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More Mirth of a Nation: The Best Contemporary Humor
     

More Mirth of a Nation: The Best Contemporary Humor

by Michael J. Rosen
 

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More seriously funny writing from American's most trusted humor anthology

Witty, wise, and just plain wonderful, the inaugural volume of this biennial, Mirth of a Nation, ensured a place for the best contemporary humor writing in the country. And with this second treasury, Michael J. Rosen has once again assembled a triumphant salute to one of

Overview

More seriously funny writing from American's most trusted humor anthology

Witty, wise, and just plain wonderful, the inaugural volume of this biennial, Mirth of a Nation, ensured a place for the best contemporary humor writing in the country. And with this second treasury, Michael J. Rosen has once again assembled a triumphant salute to one of America's greatest assets: its sense of humor. More than five dozen acclaimed authors showcase their hilariously inventive works, including Paul Rudnick, Henry Alford, Susan McCarthy, Media Person Lewis Grossberger, Ian Frazier, Richard Bausch, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Nell Scovell, Andy Borowitz, and Ben Greenman -- just to mention a handful so that the other contributors can justify their feelings that the world slights them.

But there's more! More Mirth of a Nation includes scads of Unnatural Histories from Randy Cohen, Will Durst's "Top Top-100 Lists" (including the top 100 colors, foods, and body parts), and three unabridged (albeit rather short) chapbooks:

David Bader's "How to Meditate Faster" (Enlightenment for those who keep asking, "Are we done yet?")

Matt Neuman's "49 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth" (for instance, "Make your own honey" and "Share your shower.")

Francis Heaney's "Holy Tango of Poetry" (which answers the question, "What if poets wrote poems whose titles were anagrams of their names, i.e., 'Toilets,' by T. S. Eliot?")

And there's still more: "The Periodic Table of Rejected Elements," meaningless fables, Van Gogh's Etch A Sketch drawings, a Zagat's survey of existence, an international baby-naming encyclopedia, Aristotle's long-lost treatise "On Baseball," and an unhealthy selection of letters from Dr. Science's mailbag. And that's just for starters! Just remember, as one reviewer wrote of the first volume, "Don't drink milk while reading."

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Regular readers of the New Yorker's Shouts & Murmurs page and the Modern Humorist will likely have already digested some of the fare in this biennial collection of humor pieces, nearly all of which have been published elsewhere. Though big names like Steve Martin and Bruce McCall are trumpeted on the cover, the real treats can be found in the work of less famous contributors. Francis Heaney's "Holy Tango of Poetry," which imagines the results of poets writing poems whose titles are anagrams of their names-e.g. "I'm Leery Jocks" by Joyce Kilmer, or "Toilets" by T.S. Eliot ("Let us go then, to the john,/ Where the toilet seats wait to be sat upon")-is irresistibly goofy. Tim Carvell's account of his solo attempt at being a Neilsen family (he manufactured a couple of kids and wife named Gladys and made them all Eskimos) should be required reading for anyone who has ever longed to lie on annoying questionnaires. And Jeremy Simon's parody of an existential Zagat's guide is a witty send-up of a city staple (the entry for the opposable thumb reads: "While this 'innovative' evolution-a 'pick-up joint' for the klutzy-is valued by locals for 'synergy' with its surroundings, dissenters dis it as 'overrated' 'finger food'"). Silly lists, "unnatural histories," fake correspondences and countless other oddball selections round out this amusing volume. (Nov.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062038043
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
01/04/2011
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
592
File size:
6 MB

Meet the Author

The editor of More Mirth of a Nation: The Best Contemporary Humor, Michael J. Rosen has been called the unofficial organizer of the National Humor Writer's Union, a pretty good idea for an organization that could offer all kinds of benefits to its struggling members (currently numbering more than 300 who have never been published in The New Yorker or aired on NPR). He has been called other things as well, like in third grade, and then in seventh grade especially, by certain older kids known as "hoods," who made his life miserable, specifically during gym class, lunch period and after school. Later, much later, the Washington Post called him a "fidosopher" because of his extensive publications on dogs, dog training, and dog-besotted people. The New York Times called him an example of creative philanthropy in their special "Giving" section for persuading "writers, artists, photographers and illustrators to contribute their time and talents to books" that benefit Share Our Strength's anti-hunger efforts and animal-welfare causes. As an author of a couple dozen books for children, he's been called...okay, enough with the calling business.

For nearly twenty years, he served as literary director at the Thurber House, a cultural center in the restored home of James Thurber. Garrison Keillor, bless his heart, called it (sorry) "the capital of American humor." While there, Rosen helped to create The Thurber Prize for American Humor, a national book award for humor writing, and edited four anthologies of Thurber's previously unpublished and uncollected work, most recently The Dog Department: James Thurber on Hounds, Scotties and Talking Poodles, happily published by HarperCollins as well.

In his capacity as editor for this biennial, Rosen reads manuscripts year round, beseeching and beleaguering the nation's most renowned and well-published authors, and fending off the rants and screeds from folks who've discovered the ease of self-publishing on the web. Last summer, Rosen edited a lovely book, 101 Damnations: The Humorists' Tour of Personal Hells; while some critics (all right, one rather outspoken friend) considered this a book of complaints, Rosen has argued that humor, like voting and picketing and returning an appliance that "worked" all of four months before requiring a repair that costs twice the purchase price, humor is about the desire for change. It's responding to the way things are compared to the way you'd like things to be. And it's a much more convivial response than pouting or cornering unsuspecting guests at dinner parties.

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