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Posts Tagged ‘James Thurber’

Keith Olbermann Hopes to Narrate James Thurber Audiobooks

MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann reads a James Thurber story every Friday on his MSNBC show, Countdown with Keith Olbermann. After a lifetime of reading Thurber, Olbermann hopes to narrate  audiobook versions of Thurber’s writings.

At the Thurber Awards on Wednesday,  Olbermann said he avoided the library at Cornell unless it was to borrow the works of Thurber. He began to read Thurber’s short stories on his show in March 2010 at the suggestion of his then-dying father, Theodore. He talks about this at the seven-minute mark in the above embedded video. That night, he read The Peacelike Mongoose from Thurber’s 1956 second volume of fables, Further Fables of Our Time.

Thurber’s only daughter, Rosemary, wrote the MSNBC journalist after one reading. He explained:  “I said to my father, ‘You know, these sorts of things are copyrighted and there is a small chance that a fee may be required.” What at first looked like a bill was in fact Rosemary’s approval to continue the readings.

At the ceremony, Olbermann  announced that he will perform a Thurber reading at the 92Y on Father’s Day 2011.

Thurber Prize Finalists Announced for the 2010

thurber23.jpgThis year’s $5,000 Thurber Prize is down to three contenders. They are: Why is My Mother Getting a Tattoo: And Other Questions I Wish I Never Had to Ask by Jancee Dunn, How I Became a Famous Novelist by Steve Hely, and Mennonite in a Little Black Dress (a Memoir of Going Home) by Rhoda Janzen.

This group of authors is a diverse bunch. While in college Hely served as president of the Harvard Lampoon, the university’s famous humor magazine. He currently writes alongside SNL veteran Tina Fey on her series, 30 Rock. Dunn has had an extensive career in magazine journalism having worked on Rolling Stone, Vogue, and Jane. For five years, she wrote under the pseudonym Dr. Sooth as a sex columnist for GQ. Janzen holds a PhD from UCLA and is currently an English professor at Hope College.

The Thurber Prize is now in its 26th year, named after the humorist James Thurber (pictured). The winner will receive $5,000 and a crystal plaque. GalleyCat reported when the 2009 Thurber Prize was awarded to Ian Frazier for his work, Lamentations of the Father. He is a two-time winner of the prize; in 1997 he won for the title, Coyote vs. Acme.

Ian Frazier Wins His Second $5K Thurber Prize

IMG_3170.JPGLast night the inaugural winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor repeated his funny-writing win–Ian Frazier won the 2009 Thurber Prize for his book, “Lamentations of the Father.”

Frazier–a longtime New Yorker writer–won the prize in 1997 for his book “Coyote vs. Acme,” and has now become the first writer to win the prize twice. The runners-up were: Sloane Crosley for “I was Told There’d be Cake,” Don Lee for “Wrack and Ruin,” and Laurie Notaro for “The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death.” In the photo are pictured, from left to right: Notaro, Frazier, and Crosley.

Here’s more about the award, from the release: “The annual prize is
presented by Thurber House, the national literary center for writers
and readers, based in the boyhood home of author, humorist and New
Yorker
cartoonist James Thurber in Columbus, Ohio…it is the nation’s highest recognition of the art of humor writing. The award carries with it a $5,000 prize and a commemorative crystal plaque for the winning author.”

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