Bestselling Author, (A.K.A Lemony Snicket)
Daniel Handler’s next novel for adults is the highly-anticipated We Are Pirates, which Bloomsbury will publish in February, and Neil Gaiman says is, “Honest and funny, dark and painful. We Are Pirates reads like the result of a nightmarish mating experiment between Joseph Heller and Captain Jack Sparrow. It's the strangest, most brilliant offering yet from the mind behind Lemony Snicket.”
Daniel Handler is also the author of the novels The Basic Eight, Watch Your Mouth, Adverbs, and, with Maira Kalman, Why We Broke Up, which won the Michael J. Printz Honor. He also worked with Kalman on the book Girls Standing on Lawns and Hurry Up and Wait (May 2015).
As Lemony Snicket, he has written the best-selling series All The Wrong Questions as well as A Series of Unfortunate Events, which has sold more than 60 million copies, was the basis of a feature film starring Jim Carrey and Meryl Streep, with Jude Law as Lemony Snicket, and is being developed for television.
Snicket is also the creator of several picture books, including the Charlotte Zolotow Award-winning The Dark, illustrated by Jon Klassen. His newest picture book is 29 Myths on the Swinster Pharmacy illustrated by Lisa Brown. Other Snicket titles include the picture book 13 Words, in collaboration with Maira Kalman, as well as Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Biography, The Beatrice Letters, Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can’t Avoid, and two books for Christmas: The Lump of Coal and The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming: a Christmas Story.
His criticism has appeared in The New York Times, Newsday, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The Believer, where he is has a column exploring the Nobel Prize in Literature titled “What The Swedes Read.” He recently wrote the inaugural dispatch for the Wall Street Journal’s new monthly feature on literary cocktails, “Message in a Bottle,” and the foreword for Tin House’s reissue of Bernard DeVoto’s The Hour. Handler has worked as a screenwriter on the adaptation of A Series Of Unfortunate Events, as well as the independent films Rick, based on Verdi’s opera, Rigoletto, and Kill The Poor.
In a recent interview with PEN American Center, he said, “My parents claim that when I was six years old I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, and my answer was that I wanted to be an old man who lived at the top of a mountain giving advice. If this story is true—and my parents are unreliable narrators—then there was a time in my life when I did not want to be a writer. But I do not remember such a time. I do not remember a time when I was not writing things down. I do not remember a time when I was reading without thinking of how I could poach the tricks of my favorite writers. All I have ever wanted was to be in the company of literature.”
This year, Handler established, in partnership with the American Library Association, the Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced With Adversity, which was awarded in Las Vegas in June. He will host the National Book Awards this November in New York.
Handler works extensively in music, serving as the adjunct accordionist for the music group The Magnetic Fields and collaborating with composer Nathaniel Stookey on a piece commissioned and recorded by the San Francisco Symphony, entitled "The Composer Is Dead", which has been performed all over the world and is now a book with CD. He is currently at work on a commission from the Royal Shakespeare Company on a stage musical in collaboration with songwriter Stephin Merritt.
He is a graduate of Wesleyan University, and lives in his native San Francisco with his wife, illustrator Lisa Brown, and their son.
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"Daniel Handler [is] something like an American Nabokov."— Dave Eggers
"One of our most dazzling literary conjurers shuffles the deck of contemporary consciousness and desire."— Michael Chabon
"Sentence by sentence, Handler dazzles, teases the unwary with unforeseeable perceptions."—The San Francisco Chronicle