I'll Tell You in Person

Essays by Chloe Caldwell

October 4, 2016 • 5.25 x 8.5 • 184 Pages • 978-1-56689-453-1

Exploring the boundaries between friends and family, hobbies and obsessions, and honesty and oversharing, Chloe Caldwell showcases an irresistible talent for navigating the infinite territory of in-between.

Flailing in jobs; failing at love; getting addicted and unaddicted to people, food, and drugs—I’ll Tell You in Person is a candid and captivating account of attempts at adulthood and all the less-than-perfect ways we get there. Caldwell has an unsparing knack for looking within and reporting back what’s really there, rather than what she’d like you to see.

About the Author

Chloe Caldwell is the author of the novella Women, and the essay collection Legs Get Led Astray. Her work has appeared in the Sun, Salon, VICE, Hobart, Nylon, the Rumpus, and Men’s Health, among others. She teaches personal essay and memoir writing in New York City and lives in Hudson.

Thanks to a 2013 ADA Access Improvement Grant administered by VSA Minnesota for the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, this title is also formatted for screen readers which make text accessible to the blind and visually impaired. To purchase this title for use with a screen reader please call (612) 338-0125 or email us at info@coffeehousepress.org.


“[Chloe] perfectly captures what it’s like to try to navigate your way through the traumatic first decade of adulthood.” —Publishers Weekly

“Chloe Caldwell could easily be considered a veteran among millennial authors. Her forthright honesty and trademark ‘oversharing’ have made her one of the most endearing and exciting writers of a generation.” —Los Angeles Review of Books

“Her essays are still diaristic in tone—they’re unpretentious and personal—but she draws powerful conclusions about what it means to grow into a decisive, fully formed person, if such a thing is even possible.” —Huffington Post

“Caldwell opens herself up to anything and anyone in order to get to the heart of what it means to be a person of substance.” —Star Tribune

“Author Chloe Caldwell’s voice is quirky and straight-forward as she shares tales of failing at all the things adults fail at, at one point or another.” —Bustle

“In short, ITYIP is the type of book that is tempting to describe as a bible for young women, but which, since it lacks any pomposity or self-seriousness, evades that type of classification. Rather, it feels more like a beautifully written set of field notes, a journal from the front lines of being a young woman, the kind of book that is impossible not to respond to and not to want to press into the hands of all your best friends, the ones that aren’t books.” —Nylon

“I’ll Tell You In Person is one of the best books I’ve read this year. I’ve always enjoyed Chloe Caldwell’s personal essays, but there’s so much emotional honesty here, such a command of word and self, that it pretty much knocked me on my ass, over and over again.” —Lit Reactor

Chloe Caldwell’s I’ll Tell You in Person is an intense collection of essays that astonishes with its self-awareness and keen storytelling.” —Largehearted Boy

It’s a fun, funny, heartbreaking book, one that also happens to be compulsively readable.” —Electric Literature

“[Caldwell’s] seemingly effortless, natural style depicts the complexities of female friendship, the mother-daughter relationship, and other coming-of-age misadventures. . . . It’s Caldwell’s unabashed insistence on exploring queerness on her own terms that might inspire others on their own coming-out journeys.” —Role Reboot

“Knitting together the flotsam and jetsam of modern life—frenemies, family, sex, celebrity (Lena Dunham, hilariously), yearning, solitude, bad behavior—[Chloe] writes with caffeinated hindsight, always aiming for the heck-yeah truth.” —Chronogram

I’ll Tell You in Person really does feel like an original and personal encounter with a singular individual, a conversation with an old friend you’re catching up with and don’t want to stop listening to.” —Electric Literature

“The job of the personal essayist is to make readers feel as if we know her. . . . Something I’ve always appreciated about Caldwell is how she presents herself—in interviews, blog posts, and essays—as a passionate artist and at the same time, a person with daily stresses and obsessions.” —Vol. 1 Brooklyn

“As Caldwell relates her memories and struggles, misadventures and successes, readers will sympathize and see themselves in the vulnerable and flawed, yet ultimately charming narrator.” —Allure

“Caldwell is one of the few writers who can take the experience of being down and out and in your 20s or 30s in a big, hip city and make it relatable and interesting.” —Vol. 1 Brooklyn

“Chloe Caldwell is a force. A quirky writer who shares personal details of her life and describes them in a way that never feels like TMI, it’s the opposite. You want more, the result of a trustworthy narrator and a skilled storyteller.” —Hippocampus Magazine

