Lamentations of the Father by Ian Frazier
Essays

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Synopsis

When The Atlantic Monthly celebrated its 150th anniversary by publishing excerpts from the best writing ever to appear in the magazine, in the category of the humorous essay it chose only four pieces—one by Mark Twain, one by James Thurber, one by Kurt Vonnegut, and Ian Frazier’s 1997 essay “Lamentations of the Father.” The title piece of this new collection has had an ongoing life in anthologies, in radio performances, in audio recordings, on the Internet, and in photocopies held by hamburger magnets on the doors of people’s refrigerators. The august company in which The Atlantic put Frazier gives an idea of where on the literary spectrum his humorous pieces lie. Frazier’s work is funny and elegant and poetic and of the highest literary aspiration, all at the same time. More serious than a “gag” writer, funnier than most essayists of equal accomplishment, Frazier is of a classical originality. This collection, a companion to his previous humor collections Dating Your Mom (1985) and Coyote v. Acme (1996), contains thirty-three pieces gathered from the last thirteen years. Past winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor; author of the nonfiction bestsellers Great Plains, Family, and On the Rez; contributor to The New Yorker, Outside, and other magazines, Frazier is the greatest writer of our (or indeed of any) age.
 

About Ian Frazier

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Ian Frazier is the author of Great Plains, The Fish’s Eye, On the Rez, Family, and Travels in Siberia, as well as Coyote v. Acme, Dating Your Mom, and Lamentations of the Father, all published by FSG. A frequent contributor to The New Yorker, he lives in Montclair, New Jersey.
 
Published May 25, 2010 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 212 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Lamentations of the Father

Kirkus Reviews

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The narrator of “Caught”—the coyote who was trapped for two days in Central Park in 2006—takes a Holden Caulfield approach to his new-found recognition: “If you’re really interested in hearing all this, you probably first want to know where I was whelped, and what my parents’ dumb burrow was like...

Apr 01 2008 | Read Full Review of Lamentations of the Father: E...

Publishers Weekly

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Caesar's “I came, I saw, I conquered” is, according to Frazier, simply an early example of mankind's obsession with the sound bite, a snappier version of: “I came, I saw, I conquered, I had a snack, I took a bath, and I went to bed, because I was exhausted.” A treat for Frazier fanatics and new r...

Mar 03 2008 | Read Full Review of Lamentations of the Father: E...

Publishers Weekly

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Many readers will already be familiar with Ian Frazier's hilarious treatise Lamentations of the Father, which has been forwarded countless times on e-mail.

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Entertainment Weekly

With Lamentations of the Father, his third humor anthology, Ian Frazier again proves he's the master of the New Yorker-style parodic essay, and of elevating life's petty irritations to epic status.

May 02 2008 | Read Full Review of Lamentations of the Father: E...

Christian Science Monitor

[This review from Monitor archives originally ran on June 30, 2008.] When editors at The Atlantic Monthly celebrated their magazine’s 150th anniversary, they paid homage to the category of “humorous essay” with the works of four writers: Mark Twain, James Thurber, Kurt Vonnegut, and Ian Frazier.

Oct 11 2009 | Read Full Review of Lamentations of the Father: E...

Review (Barnes & Noble)

In his new collection of humorous essays, Lamentations of the Father, Frazier squints his eye at such topics as middle-age memory loss, an updated version of Laura Ingalls Wilder (?Little House off the Highway?), class notes from an alumni newsletter (?Jim Carmichael writes that he happened to se...

Jun 09 2008 | Read Full Review of Lamentations of the Father: E...

Bookmarks Magazine

When The Atlantic Monthly celebrated its 150th anniversary by publishing excerpts from the best writing ever to appear in the magazine, in the category of the humorous essay it chose only four pieces—one by Mark Twain, one by James Thurber, one by Kurt Vonnegut, and Ian Frazier’s...

May 11 2008 | Read Full Review of Lamentations of the Father: E...

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