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Publisher's Summary

A New York Times Best Seller

"A must-read...Phoebe Robinson discusses race and feminism in such a funny, real, and specific way, it penetrates your brain and stays with you." (Ilana Glazer, cocreator and costar of Broad City)

A hilarious and timely essay collection about race, gender, and pop culture from upcoming comedy superstar and 2 Dope Queens podcaster Phoebe Robinson

Being a black woman in America means contending with old prejudices and fresh absurdities every day. Comedian Phoebe Robinson has experienced her fair share over the years: She's been unceremoniously relegated to the role of "the black friend", as if she is somehow the authority on all things racial; she's been questioned about her love of U2 and Billy Joel ("isn't that...white people music?"); she's been called "uppity" for having an opinion in the workplace; she's been followed around stores by security guards; and yes, people do ask her whether they can touch her hair all. The. Time. Now she's ready to take these topics to audio - and she's going to make you laugh as she's doing it.

Using her trademark wit alongside pop-culture references galore, Robinson explores everything from why Lisa Bonet is "Queen. Bae. Jesus" to breaking down the terrible nature of casting calls to giving her less-than-traditional advice to the future female president and demanding that the NFL clean up its act, all told in the same conversational voice that launched her podcast, 2 Dope Queens, to the top spot on iTunes. As personal as it is political, You Can't Touch My Hair examines our cultural climate and skewers our biases with humor and heart, announcing Robinson as a writer on the rise.

One of Glamour's "Top 10 Books of 2016"
Featured on Refinery 29's list of "The Best Books of 2016 So Far"

Read by the author, and featuring additional narration by Jessica Williams and John Hodgson

©2016 Phoebe Robinson (P)2016 Penguin Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Thank you for this

What did you like most about You Can't Touch My Hair?

I enjoyed the comedy, and it gave me a good glimpse into life as an POC American Woman.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Smart and funny

Clever, a thinkers book . A good kick in the a$$ about stuff that we should not allow to happen. Go on, your brain will thank you.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kate
  • 02-12-2016

Phoebe, You Rock

Would you listen to You Can't Touch My Hair again? Why?

I don't normally write reviews, but after the promos on 2 DopeQueens (which I love), I went to download this audiobook and was a bit astonished that, despite the super high star rating, all the reviews that were showing up were so damned negative!!! I almost didn't download it (I needed something fun to get me through the drive home from family thanksgiving), then I remembered, Phoebe is awesome, and I want to hear what she has to say.I'm a 42 year old divorced white lady. Phoebe says a lot that ring true to me about the experience of being a lady and from knowing POC. She also says a lot of things that I didn't know from the perspective of a POC, that I found enlightening. I am really, really grateful for all that she says. YES, the cadence of this book is a bit rough if you are used to Phoebe from 2 Dope Queens, where she feels just off the cuff. In this audiobook, you can definitely feel that she's reading -- but, she's reading her book, and I'm okay with that. One review I read suggested reading it at 1.1 speed-- unfortunately, my app only broke down to 1.25 - which was okay for awhile (1 chapter), then when I could hear in her voice that genuineness that we know and love, it was weird. YES, she's 31 and the fact that she bemoans being old makes those of us older feel like sorry old sacks. I remember feeling the same way. It's not really a thing that she's her age. It's who she is. Those of us that are now older were there, and remember it, if we're honest. YES, there are a few minor points where things get a bit dry, and, more to the point, feel like Phoebe is reading us a part of her college thesis instead of just engaging us and then backing her points up with facts.THOSE ARE MINOR POINTS, however, given the overall spectacular engagement I felt with Phoebe and this book. I think she brings people in to consider other experiences, explains them with grace and humor, and most of all, makes us laugh while we understand more about our shared human experience. Phoebe, I really enjoyed your book, and your reading of it, even though I'm not the intended audience. And, seriously, screw the assholes who don't get it.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Phoebe, Olivia, John

Would you listen to another book narrated by Phoebe Robinson?

Not unless she wrote it

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

laugh, for sure.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Hailey Bailey
  • 01-02-2017

A True Gem!

Phoebe Robinson opens the door to her world in this funny, but real, way.
Her opinions on everything from certain older, white gentleman, to very politically sensitive issues really reach to the core of who we are as a society and raise the question of whether or not we are headed in the right direction. Ant good story can make you think fondly about ups and downs of the characters, but it takes a truly great book to encourage the reader to be introspective, especially without asking direct questions. Thanks Pheobs!
p.s. If you ever come to Colorado on tour, you HAVE to check out The Chocolate Therapist in Littleton, for some wine and chocolate pairing... I get the feeling you would enjoy it.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Tieceypoo
  • 12-04-2017

Fantastic Read!

