling?

But if I had to sum up this book in just two words, the phrase “darkly dazzling” fits the tone of both this book and Ruby herself perfectly.

It reminds me somewhat of Carrie Fisher’s memoirs Wishful Drinking and Shockaholic, both of which are most definitely “darkly dazling”. I know that Fisher and Wax were great friends, but I was still surprised to discover in the introduction that Fisher had helped Wax to edit this book.

Both Fisher and Wax write so openly and with great humour about their upbringings and struggles with mental illness. I jumped into How Do You Want Me? knowing I would be entertained with funny anecdotes; what I didn’t expect was to be so moved by Wax’s tales of family life with her monstrous (and damaged) parents.

I cannot recommend this book enough; it’s one of the best memoirs I have ever read.

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