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Rich, Simon

Entry updated 11 May 2020. Tagged: Author.

(1984-    ) US scriptwriter, journalist and author, first known for his work for the Television series Saturday Night Live beginning in 2007. His short stories and sketches, several of which have appeared in the Shouts and Murmurs section of the New Yorker, intensify an initially slick shaggy-dog literalism into an intense, almost elegiac, "wacky" absurdism (see Absurdist SF), his first collection of this material being Ant Farm: And Other Desperate Situations (coll 2007). Authors for the New Yorker his work at times resembles include James Thurber and George Saunders, though he eschews the pathos of Thurber and the Satirical depths of Saunders. His range is, however, wide, Spoiled Brats (coll 2014) including an Apes as Human tale, a story of frustrated love set in the distant Near Future, a djinn spoof, and a Suspended Animation tale in which a man reawakens after a century in a pickle vat.

Rich's first two novels – Elliot Allagash: A Novel (2010) and What in God's Name: A Novel (2012) – tend to overstretch material best conveyed through the convention of the punchlined spoof, though the second gains some mileage from its depiction of two rebel angels attempting to prevent their CEO from destroying Earth. [JC]

Simon Rich

born New York: 5 June 1984

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