I really enjoyed the book she outlined issues within this American society that people refuse to talk about. my favorite part was about being an angry black woman. Yes, at times, we are angry... And rightfully f****** so.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rachel - Audible
  • 17-10-2017

Listening To This Audiobook Was A Good Life Choice

Drop everything and run (don’t walk) to the nearest recording of Phoebe Robinson's You Can’t Touch My Hair. Look, I love essays by funny ladies. You could even say they’re my jam. Well, all my past faves pale in comparison to this hilarious new collection of essays about feminism, race, pop-culture, and being a black woman in America. Phoebe Robinson is funny and poignant literally 100% of the time (how?!), and the audiobook is bananas phenomenal (with tons of ad libs you won’t find in the print version). Listening to this audiobook was a good life choice.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Krista Tyler
  • 22-04-2017

Well done Pheebs!

I need Pheobe to write letters to Olivia for the rest of her life. even if they're never published for my reading, it needs to happen. This book was wicked enjoyable and informative. The Rebecca Incident should be required reading for all teachers. How was that situation ever okay!?!? Thanks for bringing to struggles of POCs to light, Ms. Robinson. Your truth will help my daughter find hers. Love it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • angelfly72
  • 13-11-2016

I'm too old for this book

I definitely struggled to listen to this book. I tried, believe me, I tried. But I'm part of that last group of boomers, born 13 years after the end WWII. I could understand the "don't touch my hair" part because I went through that A LOT of that in the early 70s, when I was wearing a 'fro. White girls would help themselves to touching my hair, until I trained them to stop doing that But that's pretty much where the similarities end. I have two Millennial daughters. Maybe they would enjoy this.

16 of 21 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 24-10-2016

Listen @ 1.1x speed !!!

Firstly, I loved the contents. As a Mexican immigrant catching up with American culture, with fair skin and a diverse friend group, I found this very informative. As a fan of 2DQ and SMWG, this book did not disappoint.

With regards to the performance, it felt painfully slow and almost gave up and switched it for the print copy. I am a big fan of both if Phoebe's podcasts so I am used to listening to her speech (which I love) but the cadence on the audiobook felt off. I sped it up to 1.1x and voilá!

13 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Chloe
  • 09-10-2016

Nonstop laughs and all the feeeeels

Phoebe most beautifully and hilariously describes ways in which we all need to lady up and address societal and individual issues such as racial inequities, gender stereotyping, and self care. It's incredible to hear someone openly and positively talking about these crucial issues, and I cannot explain how much I appreciate hearing them from another young woman's perspective. (Oh yeah, phoebe explains the importance of this. Because she's the best.) This book is absolutely necessary for every woman and POC wanting to see their experience reflected back, and should be listened to by everyone to gain perspective but also because it's so freakin' funny! I listened to this book straight through, totally absorbed as if in the best kind of convo with my best friend. Thanks phoebs!! <3

15 of 20 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 23-11-2017

Good insights/not funny though

I enjoyed hearing her actual content and insights, she's observant and intelligent. But I didn't enjoy the exaggerated delivery and I thought her use of internet speak (e.g. actually saying out loud "hashtag Dragon ball z, be-tee-dubs") was really annoying. Just not my cup of tea.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • bj
  • 19-09-2017

Just not for me...

Would you try another book from Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams - foreword and/or Phoebe Robinson and John Hodgman ?

No

What could Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams - foreword have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Read it normally perhaps without all of the loud bits, drawn out words and just ...Ugh. I liked some of this book but most of it was just boring.

How could the performance have been better?

Same thing as previous answer.

Any additional comments?

It may be that you have to be in the 15-32 age range to enjoy this book. I'm early 40s. I love comedians, I love black female comedians especially but I couldn't actually tell you what this book was about. I finished it out of sheer will. I spent most of the book bored by the content or annoyed by the way it was read. I laughed a few times in the first half of the book, but couldn't muster a smile for the rest. I should have taken a look at the print version first to get an idea of how the book is ordered. Whatever. The author (s) ? - couldn't tell if it was two people, may get more interesting to me as they age...who knows. I wish them the best.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Electra
  • 26-01-2017

Funny, insightful, too many Americanisms

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

The book offers readers a unique insight into a variety of issues. The author is unapologetically black, female, smart, funny. Why would she need to apologise for those things, you may ask. You can find the answer to that and many other important questions in this book.

What did you like best about this story?

There were really funny bits but also parts that made you think. She talks about at times having to sugarcoat her opinions with jokes (and make it work) but she is just as good at giving you things straight.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Phoebe Robinson and John Hodgman ?

Overall I liked the narration. My only issue was that I thought certain things should never be uttered by anyone over the age of 12. Examples: the 12-second-long "Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuude" half way through the book. I almost stopped there, I was tempted to just read the rest of it. You are American, we get it. It mostly bothered me because to me it felt like an effort to take the edge off jokes that were meant to address serious issues. Considering everything she says about women being punished for being smart and people of colour having to constantly mind white people's feelings, it felt rather contradictory.

Could you see You Can't Touch My Hair being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

Absolutely, preferably a TV show. Obviously Phoebe Robinson should be in it. And U2.

Any additional comments?

You should stick it out and listen to what the author has to say, ESPECIALLY if you feel uncomfortable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-11-2017

Great

Great story and a wonderful concept would recommend to all dreamers, creators and supporters of Black Women doing the dam thing!!