NYRB News


Happy Birthday to Daniel Pinkwater!

Today we celebrate the 70th birthday of the incomparable writer and illustrator Daniel Pinkwater, author of about one hundred books as unique and funny as he is, by calling attention to his personal favorite book, Lizard Music, the story of Victor, a boy who, in exploring the nearby city of Hogboro while his parents are away, meets the Chicken Man, who is keen on the lizard (yes, lizard) musicians who appear on Victor’s television after the broadcast of the late-late movie. Victor and the Chicken Man travel to the lizards’ floating island, where the strange is fantastic and inspired—all adjectives that could be used to describe Pinkwater himself.

“No author has ever captured the great fun of being weird, growing up as a happy mutant, unfettered by convention, as well as Pinkwater has. When I was a kid, Pinkwater novels like Lizard Music…made me intensely proud to be a little off-center and weird…The NYRB edition of Lizard Music is beautiful…It’s one of those books that, in the right hands at the right time, can change your life for the better and forever.”—Cory Doctorow

“Pinkwater is the uniquest. And so are his books.”—Neil Gaiman

Lizard Music is…funny, properly paranoid, shot through with bad puns and sweet absurdities, and all about a baffled kid intent on tracking reality (as slippery as lizards) in a media-spooked milieu.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“A writer for smart kids…Pinkwater writes for, and about, people who are not ashamed to look at life a little differently.” —Wired