"I spent the first twenty years of my life waiting for two men I was reasonable certain would never come back - my daddy and Jesus Christ. I don't wait for them anymore. My dad anyway. And at least with Jesus I didn't spend all that time thinking he was gone because of something I did."
So begins Brett Butler's extraordinary memoir, the story of a woman who has survived a gothic childhood in the Deep South, a bewildering adolescence, and an abusive first marriage with her sense of humor - and love of language - intact.
With a phoenix-like power to re-create herself from the ashes she had made of her life, Brett found comedy. As she found her own voice - a voice as forthright as the experiences it describes - she found success. But the popularity Brett now enjoys is rooted in the stuff of her past, and it is the past she describes here, not sparing herself along the way.
Much more than an autobiography from a celebrated personality, Knee Deep In Paradise is a portrait of the South, a moving document of one woman's hardship and renewal, and a testament from one of our most intelligent comic minds.