Jonathan is a humorist, playwright, neologist, palindromist, limericist, parodist, and wit. His one-act farce The Can of Yams is in publication with Samuel French, and his full-length comedy As Long as It’s in the Script: A Sex Farce within a Sex Farce has earned finalist honors in both the Mountain Playhouse Comedy Playwriting Contest and the Cheshire Comedy “Funniest Play on Earth” contest. His whimsical essays have appeared in Verbatim: The Language Quarterly, and his one-liners have been often quoted in the Shoecabbage comic strip.
In the 1990s, Jonathan was a finalist in the PEN Imitation Hemingway Competition, and his zany prose appeared in advertisements promoting records by the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Frank Sinatra, and other major artists. His work has been used by celebrated entertainer Steve Allen and popular one-panel The Family Circus. A prolific composer and lyricist, he was the founder and linchpin of the indie-pop band the Silly Pillows, whose recordings have been acclaimed by aficionados around the world and praised by MTV and the Village Voice.
Writing under the name Jeremy Edwards, Jonathan has also earned recognition as a well-regarded and widely published author of witty, sensuous erotic literature. His publication credits under the Edwards name include two erotocomedic novels and well over one hundred short stories, with his work appearing in volumes published by Cleis Press, Harper Collins UK, Penguin, Running Press, Seal Press, and Simon & Schuster.
Wayzgoose Press is pleased to present a collection of Jonathan’s humor pieces, Custom Made, Adult Size.
Jonathan Caws-Elwitt has been taxing the prose-humor form since childhood, when he sold material to ZOOM and livened up the desk clutter of his teachers with madcap juvenilia.
Custom Made, Adult Size is a thoughtfully selected representation of humorous essays, stories, one-act plays, and other brief works from Caws-Elwitt’s adult life, including his articles for Verbatim: The Language Quarterly. From the spurious linguistic scholarship of “By Way of Middlebrow English,” to the genre-spoofing farce of “Seventies Sex Comedy,” to the gentle wit and whimsy of narratives like “All Wound Up with Sippy” and the miscellaneous tomfoolery of assorted satirical letters, columns, and reference guides, these disparate pieces are unified by the author’s sensibility and voice.
In fabricated etymologies, fictitious film reviews, imaginary memoirs, and uncategorizable absurdities, Custom Made, Adult Size presents an accomplished writer who is very serious about being silly, and whose love of language and fascination for the ridiculous are hopelessly entwined.
My copy of this deliriously funny collection is filled with margin exclamation points, smiley-gasping-faces, and words of praise. Every selection is extraordinary for one reason or another (craftsmanship, artistry, wit). Having followed Caws-Elwitt’s career for several years, I had high expectations for collection, and it dazzles in a way I didn’t think possible. It’s like an entire comedy festival you can hold in your hands. If I had to name a favorite aspect of the collection, it would be the one-act plays. They’re perfect for reading aloud to fellow-passengers during a car trip (the travel time flies by!), and they’ll inspire you to seek out more of Caws-Elwitt’s work. — Craig Conley, oneletterwords.com
Natural selection of artistic species, reincarnation into hi-tech gizmos, and Apollo’s pimple are just a few of the esoteric subjects just barely avoided. Dr. Barneezle’s advice regarding the mixing of blue and yellow vegetables to substitute for greens in the diet eases the produce-shopping conscience. — Sheila Hathaway, Amazon reviewer
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