Lysley Tenorio

How humor shows up in literature is the worthy topic of this week’s show—and Brooke and Grant interview Lysley Tenorio, someone who’s known for having an eye for the weird and absurd and rendering poignant experiences onto the page through humor. We talk about the kiss of death for authors who are trying to be funny, and offer up some advice for what to do if you want to write humor. Most important, however, we’re celebrating humor this week—and recommending some books that will lighten your mood. Also, please do not let this week end without watching the Philippine inmates reenacting Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” which you can find here.


Lysley Tenorio is the author of the novel The Son of Good Fortune and the story collection Monstress, named a book of the year by the San Francisco Chronicle. He is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, a Whiting Award, a Stegner fellowship, among other awards and prizes and residencies. His stories have appeared in The Atlantic, Zoetrope: All-Story, and Ploughshares. Born in the Philippines, he lives in San Francisco and is a professor at Saint Mary’s College of California.

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