2019 THURBER PRIZE FOR AMERICAN HUMOR
The Thurber Prize for American Humor is one of the highest recognitions of humor writing in the United States. A panel of national judges selects three finalists from nine semi-finalists. The winner receives $5,000 and a commemorative plaque. The 2019 Thurber Prize for American Humor will be awarded on October 23, 2019 in Columbus, Ohio during a spectacular evening of humor with the top finalists.
Mara Altman's apprehensive relationship with her body has led her to wonder about a lot of stuff over the years. Like, who decided that women shouldn't have body hair? And how sweaty is too sweaty? Also, why is breast cleavage sexy but camel toe revolting? Isn't it all just cleavage?
These questions have led to the comforting and sometimes smelly revelations that constitute Gross Anatomy, an essay collection about what it's like to operate our bodies. With a combination of personal anecdotes and fascinating research, Gross Anatomy holds a magnifying glass to our beliefs, practices, biases, and body parts and shows us the naked truth: that there is greatness in our grossness.
Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein have been thinking deep thoughts and writing jokes for decades. Now they're here to help us understand philosophy through cartoons, and cartoons through philosophy.
Covering topics as diverse as religion, gender, knowledge, morality, and the meaning of life (or the lack thereof), I Think, Therefore I Draw gives a thorough introduction to all of the major debates in philosophy through history and the present. Packed with dozens of witty cartoons and loaded with profound philosophical insight, I Think, Therefore I Draw aims to leave readers enlightened and entertained.
From the New York Times-bestselling author Sloane Crosley comes Look Alive Out There―a collection of essays filled with her trademark hilarity, wit, and charm. The characteristic heart and punch-packing observations are back, but with a newfound coat of maturity. A thin coat. More of a blazer, really.
Sloane Crosley's life is a series of relatable but madcap misadventures. In Look Alive Out There, whether it's scaling active volcanoes, crashing shivas, playing herself on Gossip Girl, befriending swingers, or squinting down the barrel of the fertility gun, Crosley packs her essays with nerve and electric one-liners.
Erin Gibson has a goal—to create a future where women are recognized as humans. Feminasty is a collection of make-you-laugh-until-you-cry essays that expose the hidden rules that make life as a woman hard and deconstructs them in a way that's bold, provocative, and hilarious.
Whether it's shaming women for having their periods, allowing them into STEM fields but never treating them like they truly belong, or dictating strict rules for how they should dress in every situation, Erin breaks down the organized chaos of old fashioned sexism, intentional and otherwise, that systemically keeps women down.
Courtenay Hameister used to fret about everything. In her forties, she decided to fight back against her debilitating anxieties by doing things that scared her—things like attending a fellatio class, spending an afternoon in a sensory deprivation tank, getting (legally) high in the middle of a workday, and having a session with a professional cuddler.
Relatable and pee-your-pants funny, Okay Fine Whatever is Courtenay's hold-nothing-back account of her adventures as Mere Human Woman vs. Fear, reminding us that it's possible to fight complacency and become bold, or at least bold-ish, a little at a time.
2014 Thurber Prize-winner John Kenney is at it again with a hilarious collection of love poems for married people. Full of brilliant wit, dynamic energy, and a heavy dose of reality, Love Poems for Married People turns the poetic form upside down and leaves it in the dishwasher to dry.
Inspired by one of the most shared New Yorker pieces of all time, this collection captures the reality of life once the spark of a relationship has settled—and amusingly so. With pieces that cover all areas of married life, from parental gripes to dwindling sex lives, Kenney's wry observations and sharp humor remind us exactly what it's like to spend the rest of your life with the person you love.
This funny and wise memoir from Harrison Scott Key, 2016 Thurber Prize winner, will inspire laughter and hope for anyone who’s ever had a dream of what they want to be when they grow up. Follow Harrison Scott Key on his outrageous journey to becoming a great American writer.
Throughout young adulthood, Harrison failed at many vocations, until one day, after dusting off his King James Bible, he read a passage about a lonely pelican, which burst into flame inside him. In a mad blaze of holy illumination, Harrison realized his dream: to write a funny book. Hilarious and honest, Congratulations, Who Are You Again? is a look at the life of every ambitious human creature, whether you want to write books, start a business, or start a revolution.
In celebration of The Simpsons' 30th anniversary, the show’s longest-serving writer and producer offers a humorous look at the making of the legendary Fox series. Four-time Emmy winner Mike Reiss—who has worked on The Simpsons since episode one—shares stories, scandals, and gossip about working with America’s most iconic cartoon family.
Reiss explains how the episodes are created, why the characters are yellow, what it's like to be crammed in a room of funny writers for 60 hours a week, and provides an inside look at the show’s writers, animators, actors, and celebrity guests. Springfield Confidential features interviews with Judd Apatow, Conan O'Brien, Al Jean, Nancy Cartwright, Dan Castellaneta, and more.
Hits and Misses is a collection of stories inspired by a former Saturday Night Live writer's real experiences in Hollywood. Simon Rich chronicles the absurdity of fame and the humanity of failure in a world dominated by social media influencers and reality TV stars. He talks about dreaming big and falling flat, about ordinary people desperate for stardom, and the stars who are bored by having it all.
The stories in Hits and Misses vary greatly in theme, roaming across time and space to skewer our obsession with making it big—from the days of ancient Babylon to the modern age of TMZ.
JUDGES FOR THE 2019 THURBER PRIZE
Jenny Allen, finalist for the 2018 Thurber Prize for Would Everybody Please Stop?: Reflections on Life and Other Bad Ideas.
Helen Ellis, humorist and author of the national bestseller, American Housewife.
Patricia Lockwood, 2018 Thurber Prize winner for Priestdaddy.
The Thurber Prize for American Humor is made possible by the Greater Columbus Arts Council
and an anonymous family fund of The Columbus Foundation.