dave barry and alan zweibel

Dave Barry

Dazzle your Valentine with laughter, levity and health benefits in romantic downtown Savannah. On February 14, author and humorist Dave Barry will kickoff the 2013 Savannah Book Festival at a special evening event at the Trustees Theater on Broughton Street. Barry’s talk will feature his book, Insane City. (*Ticket information for this special event follows below.)

The healing effects of laughter are no laughing matter. Author and researcher Sondra Kornblatt, among others, explores how laughter can truly make you feel better. “Gelotology” (from the Greek gelos) is the term for the study of laughter. It helps the pituitary gland release its own pain-suppressing opiates.

Dave Barry has been making folks laugh and release pain-suppressing opiates for decades with his newspaper columns, nonfiction, and novels for adults and children. In 1988 he won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary “…for his consistently effective use of humor as a device for presenting fresh insights into serious concerns.” He has written a total of 30 books, “…although,” he says, “virtually none of them contain useful information.” For 25 years Barry was a syndicated columnist whose work appeared in more than 500 newspapers in the United States and abroad.

Insane City is scheduled for release in January 2013. In this suspense novel, protagonist Seth Weinstein heads to his destination wedding in Florida. It is not smooth sailing. Russian gangsters, angry strippers, a pimp, a desperate Haitian refugee on the run and an eleven-foot albino Burmese python are all in the mix.

Not one to settle for a solitary life of letters, Barry plays lead guitar in a literary rock band called the “Rock Bottom Remainders.” He is in good company—other members of the band include Stephen King, Amy Tan, Ridley Pearson and Mitch Albom. Insight into the band offered on the Dave Barry website boasts, “They are not musically skilled, but they are extremely loud.” And, “By day, they’re authors. Really famous authors. But once a year they shed their pen-and-pencil clutching personas and become rock stars, complete with roadies, groupies and a wicked cool tour bus.” This past June, the Rock Bottom Remainders performed two gigs on “The Past Our Bedtime Tour.” Proceeds from the concerts benefitted the American Library Association’s Scholarship program, The Midnight Mission and The Los Angeles Downtown Women’s Center as well as a new Emerging Author Series at Live Talks Los Angeles to be launched in January 2013.

Author Carl Hiaasen, quoted on the book jacket of Barry’s suspense novel Big Trouble, says “Despite wealth, fame, and a tendency to under medicate himself, Dave Barry remains one of the funniest writers alive. Big Trouble is outrageously warped, cheerfully depraved—and harrowingly close to true life in Florida. This book will do for our tourism industry what Dennis Rodman did for bridal wear.”

Dave Barry was born in Armonk, NY and graduated class clown from Pleasantville High School in 1965. After graduating from Haverford College, he went to work for The Daily Local News in West Chester, Pennsylvania. He claims to have covered a series of incredibly dull municipal meetings, some of which are still going on. Then, after several years working for a consulting firm teaching effective writing to businesspersons, he took a job in 1983 at the Miami Herald writing a weekly column until 2005. Currently, while he is not doing a weekly column, he has covered recent national and international events that include the Republican and Democratic Conventions and the Summer Olympics. These keen observations are accessible at http://www.miamiherald.com/dave_barry/.

Dave Barry lives in Miami, Florida with his wife, Michelle Kaufman, a sportswriter. He has a son, Rob, and a daughter, Sophie.

*Tickets for Dave Barry Event – Purchased through the Savannah Box Office

Tickets for Dave Barry’s talk on February 14 become available to LITERATI members after November 5 and to the general public after November 19. They may be purchased for $10 from the Savannah Box Office. For information or to purchase tickets, contact the Savannah Box Office at 912.525.5050 or www.savannahboxoffice.com. Tickets are non-refundable, but are transferrable.