American comic author whose dark, mocking humor and social criticism was directed at the concerns and behavior of American Jews.

After graduating from the University of Missouri in 1951 with a B.A. in journalism and serving in the U.S. Air Force for two years, Friedman worked in publishing for several years before achieving success with his first novel, Stern (1962). The title character is a luckless descendant of the biblical Job, unable to assimilate into mainstream American life. Virtually all of Friedman’s works are a variation on this theme; most of his characters are Jewish by birth, but they feel alienated from both Jewish and American culture. His works are also noted for focusing on absurd characters and situations.

Books in order of publication:

Stern1962
Far From the City of Class1963
A Mother’s Kisses1965
Black Humor1965
Black Angels1966
A Change of Plan1966
The Dick1970
Steambath; a play1971
About Harry Towns1974
The Lonely Guy’s Book of Life1978
Tokyo Woes1985
Let’s Hear It for a Beautiful Guy1985
The Collected Short Fiction of Bruce Jay Friedman1995
The Slightly Older Guy1995
A Father’s Kisses1996
Hampton Shorts: Fiction Plus from the East End1996
Scuba Duba1998
Even the Rhinos Were Nymphos: Best Nonfiction2000
The Current Climate2000
The Lonely Guy and the Slightly Older Guy2001
Violencia!: A Musical Novel2001
Sexual Pensees2006
Three Balconies: Stories and a Novella2008
She Wasn’t the One (An Essay from Things I’ve Learned From Women Who’ve Dumped Me)2008
Lucky Bruce: A Literary Memoir2011
3.1 Plays2012
The Peace Process: A Novella and Stories2015