• Ten Steps to Nanette

  • A Memoir Situation
  • By: Hannah Gadsby
  • Narrated by: Hannah Gadsby
  • Length: 13 hrs and 47 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (1,156 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Multi-award-winning Hannah Gadsby broke comedy with her show Nanette when she declared that she was quitting stand-up. Now she takes us through the defining moments in her life that led to the creation of Nanette and her powerful decision to tell the truth—no matter the cost.

“Hannah is a Promethean force, a revolutionary talent. This hilarious, touching, and sometimes tragic book is all about where her fires were lit.”—Emma Thompson 

ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2022—Entertainment Weekly, PopSugar 

“There is nothing stronger than a broken woman who has rebuilt herself,” Hannah Gadsby declared in her show Nanette, a scorching critique of the way society conducts public debates about marginalized communities. When it premiered on Netflix, it left audiences captivated by her blistering honesty and her singular ability to take them from rolling laughter to devastated silence. Ten Steps to Nanette continues Gadsby’s tradition of confounding expectations and norms, properly introducing us to one of the most explosive, formative voices of our time. 

Gadsby grew up as the youngest of five children in an isolated town in Tasmania, where homosexuality was illegal until 1997. She perceived her childhood as safe and “normal,” but as she gained an awareness of her burgeoning queerness, the outside world began to undermine the “vulnerably thin veneer” of her existence. After moving to mainland Australia and receiving a degree in art history, Gadsby found herself adrift, working itinerant jobs and enduring years of isolation punctuated by homophobic and sexual violence. At age twenty-seven, without a home or the ability to imagine her own future, she was urged by a friend to enter a stand-up competition. She won, and so began her career in comedy.  

Gadsby became well known for her self-deprecating, autobiographical humor that made her the butt of her own jokes. But in 2015, as Australia debated the legality of same-sex marriage, Gadsby started to question this mode of storytelling, beginning work on a show that would become “the most-talked-about, written-about, shared-about comedy act in years” (The New York Times). 

Harrowing and hilarious, Ten Steps to Nanette traces Gadsby’s growth as a queer person, to her ever-evolving relationship with comedy, and her struggle with late-in-life diagnoses of autism and ADHD, finally arriving at the backbone of Nanette: the renouncement of self-deprecation, the rejection of misogyny, and the moral significance of truth-telling.

©2022 Hannah Gadsby (P)2022 Random House Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: LGBTQ+

Critic Reviews

“A joyful read . . . Gadsby’s voice is intimate and close, and spending time with it is a lot like listening to a good friend relay a fascinating life story over a couple of pints at the bar.”Oprah Daily

“Similar to her groundbreaking comedy specials Douglas and Nanette, Gadsby’s memoir reads like a conversation with a longtime friend. . . . A can’t-miss memoir that will make readers laugh, cry, and everything in between.”Library Journal (starred review)

“Consistently self-effacing and contemplative, Gadsby acknowledges that her unique brand of deadpan observational comedy isn’t for everyone, especially since it often skewers ‘the two most overly sensitive demographics the world has ever known: straight white cis men and self-righteous comedians’. . . A witty and provocatively written life story.”—Kirkus Reviews 

Featured Article: The Best LGBTQIA+ Listens by Queer Authors


We scoured the big and beautiful LGBTQIA+ canon to present some of our favorite queer-focused listens of all time. Truly great literature can foster a sense of belonging and the feeling of truly being seen. However, listeners on the hunt for the best LGBTQIA+ books out there know that finding stories about gay characters isn’t always easy. So, we’ve put together a series of lists detailing some of the best LGBTQIA+ listens available.

What listeners say about Ten Steps to Nanette

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An emotional connection

I am so appreciative of the trigger warnings. They didn’t stop me from listening, I’m just glad for the opportunity to be prepared for difficult facts. While I can relate to much of Hannah’s story, as a white cis male, there’s much that I can only process intellectually. I also appreciate the non-American view of the world - my US-centric bubble needs deflation on occasion.

10 people found this helpful

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Brilliant

I use that word in both the British and US senses. In the latter, it's usually reserved for straight white men. But here's Hannah, a white lesbian without financial resources proving that her stage work is as multilayered, intelligent, and hilarious as any man's--far more so. For she's weaving into her deliveries mindfulness of her cognitive abilities and responses to trauma along with pacing, delivery, content, etc. I certainly don't know a single male stand-up artist who goes near this level of complexity. En route to this fascinating analysis of Nanette is chapter after chapter (step after step) of her own memoirish journey through life with her family and beyond. If you want honesty, emotionally painful stories, and truth-telling, with a non-traditional success story, this is for you. Beware of listening to this with ear buds or headphones when out for a walk or commuting on a bus or train: you might suddenly burst into laughter at any point.

8 people found this helpful

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Allowed

I am an autistic queer woman. I related so much to this story, it felt like I could breath better while listening. It made me feel deeply seen and valid for maybe the first time. It made me feel like I am allowed. Being me is allowed. Thank you! Highly recommend—an instant favorite 💛

7 people found this helpful

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Thank you, Hannah Gadsby.

Hannah Gadsby is a genius and an amazing human; we are indebted to her for creating this book and her show and sharing it all with us.

4 people found this helpful

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Hannah’s willingness to speak her truth is humbling

Listening to Hannah tell the story of her life was humbling, and cathartic. It is hard to put into words how deeply I appreciate her open and honest and heart rending recitation of her life. This is an audible recording I will listen to again and I absolutely recommend it to you.

3 people found this helpful

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Wow

Hannah has incredible insight into her creative process and how she came to be. This is a treasured gift for others on the spectrum.

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I loved it

I had seen her show on Netflix without knowing who she was or how she got there. This book gave me an insight, not only about her show and her life, but also about how it is to go through both with ASD, ADHD, and PTSD.
It’s amazing food for thought and I could have kept listening to it for longer

3 people found this helpful

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Loved it!

Explicating the process of creating her show Nanette, Hannah Gadsby brings us along though her childhood and experiences as a young adult coming out and coming through and getting on about the business of comedy. A love letter to her mother.

3 people found this helpful

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  • JJ
  • 06-06-22

Boring

Boring book. Drags terribly. Wish I hadn’t spent my money on this one. Skip it and buy something else.

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about what I expected

It got off to a bit of a slow start, but that part of Hannah's story was needed for context. It's refreshing to have a memoir where the writer openly tells you that they're not telling you the whole story, that they do not owe you the parts of the story they do not want to tell. In this age of social media, many of us seem to have forgotten that we do not have the right to other people's stories if they do not want to share them.

1 person found this helpful