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Ali Liebegott

  • American author
  • Born August 8, 1971

Ali Liebegott is an American writer, actor, and comedian. She is best known for her work as a novelist and a writer/producer on the acclaimed Amazon original series, Transparent. Liebegott has taught creative writing at University of California, San Diego and Mills College. She is a recipient of a Poetry Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts. She is the author of The Beautifully Worthless; The IHOP Papers; and Cha-Ching!. Liebegott currently resides in Los Angeles and recently finished her fourth book, The Summer of Dead Birds.


In times of uncertainty - whether it's economic, psychological, emotional, or philosophical - people often say that the only thing we can truly control is our attitudes. If that's true, then I'm going to spend today walking my 14-year-old dog on a free beach and treasuring the fact that she's still alive.




Since becoming an alleged adult, I've always felt like I should exercise - or should at least want to exercise - and make a feeble attempt at health, thus staving off terrible things like the coronary heart disease and high cholesterol described to me in 1980s margarine commercials.




When I see a room full of people pedaling away on stationary bikes, I fall into an existential spiral. It's confirmation that all we do as humans is pedal, pedal, pedal, and go nowhere. We're just specks of dust in the universe, riding 1970s stationary bicycles.




There's something very soothing about the simplicity of doing what's right in front of you: paying the rent, buying groceries, and when there's a little extra for a treat like cinnamon rolls, whoopee! When you live paycheck to paycheck, you only have so much to lose.




I'm a writer who stacks cat food for a living. It's true: I have a master's degree in creative writing, I've published two critically successful books, and I get paid to replenish the shelves of my local food co-op with pet food, sponges and toilet paper. Nine days out of 10, I do it quite happily.




I'd gotten the message in my home, starting with my grandfather, that real work, the kind that makes you sweat and gets your hands dirty, is a respectable, necessary thing. But I wanted to write - and writing didn't qualify. Whenever I told my parents I dreamed of becoming a writer, they said, 'Great, but what are you going to do for work?'




I don't really believe in the myth of being poor but happy. At the poorest times in my life, I wasn't happy. I was just hungry.




I was the first in my family to go to college, and I waitressed all the way through, using my earnings to pay for a bachelor's degree first and then a master's. I resented classmates who didn't have to work real jobs, the ones who had the luxury of taking unpaid internships that would eventually position them for high-paying careers.



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