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About Dave Cowen
Dave Cowen has written for The New Yorker, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, and Points In Case, and his work has been featured in The New York Times.
In 2018, he published the Amazon Best Seller in the Political Humor and Jewish Holidays categories, THE TRUMP PASSOVER HAGGADAH. In 2019, he published a follow-up parody Haggadah, THE YADA YADA HAGGADAH, for fans of the greatest Jewish-American sitcom about nothing, which was also an Amazon Best Seller in Jewish Holidays as well as the Parody category. He's also the author of FAKE HISTORY!, which satirizes Christopher Columbus' age of exploration and today's Trumpian phase of politics, and has been an Amazon Best Seller in the History Humor category.
His latest book, published in 2021, is THE BIDEN-HARRIS HAGGADAH: Thank G-d!, a new parody Haggadah in which you can act out a play of the new administration leading a Seder.
In 2020, he published THIS BOOK IS THE LONGEST SENTENCE EVER WRITTEN AND THEN PUBLISHED and SPIRITUAL INSTAGRAM.
Beginning with a humorously heroic imperative to produce a world-record-setting single sentence book, THIS BOOK IS THE LONGEST SENTENCE EVER WRITTEN AND THEN PUBLISHED transforms from a comedic conceptual performance into a raw collage memoir that livestreams everything the author thought about in a year: Jeff Bezos, The New Yorker, Numerology, Kanye West, embarrassment, memory, suicide, fate; the list goes on for 111,111 words. The book contributes to the long tradition of single-sentence, stream-of-consciousness literature, which goes back at least as far as Joyce and Faulkner, and appeared as recently as Lucy Ellmann’s 1,030-page Ducks, Newburyport, published last year to wide acclaim. (Also, after some tedious research into Ducks, Newburyport, it does look like Cowen wrote the longest English sentence to date.) What makes Cowen’s offering a standout in this tradition is its unique blending of memoir, collage, comedy, and interactivity.
At the level of memoir, THIS BOOK IS THE LONGEST SENTENCE EVER WRITTEN AND THEN PUBLISHED is a story of success and failure, the pathos of grief and the humor of vulnerability, lineages of mental illness and nascent spiritual healing. While the book begins with Cowen’s literary quest to gain a quantifiable achievement as a professional writer, the narrative soon becomes an emotional living-record of the Kaddish year of mourning following his beloved father’s death. Navigating revelations and digressions about filial piety and individualism, his specific parent and the cosmic creator, Cowen’s epic odyssey leads to a place where ambition, envy, ego, and results give way to process, non-attachment, equanimity, and humility.
Cowen’s stream-of-consciousness style is also accompanied by collage techniques inspired by the tactics of David Shields, Lewis Hyde, and social media memers, which not only challenges contemporary copyright law but also extols a universal muse in all originality. Like a 21st-Century Instagrammer crossed with a 19th-century commonplace book editor, Cowen posts/quotes found content throughout his yearlong writing journey: everything from personal emails, celebrity Tweets and song lyrics from his Spotify shuffle, to excerpts from Joshua Wolf Shenk’s study of Abraham Lincoln’s mental illness and Carl Jung’s scholarship on the Self, to text authored by an AI app, to segments contributed specifically for the project by fellow writers such as Tom Comitta, Mike Heller, Dan Marshall, Leryl Joseph, Ryan DeNardo, and Kiana Fitzgerald. An index of cited content appears at the end.
Also, don’t forget the comedy and interactivity! With interstitials of hilarious Shouts & Murmurs submissions, cringe-inducing Hollywood industry anecdotes, and an idiosyncratic voice of ironically self-deprecating self-aggrandizement, Cowen will charm his way into readers’ hearts. He also offers readers the opportunity to add 250 of their own words to his book via writing an Amazon Verified Purchase Review. The words in every Amazon Verified Purchase Review will be inserted into the book sans punctuation and republished as Print On Demand and epub KDP files in the next edition(s). By inviting readers to continue growing the attempt at the record, Cowen also offers a communal element to the experience.
SPIRITUAL INSTAGRAM continues Cowen's spiritual evolution after the experience of THIS BOOK IS THE LONGEST SENTENCE EVER WRITTEN AND THEN PUBLISHED, exploring the relationship between memes and memoir, religion and spirituality, the fleeting and the eternal, and the human and the divine. He says it's for enlightened weirdos like he is now. But that means it should be for everyone!
