MLA Gold Award Site

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."

This biography was last updated on 12/08/2011.

A note about the biographies
We try to keep BookBrowse's biographies both up to date and accurate. However, with over 2500 lives to keep track of it's inevitable that some won't be as current or as complete as we would like. So, please help us - if the information about a particular author is out of date, inaccurate or simply very short, and you know of a more complete source, please let us know. Authors and those connected with authors: If you wish to make changes to your bio, please send your 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.

Daniel Handler asks 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!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: City of Secrets
    City of Secrets
    by Stewart O'Nan
    In his new novel, City of Secrets, Stewart O'Nan spins a tale of espionage and intrigue as ...
  • Book Jacket: The Atomic Weight of Love
    The Atomic Weight of Love
    by Elizabeth Church
    A prologue set in 2011 introduces readers to this novel's unforgettable narrator. Meridian ...
  • Book Jacket: Murder at the 42nd Street Library
    Murder at the 42nd Street Library
    by Con Lehane
    It doesn't matter if you're stopping in your favorite library to quickly pick up a book, or settling...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Alaskan Laundry
    by Brendan Jones

    A fresh debut novel about a young woman who moves to Alaska and finds herself through the hard work of fishing.

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Win this book!
Win The Weekenders

The Perfect Summer Escape!

Told with Mary Kay Andrews' trademark blend of humor and warmth.

Enter

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Girl Waits with Gun
by Amy Stewart

An enthralling novel based on the forgotten true adventures of one of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Word Play

Solve this clue:

I I A Greek T M

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.