“These books are questionable and contain questions.”
Great news for every moderately nerdy 20-something who came of literary age in the early ‘2000s. (Hey. That’s you, broseph.) In between defending Occupy Wall Street, waxing philosophic on literary theory, and jamming with Magnetic Fields, elusive Unfortunate Events-plotmaker and occasional Butts resident Lemony “Daniel Handler ’92” Snicket has somehow found time to—well, write again. And the miserable, disaster-prone world is better off for it.
Publishers Weekly noted today that Little, Brown Books for Young Readers will begin a four-book series by Snicket on October 23, with the release of “Who Could That Be at This Hour?” It’s described as the first in the “autobiographical” All the Wrong Questions series, which will explore Snicket’s youth. The announced printing is a monstrous one million copies.
This is to be Snicket’s first literary venture since concluding the aforementioned series. What remains fairly ambiguous is whether this series will detail Handler’s youth (which likely involves Wesleyan) or Snicket’s youth (which likely does not) or whether there’s even a difference at this point. As a kid, I didn’t entirely understand the concept of pen names. I remember envisioning Snicket as the cryptic, decrepit, aging British fugitive he more or less claimed to be, so it was a bit jarring to find out he was a guy named Daniel from California who graduated from Wesleyan in 1992. It should be interesting, too, to read Handler’s actual memoirs, if there is such a book in the works. (I also remember another “autobiography” of sorts, which came in a fake, sleek paper cover calling itself The Pony Party. I think someone bought it for me for my birthday in middle school, and I think I never read it because it wasn’t about the Baudelaires.)
At any rate, Snicket has this to say about the new series:
“These books are questionable and contain questions. I, for one, question why anyone would be interested in reading them.”
Which sounds about right to me. You can find out more here or here, via The Baltimore Sun and PW respectively. Just give me a call when someone devotes an FYI course to the Series of Unfortunate Events books.