Daniel Handler, better known as Lemony Snicket, discussed his acclaimed book series, A Series of Unfortunate Events, as well as his inspiration with GW students and faculty last Thursday
Part of the Jewish Literature Live class on campus, Mr. Handler is just one of many prominent Jewish writers coming to speak about their literary work. Readers have grown to love Handler’s dry humor and brutal honesty, and his speech did not disappoint. One audience member asked the author why he chose his profession.
“I am a writer because I wanted to make something happen,” Handler said.
In telling the story of his pen name, Handler explained that his first book required him to reference some politically conservative materials. Not wanting to be associated with those values later in his career, he adopted the pseudonym, Lemony Snicket.
Handler recounted a story of the bravery of his great-grandmother, hiding diamonds in the sole of her shoe as the Jewish family fled war-torn Europe. In typical humorous fashion, Handler attempted to explain how his Jewish background inspired his writing.
Hard truths with comedic balance proved to be staples of Handler’s speech. It was nothing short of the honest and uncommon telling of a story found in his novels. And while the world may seem a little unfortunate at times, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad place.
Handlers latest book, We Are Pirates, about a twenty-first century pirate crew terrorizing the San Francisco Bay is out now.