Humor A Reader for Writers

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 12/1/2014
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Read. Write. Oxford.

From Jerry Seinfeld's legendary standup to Kristen Wiig's sidesplitting impersonations, Humor: A Reader for Writers explores the key patterns and features within numerous comedic sources in order to show how jokes work. This survey looks at comedy in a variety of genres including popular media, academic essays, personal narratives, fiction, and poetry.

Developed for the freshman composition course, Humor: A Reader for Writers includes an interdisciplinary mix of public, academic, and cultural reading selections, providing students with the rhetorical knowledge and compositional skills required to participate effectively in discussions about humor.

Humor: A Reader for Writers is part of a series of brief single-topic readers from Oxford University Press designed for today's college writing courses. Each reader in this series approaches a topic of contemporary conversation from multiple perspectives.

Author Biography

About the Authors

Kathleen Volk Miller is Director of the Graduate Program in Publication Management, Director of Drexel Publishing Group, and Associate Teaching Professor at Drexel University.

Marion Wrenn is Director of the Writing Program at NYU Abu Dhabi.

Kathleen and Marion are also coeditors of Painted Bride Quarterly.

Table of Contents

1. Expository
Dan O'Shannon, "What are you laughing at, A comprehensive guide to the comedic event" Bloomsbury Publishing
Felix Clay, "6 Weirdly Specific Characters That Are in Every Sitcom Ever" Cracked.com
Colin Nissan, "The Ultimate Guide to Writing Better than You Normally Do" Timothy McSweeney's
Jonah Weiner, "Jerry Seinfeld Intends to Die Standing Up" New York Times, Dec. 20, 2012
Katie Burgess, "How to Read a Poem" The Rumpus
Jennifer L. Knox, "The Best Thanksgiving Ever" Painted Bride Quarterly
Erin Somers, "Modern Vice" The Rumpus
Nora Ephron, "A Few Words about Breasts" Crazy Salad : Some Things About Women, Knopf
William Treece, from The Pan-Arabian Enquirer
Brian Logan, "Funny Foreigners: How Overseas Comics are Storming Edinburgh" The Guardian
Scott Stein, "Garghibition" Liberty
Michael Martone, "On Anesthesia" Seeing Eye, Zoland Books
J D Daniels, "Letter from Majorca" The Paris Review
Simon Rich, "A conversation at the grown-ups' table as imagined at the kids' table" Ant Farm and Other Desperate Situations

2. Analytical
Steve Almond, "Funny is the New Deep" Tin House
Stephen Dunn, "If A Clown" Here and Now, Poems
Kate Brinkworth, "A Day in the Life of a Target-Market Female" Timothy McSweeney's
Fran McDonald, "Laughter Without Humor: On the Laugh-Loop Gif" The Atlantic
Anna Wierzbicka, "'Happiness' in a Cross-Linguistic & Cross-Cultural Perspective" Deadalus
David Sedaris, "Easy, Tiger" Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls
Zadie Smith, "Dead Man Laughing" Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays
David Foster Wallace, "A Supposedly Funny Thing I'll Never Do Again" A Supposedly Funny Thing I'll Never Do Again
George Saunders, "Victory Lap" The New Yorker

3. Persuasion
Christopher Hitchens, "Why Women Aren't Funny" Vanity Fair
Ellen Finnigan, "Kristen Wiig, Strange Doctor" Kugelmass: A Journal of Literary Humor
Sean Cunningham, Why We Owe Gisele an Apology (Particularly God), When Falls the Coliseum
Ian Frazier, "Laws Concerning Food and Drink" The Atlantic
Billy Collins, "Tension" Ballistics
Barthelme, "In The Morning Post" Not Knowing-The Essays and Interviews
Christopher Hitchens, "Cheap Laughs: The Smug Satire of Liberal Humorists Debases Our Comedy-and Our National Conversation" The Atlantic
Lizz Winstead, "Fact-Checking US Politics" The Guardian
Jason Schneiderman, "Wester" Striking Surface
Gary Shteyngart, "Only Disconnect" The New York Times

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