Birthplace: San Francisco, California
Best known as: Pseudonymous author of A Series of Unfortunate Events
Lemony Snicket is the pseudonym novelist Daniel Handler used while writing his sequence of darkly comic children's books known as A Series of Unfortunate Events. The 13 novels in the series relate the hard-luck history of the Baudelaire orphans, Violet, Klaus and Sunny. Snicket narrates their piteous adventures and misfortunes at the hands of evil Count Olaf, a master of disguises and truly bad actor. The first book in the series, The Bad Beginning, was published in 1999. It was followed by 12 more books with titles such as The Miserable Mill and The Carnivorous Carnival; the final book in the series, The End, was released on 13 October 2006. (In keeping with the tone of the series, that day was a Friday the 13th.) Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, a 2004 feature film based on the books, starred Jim Carrey and featured appearances by Meryl Streep, Jude Law, and many other celebrities. Handler is a longtime resident of San Francisco, and his style has been compared to Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.. He also has published novels for older teens and adults, including The Basic Eight (1999) and Watch Your Mouth (2000).
Handler has said that the name “Lemony Snicket” is not intended to be a tribute to the cartoon character Jiminy Crickett; Handler claims the pseudonym was made up on the spur of the moment while researching material for one of his other books, and that the name predates A Series of Unfortunate Events… Handler is an opera fan and performed in operas as a boy.
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