Review: “The History of My Insanity”

I love chick-lit, but I hate the term. It’s literature — shortened to ‘lit’, cute, right? — written by and marketed to women exclusively (as men, it seems, are uninterested in the lives of girls and women). But the only thing the target audience has in common is that we’re women; an experience so loosely knit, the fabric becomes useless. A well-established genre of chick-lit is the sex worker memoir. Trisha Paytas joins this tradition with her “The History of My Insanity” (and later, “The Stripper Diaries”). Paytas’s life as a stripper and an escort is not the main focus of the book, but it is a significant aspect. In “The History of My Insanity”, Paytas tells the story of her life so far. She is 25 years old when the book is first published.

Paytas posing in a straitjacket on the cover.

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An ode to Trisha Paytas

It starts with a cough, then comes the scream: “I hate my life.” Trisha Paytas’s words are set to a reggae-pop beat in the 2017 song “I Hate My Life”. Paris Hilton’s “Stars Are Blind” (2006) comes to mind. But apart from the soundscape, the contrast between the songs is stark. In the music video, Hilton is tumbling around with her lover on a sandy white beach while Paytas is washing paper plates in her kitchen.

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