“An old buddy of mine said to me once, ‘Hey, man, why don't you write funny stories like you used to?’ ‘You must be crazy,’ I said. ‘The real money’s in the depressing angst-ridden stories that nobody reads. You want funny, pal, go read Humor Me, and stay the hell outta my business.’”—Reginald McKnight, author, He Sleeps
The first anthology of its kind, Humor Me is a celebration of humor by authors from diverse cultures. Sixteen of today's most exciting writers—among them Sherman Alexie, Gish Jen, Charles Johnson, and Lucille Clifton—are represented in fiction, poetry, nonfiction, drama, cartoons, and graphic narratives. Whether using satire, parody, or farce, these writers explore the universal themes of love, family, sex, and race, and they do so in their own edgy, subversive, and sometimes skewed ways.
In Sherman Alexie's short story “Assimilation,” a Coeur d’Alene woman wants to cheat on her white husband with an Indian man, any Indian man—or, as Alexie puts it, “an indigenous stranger.” In Sandra Tsing Loh's essay “Daddy Dearest,” the author cringes when an old friend asks if her father still wears his underwear backward and does the Chinese snake dance on Pacific Coast Highway.
Nothing in Humor Me is taboo, as Erika Lopez proves in her illustrated tale of one environmentally conscious woman's attempt to subvert the tampon industry. Jim Northrup even takes on that American institution Jeopardy! in his satire “Shinnob Jep,” describing a game that quizzes its contestants on Native American trivia, including the categories “Trick or Treaties” and “Rez Cars.” From low-brow to high-brow, from belly laughs to the cerebral, Humor Me places internationally renowned writers such as Charles Johnson and Gish Jen alongside rising stars Paisley Rekdal and Michele Serros and a host of newcomers, including Aimee Nezhukumatathil and Daniel Chacón.