Jane Borden

Just as American expats who flocked to Paris in the '20s had to deal with the skeptical "Oh, like Hemingway?", any young woman who moves to New York after college is now judged by the standard of Carrie Bradshaw. To her incredulous relatives back in North Carolina, Jane Borden must continually insist that, no, her life is not just like Sex and the City. Struggling through the usual array of temp jobs and waitressing gigs in a post-9/11 metropolis, Borden began collecting the vignettes related in her memoir I Totally Meant to Do That (Broadway, $14). Instead of tawdry tales of drunken hook-ups (assuming there were any), this young journalist and comedienne muses upon the disconnect between her friendly Southern upbringing and the don't-look-at-me code of the street. Just because a stranger has your same R.E.M. Green concert tour T-shirt, she realizes, doesn't mean you should strike up a conversation with him. There's no Gawker snark to her travails, which often read like letters home from an exotic, foreign land where the delis are open all night, women aren't expected to marry, and "proper" manners gradually erode with experience. She's more Erma Bombeck than Candace Bushnell. BRIAN MILLER

Sat., Jan. 7, 7 p.m., 2012

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