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Ian Frazier, photo by Sigrid Estrada
Ian Frazier


NYS Writers Institute, October 5, 2011
4:15 p.m. Seminar | Standish Room, Science Library
8:00 p.m. Reading | Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center


Ian Frazier, leading American humorist, travel author and staff writer for the New Yorker, will speak about his recent bestseller, Travels in Siberia (2010) on Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. in the Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, on the University at Albany’s uptown campus. Earlier that day at 4:15 p.m., the author will present an informal seminar in the Standish Room, Science Library on the uptown campus. The events are sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute, and are free and open to the public.


Ian Frazier
is a leading American humorist, bestselling travel author and staff writer for the New Yorker. Fascinated with wide open spaces, Frazier has published two highly-praised, insightful and funny travelogues about the regions that have captivated him, Great Plains (1989), a modern-day classic about his explorations of the American Midwest, and Travels in Siberia (2010), a current bestseller about Russia’s “Wild East.” The new book recounts the author’s experiences during five trips he took to far-flung regions of Siberia between 1993 and 2009. A vast, largely undeveloped wilderness one third larger than the United States, Siberia is dotted with frontier towns, abandoned gulags, upstart cities, oil fields, logging camps, coal mines, Eskimo whaling villages, and reindeer herding communities. Frazier devoted years to learning Russian in order to facilitate his travels.

Travels in SiberiaWriting in the San Francisco Chronicle, Carmela Ciuraru said, “Much more than ‘travel writing,’ [Travels in Siberia] covers memoir, history, literature, politics and more. There are many reasons to love it, including the fantastic ending, possibly the best of any book in recent memory. Travels in Siberia is a masterpiece of nonfiction writing— tragic,bizarre and funny. Once again, the inimitable Frazier has managed to create a genre of his very own.” Writing in Harper’s, Ben Moser said that the art of travel writing “is revived by Ian Frazier’s Travels in Siberia…. Frazier candidly addresses Siberia’s tragedies and opportunities, even as his narrative offers, like explorer stories of old all the thrills of armchair travel.”

Frazier is the author of nine books, including Lamentations of the Father (2008), a collection of laugh-out-loud essays on parenting; Gone to New York: Adventures in the City (2005), a Midwesterner’s perspective on his adopted city; On the Rez (2000), about life among the Oglala Sioux in South Dakota; Coyote v. Acme (1996), a humor collection that imagines, among other things, a lawsuit brought by Wile E. Coyote against the mail-order company whose faulty gadgets frequently injure or nearly kill him; and his first book of humor, Dating Your Mom (1986).

Writing in the New York Times, James Gorman called Dating Your Mom, “one of the best collections of humor ever published.” In a Los Angeles Times review of Gone to New York, Mark Oppenheimer called Frazier, “America’s greatest essayist.” Garrison Keillor said of Great Plains, “This is a brilliant, funny, and altogether perfect book, soaked in research and then aired out on the open plains to evaporate the excess, leaving this modern masterpiece. It makes me want to get in a truck and drive straight out to North Dakota and look at the prairie.”

Frazier has been a regular contributor to the New Yorker since 1974, writing many installments of the “Talk of the Town” column and “Reporter at Large” series. He has also contributed notable pieces to the Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, and other magazines. Recently, he served as editor of Humor Me: An Anthology of Funny Contemporary Writing (Plus Some Great Old Stuff Too) (2010). Proceeds from Humor Me were donated to 826 National, a writing program for youth founded by writer Dave Eggers.

Additional Links: Telling the Truth Symposium

Ian Frazier

Open House for English Majors

Ian Frazier signs books at a recent Writers Institute open house for UAlbany English majors.

Click here for more photos.



For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at https://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.