Daniel Handler biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Daniel Handler

Daniel Handler

Daniel Handler Biography

Daniel Handler was born in 1970 and brought up in San Francisco, graduating from Lowell High School. During the early '80s he sang with the San Francisco Boys Chorus in San Francisco Opera productions such as La Boheme, Carmen and Tosca.

His parents met at the opera, but his mother is not an opera singer as has been widely reported due to a misinterpreted joke he made in an early interview. His mother, Sandra Handler, used to be the dean of City College of San Francisco. His father was a CPA who fled Germany as a young boy; Handler says "I knew about the Holocaust at an earlier age than most people learn about it, I think, and so the idea that the world could suddenly go very wrong, and that it had no bearing on what sort of person you were, sunk in pretty early. And it's affected my politics and my writing and my life."

Handler double-majored in English and American Studies at Wesleyan University, where he met his wife, Lisa Brown, a graphic designer and writer. They have one child, Otto, born in 2003.

Handler also writes as Lemony Snicket. This psedonym came about when he was researching his first novel, The Basic Eight, and needed to contact for research purposes some right-wing political organizations and religious groups, but didn't want his name to be on their mailing list. When someone asked him his name, out popped "Lemony Snicket."

When not portraying Snicket, Handler writes novels under his own name. His first novel, The Basic Eight (1999) was set in an austere academy not unlike his own high school; Watch Your Mouth followed in 2000, and Adverbs was published in 2006.

When asked to comment on the success of the Lemony Snicket series, Handler says "I find it mind-boggling... I think I got lucky - there's not really a trick to getting published. Everybody knows how to do it. You find an editor who likes your work. There are plenty of good things that don't get published and there are plenty of bad things that do."

Handler says that the Lemony Snicket series is in the gothic tradition of Wuthering Heights. He also says that the books follow the great Jewish traditions in that the Baudelaire orphans behave well and bravely because it's the right thing to do, not because they'll get ahead; as he says "Judaism doesn't really promise any reward, they just emphasize that good behavior is more or less its own reward."

Daniel Handler's website

This bio was last updated on 07/30/2017. We try to keep BookBrowse's biographies both up to date and accurate, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's a tough task. So, please help us - if the information about this author is out of date or inaccurate, and you know of a more complete source, please let us know. Authors and publishers: If you wish to make changes to a bio, send the complete biography as you would like it displayed so that we can replace the old with the new.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Interview

In a silly and smile-provoking string of short interviews, Daniel Handler introduces his novel, Why We Broke Up, by asking strangers in Grand Central Station about their experiences with heartbreak.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Books by this Author

Books by Daniel Handler at BookBrowse
Why We Broke Up jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Daniel Handler but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

We recommend 10 similar authors

View all 10 Readalikes

Non-members can see 2 results. Become a member
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: I Found My Tribe
    I Found My Tribe
    by Ruth Fitzmaurice
    Ruth O'Neill was only 28 when she married film director Simon Fitzmaurice in 2004. Changing her...
  • Book Jacket: The Art of the Wasted Day
    The Art of the Wasted Day
    by Patricia Hampl
    Patricia Hampl wants you to know that daydreaming is not a waste of a day. Nor is spending time ...
  • Book Jacket: Circe
    Circe
    by Madeline Miller
    Towards the end of Madeline Miller's novel Circe, the titular nymph is questioned by her son ...
  • Book Jacket: All the Names They Used for God
    All the Names They Used for God
    by Anjali Sachdeva
    Pre-publication press has already compared Anjali Sachdeva to Kelly Link and other genre-blending ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner

A love story for things lost and restored, a lyrical hymn to the power of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Other People's Houses
    by Abbi Waxman

    A hilarious and poignant novel about four families and the affair that changes everything.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Leavers

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

One of the most anticipated books of 2017--now in paperback!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T E H N Clothes

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.