Simon Rich

At the tender age of 22, recent Harvard grad Simon Rich published his satirical 2007 debut, Ant Farm, a collection of brief comic vignettes. And while Rich’s wry observations about the absurdities of everyday life defy his youth, the short format he employs is ideal for his audience. That is: A generation of people who can hardly read two paragraphs at a time without losing interest. Thanks, Twitter. (Rich also writes sketch comedy for Saturday Night Live.) Published last year and new in paperback, Rich’s Free-Range Chickens (Random House, $15) picks up where Ant Farm left off. A mix of hypothetical situations, self-deprecation, and dark humor, Rich manages to be both topical and morbid, drawing the reader in with cute little funnies about junior high and the tooth fairy before bringing the serious points—whether it’s about the miseries of corporate America or poultry farming—home to roost. SARA BRICKNER

Fri., May 29, 7:30 p.m., 2009

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