Brattleboro Literary Festival 2022 Brattleboro Literary Festival 2022
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How We Got Here — David Sipress & Tad Friend

Tad Friend
In The Early Times

Tad Friend is a longtime staff writer for The New Yorker. His memoir, Cheerful Money: Me, My Family, and the Last Days of Wasp Splendor, was chosen as one of the year’s best books by The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, and NPR. His new memoir, In The Early Times, was published in May. 

He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Amanda Hesser and their twins, Walker and Addison.

David Sipress
What's So Funny: A Cartoonist's Memoir

David Sipress was born and raised in New York City. He graduated from Williams College in 1968 and went on to study Russian History in the Department of Soviet Studies at Harvard University. He left Harvard before completing his degree to pursue a career as a cartoonist and has been staff cartoonist since 1998 for The New Yorker, where he has published nearly 700 cartoons. 

He lectures widely on cartooning, and his autobiographical writing has appeared frequently on  He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Ginny Shubert, an attorney and activist who works on issues of health and housing. 

Library Journal calls his latest book, What's So Funny: A Cartoonist's Memoir. “An intimate and engaging memoir by an artist who understands that personal thoughts and feelings often lead to remarkable ideas." The New York Times called it, “An endearingly vulnerable tale of being molded by one’s family of origin…economic and amiable (and occasionally devastating).

From a longtime New Yorker staff cartoonist David Sipress  comes What’s So Funny?, an evocative family memoir, a love letter to New York City, and a delightful exploration of the origins of creativity—richly interleaved with the author’s witty, beloved cartoons. 

New Yorker writer Tad Friend’s memoir In the Early Times, grapples with being a husband and a father as he tries to grasp who he is as a son. His father, an erudite historian and the former president of Swarthmore College, has long been gregarious and charming with strangers yet cerebral with his children. Tad writes that “trying to reach him always felt like ice fishing.”

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