Ayun Halliday, Queen of the Apes, Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky

Here, compliments of a Google Translated German livejournal entry:

Ayun Halliday born March 29, 1965 Capital of Indiana, Hoosier State, USA Nationality American occupation writer and actor musical style children’s book remarkable work (s) unsportsmanlike dinero cookie: culinary comments, questionable taste ayunhalliday.Ayun Halliday com (pronounced “ann”) is a writer and actor.She is best known as author and illustrator (or, as Halliday calls it, “the primatologist important”) of the long-running zine The East hamlet inky.The zine was named after living Halliday & # 39; s in New York & # 39; s hamlet east, and & # 39, # 39 and inky, the nickname of her former daughter.She is mother victor bust magazine columnist, in which she discusses motherhood, her children and social issues.Her first pictorial refreshing, groundnut, will be published in the summer of 2011.

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Here’s the David Copperfield version:

I was born in Indianapolis, Indiana and came of age at the height of the preppy craze. For some unfathomable reason, my grandparents had a subscription to The New Yorker. Every week, I’d paw through it, daydreaming of a glamorous future in which I’d be a celebrated stage actress, living in sin with some hot, devoted trumpet player in a Greenwich Village loft with a skyline view I’ve since learned is possible only from downtown Brooklyn or the western shores of New Jersey.

After graduating from Northwestern University with an impractical, expensive degree in guess what, I embarked on an exciting career as a waitress, with occasional time-outs for globetrotting of the dirty backpack, banana pancake variety.


In 1988, I joined The Neo-Futurists, a Chicago theatre company notable for presenting 30 original plays in the course of 60 minutes and ordering pizza for the audience whenever the show sold out. Greg Kotis auditioned for the ensemble in 1991 and fortunately, we cast him. Had it been otherwise, I might not have married him and moved to New York City where we rented a 340-square-foot apartment in the East Village for $1150 a month.

A big, bad stork took us by surprise a year later, dropping off a baby with three thumbs and a couple of other things necessitating immediate treatment in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Shortly after Inky‘s first birthday, I put out the first issue of my zine, The East Village Inky. It was and still is written and illustrated entirely by hand. Computers tend to take a digger when I’m around.

A few years later, the shadow of the stork hovering over us again, we moved to Brooklyn. Milo was born underwater so lickety split, it’s a miracle the Tompkins Square playground is not listed on his birth certificate.

Greg wrote Urinetown! (the Musical). To everyone’s amazement, it made it all the way to Broadway, where it won a bunch of Tony awards. Now he’s such hot doodie, he might burn you, so don’t touch him! Don’t tell him I called him “hot doodie” either because he’s rigorous about modesty and I already drew a couple of pictures in The East Village Inky of him dancing around naked.

I eschewed housekeeping to write The Big Rumpus, so I could remember what life was like when my children were small and you’d have something to purchase in bulk for Mothers Day and every other major holiday.

No Touch Monkey 2nd ed

Then I had to write another book. Didn’t want to alienate readers who hate kids or break out in hives at the thought of reading one more birth story. That one is No Touch Monkey! And Other Travel Lessons Learned Too Late Our guerilla marketeering team advises me that it would make an excellent present for the special dirty backpackers in your life. Should they happen to enjoy it, perhaps they could go on Amazon and post a glowing customer review, to counteract all the nasty reviews of the first edition, posted by readers of less discriminating tastes than yours.

Playing in the ashtray of tattered memories proved such fun, I started reminiscing about all the crappy day jobs held down while pursuing my elusive dream of life on the golden-but-not-nearly-wicked-enough stage. If you, too, have suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous low-wage fortune, Job Hopper will feel better than taking off your girdle. If you’ve been pulling down six figures since the day you graduated B-school summa cum laude, reading Job Hopper is going to feel like taking off someone else’s girdle.

The next dough to come pumping out of the template was Dirty Sugar Cookies: Culinary Observations, Questionable Taste. The publisher called it a love letter to everything I’ve ever eaten and a few things I wish I hadn’t. I might add that it’s got one of the gnarliest indexes shy of The Merck Manual. It made me so hungry, I had to have a food blog for a couple of years just to justify some of the crazy things I stuffed into my pie-hole.

Figuring that it might be a good idea to let the fertile fields of autography lay fallow for a while, I wrote my first children’s book, Always Lots of Heinies at the Zoo, Actually, that one’s got its autobiographical side, too, seeing as how it was inspired by an observation Inky made when she was four. Dan Santat did the illustrations, and also insisted that the photos on the back flap feature our butts instead of our heads.

Then came the Zinester’s Guide to NYC, a classic case of the careful-what-you-wish-for dream come true. Not only does it have the distinction of being the last wholly analog guidebook to New York City, it is packed to within an inch of my life with the sort of highly participatory, low budget listings you’ve come to recognize as a hallmark of East Village Inky quality. Includes places to make photocopies, and a listing for a cheese store under the heading “Art Supplies”. These days it can be read for its historical interest, as there is a curse associated with it : Any business or event listed within its pages is destined to go the way of the dodo! I’m happy to report that the New York Public Library, the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty have thusfar escaped the curse.

My most recent book is also my first graphic novel, Peanut, a collaboration with illustrator Paul Hoppe. It’s ostensibly for young adults. To my mind, that’s pretty much everybody. The New York Times gave it some sugar.

These days, you’ll find me in the Off-Off-Broadway mines, making cheap, weird theater, most recently as the host and creator of Theater of the Apes’ monthly series NECROMANCERS OF THE PUBLIC DOMAIN, wherein an aged book is resurrected as a low budget one-night-only variety show. Join Theater of the Apes’ mailing list for updates!

Yes, I’d like to be in your play, particularly if it was written by Chekhov, Shakespeare or Beckett.

I regret that I cannot facilitate a sexual release for you, but I am available for your freelance pleasure. These days, I’m contributing regularly to Open Culture and a few others. Sometimes people even hire me to draw pictures.

Squinting into the far off horizon, Microcosm Publishing will be publishing my next book, The Small Potato Manifesto in 2021.

Here’s what life looked like in 2017 :

And 2018:

Now, back to work, you!