Daniel Asa Rose, award-winning memoirist, novelist, travel essayist, and editor, was born in Brooklyn and graduated from Brown University, where he directed the theater troupe and was awarded an honorary Phi Beta Kappa. Fleeing the stage after winning Best Actor Award at the Abbey Theater in Dublin, he placed his first short story in The New Yorker when he was 27 and won an O. Henry Prize and two Pen Fiction Awards for the stories in his first collection, SMALL FAMILY WITH ROOSTER. His first novel, FLIPPING FOR IT, a black comedy about divorce, was a New York Times New and Noteworthy Paperback. In 2002, he published HIDING PLACES: A Father and his Sons Retrace Their Family’s Escape From the Holocaust, a non-fiction saga that intermingles a taut current-day search for the hiding places that saved his family in World War II with memories of the author’s own hiding places growing up in WASP 1950s Connecticut — a book which earned starred reviews in both Publishers Weekly (“brilliant”) and Kirkus (“remarkable”). Renowned critic Robert Brustein called it “unquestionably among the finest works of literature about the fate of European Jews during and after World War II.”
Five years ago Daniel traveled to China to procure an illegal kidney for his dying cousin, an experience he wrote about in his latest book, LARRY’S KIDNEY: Being the True Story of How I Found Myself in China With my Black-Sheep Cousin and his Mail-Order Bride, Skirting the Law to Get Him a Transplant … and Save His Life, which garnered rave reviews around the country for using humor to tackle a dead serious subject. It was named one of the “Top Books of the Year” by Publisher’s Weekly, and Daniel became something of a spokesman for the cause of liberalizing organ transplant laws, appearing on NPR, CNN, and the New York Times Op-Ed Page. The movie version of LARRY’S KIDNEY, directed by Richard Linklater, is slated to begin filming in the spring of 2015 with Zach Galifianakis playing Larry and Will Ferrell playing Daniel.
His journalism has been translated into 11 languages, not including the erotic women’s memoirs he ghostwrites on the side or the eulogy for his ex-father-in-law that won the SPOW Award (best obituary from The Society of Professional Obituary Writers). Formerly writer-in-residence at WestConn’s MFA program in writing and editor of the international literary magazine “The Reading Room,” he has served as reviewer for The New York Times Book Review, essayist for The New York Times Magazine, interviewer for The Washington Post Book World, arts & culture editor of the Forward newspaper, travel columnist for Esquire magazine, humor writer for GQ, and food critic for the past 20 pounds.
Come hear Daniel Asa Rose’s story of how he helped the black sheep of the family get an organ transplant in China.