Roy Blount, Jr.
Author of Long Time Leaving, humorist and sportswriter
Photo credit: Joan Griswold
About Roy Blount
A familiar voice on National Public Radio’s “Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me” and author of books on everything from cats to Robert E. Lee, Roy Blount Jr. is a southern humorist who was born in Indianapolis.
Roy Blount Jr.’s lecture topics are as diverse and entertaining as his life experiences. George V. Higgins described him as “a cynic gone antic, with occasional intervals of utter battiness . . . It’s very difficult to devote full attention to anything else while sitting next to him.” Blount’s writings also include a novel about the husband of the fictional first female president of the United States (First Hubby), a volume of poetry (Webster’s Ark and Soupsongs), an analysis of hair in American culture (It Grows on You), the screenplay for the MGM movie Larger Than Life, and an autobiography (Be Sweet). He edited the bestselling Roy Blount’s Book of Southern Humor, which includes writings from Edgar Allan Poe to Dave Barry and is considered the definitive anthology on the subject.
Since the mid-1970s Blount has mainly published periodic, short humor pieces which have appeared regularly in one of a dozen or so magazines or in any of more than one hundred others to which he has contributed. Because of Blount’s diverse inspirations, a piece rarely has a single theme. “What Men Don’t Tell Women” is a notable exception! Instead, Blount tells stories—in his writing and his speeches—and gives readers and listeners the feeling that they are enjoying an entertaining evening on their front porch.
The Southern Topic
Just because I am from the South and live in the North, I don't know why I have to explain everything from grits to the Rapture—not to mention alleged possum-tossing. But apparently I do, so hold on to your hats. And if you want a sense of how Southern family memories are like everybody else's, hear now my oft-broadcast "Voices Around the Table": talking and eating back home.
How I Get My Ideas
It takes a while to explain, with reference to snakebite, absent-mindedness, the plight of the singing-impaired, the challenges entailed in writing with a giant who slept with 20,000 women (Wilt Chamberlain), and an unfortunate in-flight experience involving a Frenchwoman and Jack Daniel's.
Juice as in au jus, juju, power, liquor, electricity, influence, zaftig-ness. The ABC's aren't just marks on a page, they're alive! They speak! Come with me now beyond onomatopoeia, to consider the flinch and wince family or the thr- words, or the dge's . Anecdotes abound, including a ride with a man who was dyslexic even regarding pie (it's a long story), and the Wilt Chamberlain story fits in here, too.
Robert E. Lee
His reprobate father, his blessed mother, his strained childhood, his drop-dead gorgeousness, his flirtatiousness, his sense of humor (how about that "Pussyism" joke?), and that pet hen of his.
Praise for Roy Blount
Praise for Long Time Leaving
Roy Blount is so funny, and he sounds like he's just talking, and the next thing you know he has tossed off an essay as elegant and intricately structured as a birdsong. His ear for American speech is better than anybody's.— Ian Frazier
Roy Blount is so foot-tappingly good that the North and the South will fight to claim him. This book can keep you sane.— Jacqueline Carey
Books by Roy Blount
Media About Roy Blount
- 212 572-2013
- Roy Blount travels from New York, NY