Writer Ian Frazier Will Give Public Reading at Yale

Ian Frazier

The quintessential New Yorker magazine writer and humorist Ian Frazier, the John Christophe Schlesinger Visiting Writer at Yale, will give a public reading on November 10, 7 p.m. in Linsly-Chittenden Hall, 63 High St., Room 102.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, the author received his B.A. from Harvard in 1973 and joined The New Yorker staff the following year. He has been a regular contributor to the magazine ever since.

Frazier is the author of eight books, from his first published “Dating Your Mom” to “Gone to New York: Adventures in the City,” to be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux on November 3, 2005.

When Frazier’s first book, a collection of 25 humorous essays was published in 1986, Newsweek’s Walter Clemons wrote of Frazier, “He may be the best master of gentle laid-back befuddlement since Benchley, who had a great gift of being funny without being caught working at it.”

“Nobody Better, Better Than Nobody,” Frazier’s second book, offers eclectic accounts of American eccentricities, from a portrait of Household Hints guru Heloise to a report on a Kansas town celebrating the centennial of a local Indian massacre. Frazier’s critically acclaimed best-seller “Great Plains,” a travelogue of America’s heartland, helped to establish his reputation as “one of the best of his generation of The New Yorker writers,” in the words of The Washington Post’s Charles Trueheart. Frazier’s fourth book, “Family,” a look at American history through the lens of his own family, came out in 1994.

“Coyote v. Acme,” a collection of Frazier’s humor essays, which received the inaugural Thurber Prize for American Humor, was published in 1996. The title essay, which pits the cartoon character Wile E. Coyote in a suit for damages against the Acme manufacturing company, is arguably Frazier’s most popular piece. “Coyote” was followed by “On the Rez” (2000), an examination of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and “The Fish’s Eye” (2002), a collection of 17 essays about angling.

Free and open to the public, Frazier’s reading is sponsored by the department of English and the John Christophe Schlesinger Visiting Writer Fund, established by Richard and Sheila Schlesinger in memory of their son.

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Dorie Baker: dorie.baker@yale.edu, 203-432-1345