Who wins a Pulitzer Prize for being funny? Dave Barry, that's who. Technically, he won the prize for commentary for his columns at the Miami Herald -- where his job was, and is, "to write about issues ranging from the international economy to exploding toilets."
Barry has just published his first solo novel in a decade, "Insane City." The book is about a groom on his way to his wedding when things begin to go wrong. "Things" include angry strippers, Russian gangsters, a refugee on the run, a very large pimp and a gigantic white python.
While the book is, on the surface, about all those things, it's really about a place -- the particularly insane place that is Florida.
That's what we'll be talking about on Monday, Feb. 4, at 10 a.m. -- Florida, and writing about Florida, and what kind of stories go into his nonfiction columns versus his new novel. (Pythons appear in both).
We'll also talk about his upcoming L.A. conversation with "The Simpsons" creator Matt Groening on Feb. 7. How does an East Coast newspaper columnist get to be friends with a West Coast cartoonist? Did they form indelible bonds while playing together in the writer rock band, the Rock Bottom Remainders?
Barry may have taken a break from fiction on his own, but he's published almost a book a year, including a young adult series with Ridley Pearson of Peter Pan prequels. Maybe he'll tell us how he does it.