×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Ellie Kemper’s Irreverent New Book Tracks Her Missteps and Misadventures in Hollywood

Ellie Kemper isn’t trying to change the world, but she’s hoping her new book will change your mind about ice cream, at the very least. The “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” actress is hitting the road this month in support of her debut work, “My Squirrel Days,” which tracks the Missouri native’s journey from awkward adolescence to Emmy-nominated star.

Framed around a series of personal anecdotes and essays, publisher Scribner says “My Squirrel Days” is a “funny, free-wheeling tour” of Kemper’s life. Rather than write a traditional memoir or advice book, Kemper says she wanted to release a collection of stories that were equal parts uplifting and irreverent. As she writes in the introduction, “This book is not so much a tribute to brave women everywhere as it is a record of my favorite ice cream brands. I wrote what I knew and I know what I wrote.”

ellie kemper book my squirrel days buy online

The rest of the book is similarly perfunctory, darting between recollections of old friends and old jobs, to advice — and constructive criticism — she’s received from colleagues like Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey and Steve Carell. Kemper also details her journey from being single, to finding a husband, to becoming — in her own words — “an anxious mother” and SoulCycle “warrior.”

The chapter headings are all based off names or roles Kemper has played, or been given. The titles range from “Redhead” to “Receptionist,” “Slob” to “Starlet.”

The title of the book comes from a story Kemper recounts about trying to befriend the squirrels in her backyard, after an inspired viewing of “Dances With Wolves” in the sixth grade.

Valerie Steiker, the Executive Editor at Scribner, worked with Kemper on the book while the actress was filming the final season of “Kimmy Schmidt.” She says the process was relatively easy, despite Kemper’s busy schedule. “Having admired her as an actress and comedian, everyone at Scribner was excited by the idea of working with Ellie,” Steiker says. “Her voice on the page — smart, funny, crisp, arresting — sealed the deal. She is a born writer, with a brilliant, almost startling sense of humor—you never know where she’s going but you’re so happy to arrive.”

Kemper, who just joined Instagram in September, posted a series of photos and videos to social media celebrating the release of the book last week. She’s currently making appearances in select cities to promote the project.

“My Squirrel Days” is available on hardcover, Kindle and in audiobook format on Amazon. The website is also offering a free 30-day trial to its “Audible” service, which will allow you to download and listen to the book for free.

VarietySPY editorial products are independently selected. If you buy something through our links, PMC may earn an affiliate commission.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Actor Aron Eisenberg during the Creation

    'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' Actor Aron Eisenberg Dies at 50

    “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” actor Aron Eisenberg, who played Nog in the 1990s series, died Saturday. He was 50. His character Nog, who appeared for all seven seasons, was a member of the alien race Ferengi, and joined Starfleet after a recommendation from Captain Sisko. Eisenberg returned for a guest spot on “Star Trek: [...]

  • ALL RISE -- A drama that

    TV Review: 'All Rise' Starring Simone Missick

    Finding a new way to do a legal procedural is such a difficult prospect at this point that it would be hard to blame TV for giving up entirely and just going on autopilot. “All Rise,” however, both indulges the basics of the genre and finds some refreshing ways to twist them into slightly new, [...]

  • An Emmy statue stands outside the

    Expect High Heat and Traffic for Emmys Sunday

    If you work in TV, are a fan of TV, or are in fact a TV yourself, the 71st Primetime Emmys promise to be a treat. Television’s biggest awards show takes place in Los Angeles on Sunday night, with some of Hollywood’s brightest stars set to appear as the entertainment community honors the best of [...]

  • Roma Cinematography

    'Mission: Impossible - Fallout' and 'Roma' Win LMGI Awards for Motion Pictures

    Two major 2018 releases – actioner “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” and critics’ darling “Roma” – were honored for film location work by the Location Managers Guild International at a ceremony this evening at the Eli & Edythe Broad Stage in Santa Monica. The 6th Annual LMGI Awards also recognized “Chernobyl” and “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” [...]

  • Viacom Channels Grab 'Seinfeld' Cable Rerun

    Viacom Channels Grab 'Seinfeld' Cable Rerun Rights

    Viacom has sealed a deal with Sony Pictures Television for the cable rights to “Seinfeld” starting in October 2021. The deal comes on the heels of a blockbuster new deal between Sony and Netflix for the streaming rights to the beloved NBC sitcom that also begins in 2021. “Seinfeld” reruns have been a staple of [...]

  • Soho House

    Soho House Lands In Downtown Los Angeles

    Warner Music, Spotify and Lyft are poised to welcome a new neighbor to downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District with Soho Warehouse, the third California outpost of the Hollywood-loved members-only club — and the largest North American opening to date. Hot on the heels of the Soho House Hong Kong debut earlier this summer, the private [...]

  • Elite Season 2

    San Sebastian: Spain’s SVOD Players Debate Competition, Brand, Talent

    SAN SEBASTIAN  — Executives from HBO, Netflix, Amazon and Movistar+ and “Elite” co-creator Darío Madrona took to the stage to field questions on the Global Impact of Spanish Series. Here, briefly, are five takeaways: 1.Spain First “La Casa de Papel” was watched by 34,355,956 Netflix accounts over its first seven days,  after a July 19 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content