In this episode of “Literary Arts: The Archive Project,” author Daniel Handler (also known as Lemony Snicket) is interviewed by the “New Yorker’s” Gilbert Cruz at Wordstock: Portland’s Book Festival. As the enigmatic author of children’s, young adult, and adult fiction, Handler offers a unique perspective on literature, life, and the creative impulse. In this interview, he reflects on the moments that drew him to both reading and writing, describing his creative process and inspiration. With his signature dry, dark humor, Handler muses on everything from craft and his literary influences to the growing gender gap in reading and the necessity of fiction in our modern world.


Daniel Handler is the author of six novels. As Lemony Snicket, he is responsible for numerous books for children. His books have sold more than 70 million copies and have been translated into 40 languages, and have been adapted for screen and stage. His first play, “Imaginary Comforts,” or “The Story of the Ghost of the Dead Rabbit,” was produced this fall at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. He lives in San Francisco with the illustrator Lisa Brown, to whom he is married and with whom he has collaborated on several books, and one son. (Bio courtesy of