I love funny authors. David Sedaris, Augusten Burroughs and Bill Bryson are a few of my favorite funny authors. The first two are sarcastic, snarky gay guys and Bryson is an old know-it-all who can write so well he can make walking sound funny.
I was born in Missouri and that’s where the granddaddy of funny authors is from. Mark Twain’s wit and style, holds up even today. I’ve been to his childhood home in Hannibal, MO and saw the room he used to write in. The house is close to the Mighty Missip and you can just imagine Twain sitting on an old log down by the quick flowing water, dreaming up his adventures of Tom and Huckleberry.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn is the first book that I can remember reading that wasn’t a picture book. That book said something that I think may have affected me psychologically. Twain wrote, “…being rich ain’t what it’s cracked up to be. It’s just worry and worry, and sweat and sweat, and a-wishing you was dead all the time.” Today I think I’m willing to try being rich just to see for myself if Twain was wrong.
I’m getting ready to start my MFA in writing at Lindenwood University. My first assignment was to read three essay’s by my most loved funny-author, David Sedaris. I was turned on to him by my friend Amy. All she said to me was, “Here,” shoving a book called Naked at me. “Read this. You’re gonna like it.” When I asked her about the book, she said, “Just read it. Trust me.” I’m glad I took her advice.
Reading David Sedaris is how I found my own writing voice. Not that I’m a Sedaris rip-off, it’s just that reading his work, made me realize I could write like I talk. If I wanna say wanna, them I’m gonna and fuck spell check…and if I wanna cus, I can; I just have to remember to do it sparingly and only when it’s really needed in the story, not just because I can.
So if you want to read some funny authors, I suggest you start off with the four mentioned above. This is by no means a complete list of funny authors, but these four are tried and true. With all the books that come out every year, if you haven’t read any of these guys yet, let me give you some advice that my friend Amy gave me, just read them, trust me, you’re gonna like it.