“Regardless of one’s capacity for adventure, Caldwell’s essays are destined to inspire within her reader a desire to fully embrace life in all of its guises.” —NewPages

“Caldwell’s slender, new collection of essays, following Legs Get Led Astray (2012), is built around formative moments from her twenties that will strike a chord with those who have struggled (or are struggling) to find firm footing as adults.” —Booklist

“If this isn’t an encapsulation of twentysomething meandering, I don’t know what is.” —Village Voice

“Caldwell is deft at navigating questions of perspective, intimacy, and personal evolution, and her work is never less than fascinating.” —Brooklyn

“Chloe Caldwell doesn’t have a gimmick, just honesty, and a whole lot of it.” —Village Voice

“Caldwell’s book ricochets between light and dark episodes from her 20s in New York City. Whether she’s acting up as the listless employee of a jewelry store on Bleecker or mourning the death of her new friend (writer Maggie Estep), Caldwell writes with astonishing clarity, self-awareness, and humor.” —Brooklyn Magazine

“Caldwell’s voice is strong and funny, and this collection deals with everything from what it was like for her to define (or fail to define) her sexual identity, the scourge of acne, and what it’s like to have a celebrity friend.” —Nylon

I’ll Tell You In Person chronicles young adulthood with aplomb. Though it can feel as if the reader is meant to recall her own adolescent calamities and stack them up for comparison, this collection isn’t some righteous manifesto. There is no moral to the story because, as seasoned writers know, stories don’t need morals.” —PANK

“It takes both a fair amount of guts and a fine sense of craft to create the airy, breezy, cavalier persona who inhabits these essays.” —Heavy Feather Reviews

“Chloe Caldwell’s latest, I’ll Tell You in Person, is a love letter to anyone who has no idea what the hell she’s doing.” —The Opiate

“[They are] kind of cool, twenty something, life in the big city kind of essays, but a little edgy, a little surprising, with some real emotional intelligence.” —The Loft Podcast

“Chloe Caldwell tells you all her secrets in a controlled mania so you can devour them in a more compulsive fashion. I couldn’t stop reading this book, and when I was finished I kept looking around to see where my awesome new friend went. She’s right in here, brimming with most excellent girldom, a commitment to experience that feels religious, a dedication to vulnerability that likewise radiates holy holy holy. I love this person’s life, and I love the way she writes about it—funny and blunt and chatty and truthful.” —Michelle Tea

“When she writes, a beautiful energy blazes off the page. This book kicked my ass, heart, and brain. It’s wildly entertaining and deeply loving. A heroic triumph in intrepid self-observation. A testament to the heights and depths the personal essay can reach. Chloe Caldwell shows how, in writing about ‘nothing,’ we can discover the everything. I am going to buy Women immediately.” —Emma Jane Unsworth

“Chloe Caldwell is a brilliant essayist; one moment you’re laughing your face off and in the next she rips out your heart. I found myself talking out loud to her pages (‘Yes, that happened to me!’ and ‘Wait, you did what?’). We’re in there, with her, the hoping and the hurting and the living. I’ll go back again and again to I’ll Tell You In Person. It’s about all of us.” —Megan Stielstra

“I read this book in two breathless days, and basically all I want to do now is eat macaroni and cheese, day drink rosé, and harmonize with Chloe Caldwell. I want to be her friend.” —Samantha Irby

“Chloe Caldwell has written the ideal ‘female companion book’—meaning, while reading I’ll Tell You in Person, I felt like I had a female companion with me at all times. On the subway, I had my female companion. In my backpack, I had my female companion. On the sidewalk, I held tight to my female companion, and pedestrians would stare at her, so boldly yellow in my hands. Pretty soon my female companion took up residency in my head. She helped me process the world with sass, spite, sympathy, and wit. I don’t know what could be better than a book that allows you to be alone but to never feel lonely. I’ll Tell You in Person does this and more. It projects the most potent afterglow, and Caldwell is a writer beyond gifted and generous. She is like a sage.” —Heidi Julavits

“Chloe Caldwell writes with an emotional intensity that is insightful, heartfelt, and often hilarious. In her new essay collection, I’ll Tell You in Person, she perfectly captures what it’s like to try and navigate your way through the traumatic first decade of adulthood. It’s filled with a raw honesty and voyeuristic allure that’s utterly captivating.” —Powell’s Books