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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.
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