Joe Queenan

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Joe Queenan (born November 3, 1950) is an American journalist, critic and essayist.

A self-professed negative styled humorist, Queenan is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has written for various publications, such as Spy Magazine, TV Guide, Movieline, The Guardian, The American Spectator, The Weekly Standard, and the New York Times Book Review, and is a columnist for The Wall Street Journal.


Joe Queenan attended St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia, and currently lives in Tarrytown, New York. He is married and has two children. He has written several books, including Balsamic Dreams, a critique of the Baby Boomers; Red Lobster, White Trash, and the Blue Lagoon, a tour of low-brow American pop culture; and Imperial Caddy, a fairly scathing view of Dan Quayle and the American Vice-Presidency. His book Queenan Country documents his lifelong fascination with Great Britain. In it, he describes the special relationship Americans have with the British.

His memoir, Closing Time, is an account of his abusive, alcoholic Irish American father and his bleak working-class upbringing in the East Falls section of Philadelphia, especially in the Schuylkill Falls housing project. The book has been compared to Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes, which was about an abusive alcoholic Irish father and the devastating effect that he had on his family. Ironically, Queenan wrote one of the few negative reviews of the McCourt book, taking the author to task for being overly sentimental and too quick to forgive his father for his actions, which caused the deaths of three of his children. Closing Time was included in The New York Times' list 100 Notable Books of 2009.[1]


  • Balsamic Dreams: A Short But Self-Important History of the Baby Boomer Generation
  • If You’re Talking to me Your Career Must be in Trouble: Movies, Mayhem, and Malice
  • The Unkindest Cut: How a Hatchet-Man Critic Made His Own $7,000 Movie and Put It All on His Credit Card
  • Imperial Caddy: The Rise of Dan Quayle in America and the Decline and Fall of Practically Everything Else
  • Red Lobster, White Trash, & the Blue Lagoon: Joe Queenan's America
  • Closing Time: A Memoir
  • My Goodness: A Cynic's Short-Lived Search for Sainthood
  • Malcontents: The Best Bitter, Cynical, and Satirical Writing in the World
  • Queenan Country: A Reluctant Anglophile's Pilgrimage to the Mother Country
  • True Believers: The Tragic Inner Life of Sports Fans
  • Confessions of a Cineplex Heckler: Celluloid Tirades and Escapades
  • One for the Books


  1. ^ "100 Notable Books of 2009". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 March 2012. 

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