Mark Leyner (born 1956) is an American postmodernist author.
Leyner employs an intense and unconventional style in his works of fiction. His stories are generally humorous and absurd: In The Tetherballs of Bougainville, Mark's father survives a lethal injection at the hands of the New Jersey penal system, and so is freed but must live the remainder of his life in fear of being executed, at New Jersey's discretion, in any situation and regardless of collateral damage. They frequently incorporate elements of meta-fiction: In the same novel, an adolescent Mark produces a film adaptation of the story of his father's failed execution, although he reads a newspaper review of the movie to the prison's warden, and then dies, before even leaving the prison. At the sentence level, Leyner uses sprawling imagery and an extravagant vocabulary, bordering on prose poetry.
Leyner has also worked as a columnist for Esquire and George magazines, and as a writer for the MTV program Liquid Television. He also co-wrote and voiced a short-lived series of audio fiction called Wiretap.
In the mid-to-late 00s, Leyner collaborated with Dr. Billy Goldberg on three humorous, though fact-based, books on medicine.
He is credited with co-authoring the screenplay of War, Inc.
In 2012, Leyner published his first novel in fourteen years, The Sugar Frosted Nutsack.
- Short story collections:
- I Smell Esther Williams and Other Stories (1983)
- My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist (1990)
- Tooth Imprints on a Corn Dog (1996)
- Why Do Men Have Nipples? Hundreds of Questions You'd Only Ask a Doctor After Your Third Martini (2005)
- Why Do Men Fall Asleep After Sex? More Questions You'd Only Ask a Doctor After Your Third Whiskey Sour (2006)
- Let's Play Doctor: The Instant Guide to Walking, Talking, and Probing like a Real M.D. (2008)
- Phillip Wise (Spring 1996). "Schwarzenegger Imagery in Mark Leyner's Et Tu, Babe". Deep South 2 (3).
Notes and references
- Grimes, William. "The Ridiculous Vision of Mark Leyner", The New York Times, September 13, 1992. Accessed February 6, 2013. "When Leyner says, 'Stop it, Carmella,' or 'Get over here,' the dog ignores him, and continues to sow chaos in her master's apartment in Hoboken, N.J."
- Author profile at Internet Book List, iblist.com
- The unofficial Mark Leyner page, spesh.com
- Interview with Salon magazine from 1997, salon.com
- Sam Lipsyte (Spring 2013). "Mark Leyner, The Art of Fiction No. 219". The Paris Review.
- AOL Books Interview with Mark Leyner and Billy Goldberg on their book Why Do Men Fall Asleep After Sex? More Questions You'd Only Ask a Doctor After Your Third Whiskey Sour from 2006.
- Interview on War, Inc. at IFC.com