The Bay Area's own 40-game Jeopardy! champion Amy Schneider has been at work on a book in the 20 months since her historic run on the game show ended, and it is set to land in stores on October 3.
It's titled In the Form of a Question, and it's a book of essays, both personal and not, about her experience of newfound fame, about figuring out that she was trans in her 30s, and other topics including polyamory and "What Is the Greatest Animated Television Show of All Time?” Naturally, each essay's title is in the form of a question.
There's an excerpt from the book on Esquire's website, and it's an essay about how she's enjoying being famous. "My belief in my own modesty had been getting shakier for years," Schneider writes. "Looking at myself in the mirror felt so good that it became harder and harder to believe that other people didn’t get some enjoyment out of looking at me."
Schneider recounts that the "fourth and fifth" random strangers to recognize her were fellow shoppers at the Safeway on Pleasant Valley Avenue in North Oakland.
"I walked out the door of that Safeway grinning," Schneider writes. "I’d loved what had happened, both for the ego boost and for how nice it felt to have brightened people’s days by doing nothing more than buying groceries. This was all amazing!"
Schneider's prose is as plainspoken and candid as you'd expect from her onscreen persona — as her wife Genevieve tells the Chronicle this week, "Amy is always her genuine self. I think a lot of the reason she was so popular as a Jeopardy! contestant was that she was just being who she is — a likeable, curious, funny person."
The book also contains some frank discussions of sex and drug use, which Schneider tells the Chronicle was a deliberate choice.
"So many people told me that I was the first trans person that they’d been really exposed to. And while that was gratifying, I also worried about setting a standard that could be used to judge other trans people who weren’t, you know, that nice Jeopardy! lady from TV," Schneider tells the paper. "I wanted to show the same things that a lot of trans people have gone through, especially around sex and drugs, are not incompatible with being successful. That way, when those truths are found out about other people, it’s not a reason to write them off."
Schneider will be making another appearance at the Commonwealth Club tomorrow, Thursday, at 6 p.m., and tickets are available for both in-person attendance and online viewing.
Top image: Amy Schneider performs onstage during a taping of P&G & iHeartMedia's Can't Cancel Pride 2022 – PROUD and TOGETHER at iHeartRadio Theater on May 12, 2022 in Burbank, California. The full event will stream on June 14 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on iHeartRadio's TikTok, YouTube and Facebook, pages as well as iHeartRadio's PrideRadio.com and Revry. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartRadio)