John Hodgman, Author of Parody Almanac The Areas of My Expertise, to Read at UB Dec. 1
November 21, 2005
Contact: University Relations
John Hodgman, a contributor to The New York Times Magazine and author of The Areas of My Expertise, will conduct a reading at UB on Thursday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. The event, the third in this semester’s Fall Reading Series at UB, is free and open to the public and will be held in Room 003 of the William H. Thumel Sr. Business Center, 11 W. Mount Royal Ave. Hodgman will read from his work and take questions from the audience.
Hodgman will be joined in his presentation by artists Lizzie Skurnick, Jonathan Coulton and David Rees.
Recently named editor of a humor section in The New York Times Magazine, Hodgman is a regular contributor to McSweeney’s, where his column, “Ask a Former Literary Agent,” has attracted critical acclaim. He also files pieces for National Public Radio’s This American Life and has published fiction and commentary in One Story, The Paris Review and GQ. He hosts a literary reading series, the Little Gray Book Lectures, in Brooklyn, N.Y.
The Areas of My Expertise received favorable reviews across the country. Time Out New York called Hodgman “something of a Garrison Keillor for the young and expensively educated,” while The Times described the book as “utterly useless, and wonderfully absurd.”
Expertise is a parody of the almanac, a nonfiction genre that has been built up and knocked down since the 1600s.
“He writes early on in this collection of lists, advice, fake histories and trivia that it is ‘a compendium of COMPLETE WORLD KNOWLEDGE.’ Here, at last, is almost everything you’ve always wanted to know about practically nothing,” The Times said.
Skurnick has taught creative writing at The Johns Hopkins University. She is the author of several novels in the Sweet Valley University and Love Story series. Coulton serves as the musical director of the Little Gray Books series, and is a “contributing troubadour” for Popular Science, where he composes music to go with the magazine’s themed articles. Rees is the author of the comic strip and book Get Your War On, and host of a Web site called My New Fighting Technique Is Unstoppable (www.mnftiu.cc).
Upcoming events in UB’s series include a “Blowout Student Reading,” to be held on Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. in BC 003. This event will feature UB creative writing students reading from their own work.
The University of Baltimore is an upper-division, graduate and professional university. UB—the state’s career-minded university—is a member of the University System of Maryland and comprises the School of Law, the Yale Gordon College of Liberal Arts and the Merrick School of Business.