(Ringgold Wilmer Lardner), 1885–1933, American humorist and short-story writer, b. Niles, Mich. He was a sports reporter in Chicago, St. Louis, and Boston from 1907 to 1919. His first collection of short stories, You Know Me, Al
(1916) revealed his talent for the racy sports idiom he made famous. Among his other early volumes of short stories are Gullible's Travels
(1917) and Treat 'Em Rough
(1918). With the publication of How to Write Short Stories (with Samples)
(1924), Lardner's reputation as a satirist was established. Usually cynical and pessimistic, his stories are peopled by ordinary characters—baseball players, stenographers, barbers—who are stunningly revealed, often through their own conversation, as being stupid, dull, and vicious. His later story collections include What of It?
(1925) and First and Last
(1934). With George S. Kaufman he collaborated on the comedy June Moon
See his Best Short Stories (1938, repr. 1957); his autobiography, The Story of a Wonder Man (1927, repr. 1975); biographies by D. Elder (1956) and J. Yardley (1984); studies by M. Geismar (1972) and E. Evans (1980); bibliography by M. J. Bruccoli and R. Layman (1976).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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