“Thank you for the perfect blend of nostalgia-drenched humor, wit, and heartbreak, Nora.” — Mandy Moore
comedy = tragedy + time/rosé
Twenty-seven-year-old Nora McInerny Purmort bounced from boyfriend to dopey “boyfriend” until she met Aaron—a charismatic art director and comic-book nerd who once made Nora laugh so hard she pulled a muscle. When Aaron was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer, they refused to let it limit their love. They got engaged on Aaron’s hospital bed and had a baby boy while he was on chemo. In the period that followed, Nora and Aaron packed fifty years of marriage into the three they got, spending their time on what really matters: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, each other, and Beyoncé. A few months later, Aaron died in Nora’s arms. The obituary they wrote during Aaron’s hospice care revealing his true identity as Spider-Man touched the nation. With It’s Okay to Laugh, Nora puts a young, fresh twist on the subjects of mortality and resilience. What does it actually mean to live your “one wild and precious life” to the fullest? How can a joyful marriage contain more sickness than health? How do you keep going when life kicks you in the junk? In this deeply felt and deeply funny memoir, Nora gives her readers a true gift—permission to struggle, permission to laugh, permission to tell the truth and know that everything will be okay. It’s Okay to Laugh is a love letter to life, in all its messy glory; it reads like a conversation with a close friend, and leaves a trail of glitter in its wake.
This book is for people who have been through some shit.
This is for people who aren’t sure if they’re saying or doing the right thing (you’re not, but nobody is). This is for people who had their life turned upside down and just learned to live that way. For people who have laughed at a funeral or cried in a grocery store. This is for everyone who wondered what exactly they’re supposed to be doing with their one wild and precious life. I don’t actually have the answer, but if you find out, will you text me?
“This story will compel you to both laugh and cry, just as the title promises. May we all bring Nora’s honesty, passion and hope to our lives.” --
“An emotional rollercoaster of the highest order...
It’s Okay to Laugh is that rare gem of a read, equal parts heartwarming and hysterical, that’ll make you laugh out loud, only to leave you tearing up a few pages later. I can’t recommend it highly enough.” --
Lincoln Thompson, BuzzFeed
“Deeply moving yet refreshingly funny” --
“This gorgeous and insightful memoir holds up the lens to mortality and leaves us with a reminder to make every moment count and value what is truly precious: time-and laughter.” --
It’s Okay to Laugh is...an unapologetic tale of heartbreak and loss that is devoid of platitudes. I found myself laughing through my tears, but that’s the real experience of profound morning, and she nails it.” --
Rebecca Soffer, writer, Modern Loss co-founder
“Nora is Anne Lamott for the emoji generation...one of the best books you’ll read this year.” --
“A natural storyteller, Nora’s words will make you laugh and cry all in the same paragraph. She transforms what would be a heart-breaking memoir into a life-affirming anthem.” --
David Gallaher, author of The Only Living Boy Series
“It is funny, and it is sad, and it is real, and if you’ve ever been through anything in your life…you are going to love this book.” --
Jennifer Weiner, New York Times Bestselling author of Who Do You Love
Terrible, thanks for asking. That’s how it feels to be a widowed mother at age thirty-one. But before Nora McInerny started the Hot Young Widows Club, she bounced from boyfriend to dopey “boyfriend” until she met Aaron—a funny and charismatic art director and comic-book nerd. When Aaron was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer, they refused to let it limit their love. They got engaged on Aaron’s hospital bed, had a baby boy while he was on chemo, and packed a lifetime of marriage into three short years. All too soon, Aaron died in Nora’s arms. The obituary they wrote while in hospice touched the nation (and revealed his true Spider-Man identity). With It’s Okay to Laugh, Nora puts a young, fresh twist on the subjects of mortality and resilience. What does it actually mean to live your “one wild and precious life” to the fullest?
Nora McInerny Purmort was voted Most Humorous by the Annunciation Catholic School Class of 1998. It was mostly downhill after that, but she did get to spend three glorious years married to Aaron Joseph Purmort (aka Spider-Man). Her work has appeared on TIME, Cosmopolitan.com, Elle.com, the Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Slate, and in the Star Tribune. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with her son, Ralph. They really like it there.