In 2021, he also started a Substack newsletter/blog called SHUFFLE SYNCHRONICITIES. Every day, he wakes up and Shuffles his Spotify Liked Songs playlist (almost 30,000 songs and counting), then writes about how the song Synchronizes with his life and maybe the readers'. He will be publishing the posts in book form later this year.
In all, his books have been Best Sellers in the Amazon categories of Political Humor, Parody, History Humor, Bipolar Disorder, Grief and Loss, Religious Humor, Jewish Holidays, and Haggadahs.
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In April of 2019, Dave Cowen wanted to prove he wasn't a failed writer. Even though he published humor in The New Yorker, they weren't buying any more of his work. Even though he wrote a screenplay that sought to help heal the country's divide on guns, Hollywood didn't want it. So he set out to write something that would be a success no matter what anyone thought of it.
The ensuing quest to write the longest sentence ever published in the English language becomes a strange, all-consuming, life-changing odyssey. The stream-of-consciousness draws in James Joyce, Numerology, Copyright Law, Jeff Bezos, Instagram, The Enneagram, Kanye West, and portions written by an AI.
But what begins as a comedic conceptual performance soon transforms into a poignant grappling with the suicide earlier that same spring of the writer's beloved father with whom he shared a bipolar disorder diagnosis. As the author pours out words through his year of mourning - without stopping to edit - right up until the anniversary of his father’s death, he’s unsure if he’s losing his sanity or if he’s awakening his consciousness, seeing mystical synchronicities in the texts he reads, the music he hears, and the external/internal interplay of life itself.
Finding inspiration in his father's hero, Abraham Lincoln, and other father figures such as Lewis Hyde and David Shields, Carl Jung and James Hollis, Bob Dylan and Lou Reed, and Philip K. Dick and Jack Kerouac, the writer integrates personal memoir with literary criticism, original thought with collage remixing, depth psychology with freethinking spirituality. He comes out on the other side a wounded healer with much to offer his readers: comedy, candor, and catharsis.
And the opportunity to add 250 words of their own to the sentence-book, whatever it inspires them to express, via a verified Amazon purchase review, so that all of us can be part of the longest sentence ever written and published!
Enjoy your Passover Seder with the Second Gentleman and first-ever Jewish spouse of a President or Vice President, Doug Emhoff, progressively leading the Yom Tov Candle ceremony. Laugh at Bernie Sanders back to make sure the moderates give the afflicted 99% a piece of the “poor man’s bread.” See if new President, Joe Biden, can get through the Magid without an interruption...and much more.
Dave Cowen has written humor for The New Yorker and McSweeney’s. His books have been Best Sellers in the Amazon categories of Political Humor, Parody, History Humor, Religious Humor, Jewish Holidays, and Haggadahs.
If you're an afflicted liberal Jew, with an unconservative sense of humor, and you find traditional Seders as dry as matzo, try these irreverent political parody Haggadahs this Passover.
Dave Cowen has published humor in The New Yorker and McSweeney's.
Enjoy your Passover acting out a "lost episode" where George forces Jerry to host Seder to impress an Israeli love interest. The clueless Elaine invites a wealthy Egyptian entrepreneur. And Kramer comes up with his next venture: “Matzo, Not So?!”, which promises unleavened matzo so good, it can't possibly be so.
Dave Cowen is the author of The Trump Passover Haggadah. He has also written humor for The New Yorker and McSweeney's.
And so starts the man who discovered America’s recently recovered memoir recorded from his death bed in exile in 1506, which somehow has as many relevant things to say about our life in the United States today as it does about his life in the New World back then.
At a time when Americans are debating replacing the Federal Columbus Day holiday with a paid Election Day holiday, FAKE HISTORY! satirizes Christopher Columbus' age of exploration, today's Trumpian phase of politics, and all eras of our history, all at the same time.
A good gift for fans of Monty Python, Mel Brooks, and Drunk History, FAKE HISTORY! conflates the past with the present in order to help us imagine a better future.
Dave Cowen has written humor for The New Yorker and McSweeney's as well as published two other Amazon Best Sellers in the Political Humor and Parody categories, which have been featured in The New York Times.