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You’ll Laugh, You’ll Cry

To read an old diary is to painfully confront your former utter, abject dorkiness. Not only did New York-based writer Lesley Arfin save just about every diary she wrote, ever, but also she systematically -- ouch -- shared them with the worldwide cool-kid diaspora. Once a month, in her “Dear Diary” column, Arfin would publish an old entry and then dissect, explain, and update it for the entertainment of Vice magazine readers. But instead of sounding narcissistic, Arfin was funny and self-effacing. She made you want to bro down with her -- or, um, do whatever the chick equivalent of that is.

So for her first book, called -- surprise! -- Dear Diary, published earlier this year, Arfin expanded the concept. Ever wanted to call a boy who didn’t like you back, years later, and ask what the hell was up? She did that. “I was thinking, how can I take this one step further?” Arfin says. “I was thinking about how to make it more fucking horrifying!” But even this girl has to draw the line on sharing somewhere, so don’t expect too many painful confessions when she appears tonight at 8:00 at Books & Books. “The book is very awkward to read from, because it’s not really a narrative. But I want to make everyone happy.” She has already done that, by making us feel a little less weird about our own awkward, misspent youth. Call 305-442-4408, or visit An afterparty follows at 11:00 at Set (320 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach). Call 305-531-2800, or visit
Thu., Aug. 23, 8 p.m.


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