Mark Leyner was born in 1956 in Jersey City. His father was a lawyer and his mother a real estate agent and designer. He took a B.A. from Brandeis in literature and then went to the University of Colorado at Boulder to study creative writing under Ronald Sukenick, whose Fiction Collective published his first story collection. After working as a reporter, he worked as a medical advertising copywriter. His break came when the Mississippi Review published one of his stories in their now famous cyberpunk issue. This led to a book contract and his first novel My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist. The success of this book made him a cult figure, particularly with the MTV generation. His second novel, Et Tu, Babe, while attracting some negative reviews, was also successful. While he has written a couple of other works since, his production has dropped off, with his output limited to answering questions on medical matters and work in TV. It seems that he will remembered primarily for a couple of interesting and innovative 1980s works.
The Unofficial Mark Leyner Links Page (most of the links don’t work – Last updated October 24th, 1997)
The Ridiculous Vision of Mark Leyner
Vanished ’90s It Boy Writer Reappears to Sort-Of Slay Halliburton
Mark Leyner Remembers David Foster Wallace: ‘He Was the Opposite of an Arrogant, Swaggering Person’
A Bug’s Life. Really. (article in which Leyner shows that Kafka‘s Die Verwandlung (Metamorphosis) is true)
1983 I Smell Esther Williams and Other Stories
1990 My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist
1992 Et Tu, Babe
1995 Tooth Imprints on a Corn Dog( UK: A Dream Date with Di)
1997 The Tetherballs of Bougainville
2005 Why Do Men Have Nipples? Hundreds of Questions You’d Only Ask a Doctor After Your Third Martini
2006 Why Do Men Fall Asleep After Sex? More Questions You’d Only Ask a Doctor After Your Third Whiskey Sour
2008 Let’s Play Doctor: The Instant Guide to Walking, Talking, and Probing like a Real M.D.
2012 The Sugar Frosted Nutsack
2016 Gone with the Mind