Chestertown, MD — Daniel Handler, author of the bestselling children’s book collection A Series of Unfortunate Events (under the pen name of Lemony Snicket), kicks off this year’s Sophie Kerr Weekend with a talk entitled “Why does Lemony Snicket Keep Following Me?" in Decker Theater on Friday, March 26, at 4 p.m. A book signing will follow.
Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events have sold more than 60 million copies and were the basis for the feature film Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004) starring Jim Carrey. The 13-book series follows the grim adventures of the three clever Baudelaire orphans: Violet, Klaus, and Sunny. In each book, the siblings face increasing misfortune as they are pursued by their distant relative, the evil Count Olaf, who schemes to swindle the Baudelaire inheritance. Handler's Snicket books are known for their witty, dark humor and appeal to all ages.
Handler is also the author of three works for adults: The Basic Eight (St. Martin’s Press/HarperCollins, 1998), Watch Your Mouth (St. Martin’s Press/HarperCollins, 2000), and most recently Adverbs (St. Martin’s Press/HarperCollins, 2006), a series of short stories about love. His work has led author Michael Chabon to label him “One of our most dazzling literary conjurers.” Handler’s musical collaborations include work with composer Nathaniel Stookey on a piece commissioned and recorded by the San Francisco Symphony, entitled “The Composer Is Dead,” which is now a book with CD. He is also an adjunct accordionist for the music group The Magnetic Fields.
Other books written as Snicket include Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiograhpy, The Beatrice Letters, Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid, and two books for the holidays, The Lump of Coal and The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming: a Christmas Story. Handler has written for The New York Times, Newsday, San Francisco Chronicle, The Believer, Chickfactor, and various anthologies, and he was chair of the Judging Panel for the National Book Awards in Young People’s Literature, 2008. His current and upcoming projects include a fourth novel for adults, a children’s picture book titled 13 Words, in collaboration with Maira Kalman, and the script for the much-anticipated second Snicket movie. He is also at work on a top-secret new Snicket series.
Held every March at Washington College, Sophie Kerr Weekend gives a group of high school-age writers a chance to experience the College's renowned creative writing program hands-on through readings, seminars, and small workshops with visiting authors and faculty members. Previous Sophie Kerr Weekend readers include Ted Kooser, Jane Smiley, and Mary Karr.
Sophie Kerr Weekend also honors the legacy of the late Sophie Kerr, a writer from Denton, Md., whose generosity has enriched Washington College's literary culture. When she died in 1965, Kerr left the bulk of her estate to Washington College, specifying that one half of the income from her bequest be awarded every year to the senior showing the most "ability and promise for future fulfillment in the field of literary endeavor"—the famed Sophie Kerr Prize—and the other half be used to bring visiting writers to campus, to fund scholarships, and to help defray the costs of student publications.
Admission to Daniel Handler’s March 26 talk is free and open to the public. Decker Theatre is located in Washington College’s new Daniel Z. Gibson Center for the Arts. For more information, call 410/778-7899 or visit lithouse.washcoll.edu.