Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Josh Karp  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1966 in Chicago, Illinois

-- Facebook --!/StraightDownTheMiddle=josh+karp
-- Website --
-- Josh Karp on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Karp was born in Chicago and graduated from Northwestern University. He currently resides in Glenco, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Karp has written for ''Atlantic Monthly'', ''Salon'', ''Premiere'', ''LA Times Sunday Magazine'', ''TimeOut New York'', ''Chicago Magazine'', ''Chicago Sun-Times'' and other publications. He received his Master's in Journalism from Northwestern University and is an adjunct lecturer of journalism at Northwestern, University. He has also taught at Loyola and DePaul.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

A Futile and Stupid Gesture: How Doug Kenney and National Lampoon Changed Comedy Forever
ISBN: 1556527624

Chicago Review Press. 2008

Now a Netflix original film starring Will Forte, Domhnall Gleeson, and Emmy Rossum.

Comic genius Doug Kenney cofounded National Lampoon, cowrote Animal House and Caddyshack, and changed the face of American comedy before mysteriously falling to his death at the age of 33. This is the first-ever biography of Kenney--the heart and soul of National Lampoon—reconstructing the history of that magazine as it redefined American humor, complete with all its brilliant and eccentric characters. Filled with vivid stories from New York, Harvard Yard, Hollywood, and Middle America, this chronicle shares how the magazine spawned a comedy revolution with the radio shows, stage productions, and film projects that launched the careers of John Belushi, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, and Gilda Radner, while inspiring Saturday Night Live and everything else funny that’s happened since 1970. Based on more than 130 interviews conducted with key players including Chevy Chase, Harold Ramis, P. J. O’Rourke, John Landis, and others and boasting behind-the-scenes stories of how Animal House and Caddyshack were made, this book helps capture the nostalgia, humor, and enduring legacy that Doug Kenney instilled in National Lampoon--America’s greatest humor magazine.

Straight Down The Middle: Shivas Irons, Bagger Vance, and How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Golf Swing
ISBN: 081186359X

Chronicle Books. 2010

Straight Down the Middle is a humorous and insightful account of journalist and former-18-handicap golfer Josh Karp's quest to achieve inner peace and improve his golf gameall through the art of Zen. Assisted by a quirky roster of excellent practitioners of esoteric, Eastern-fueled, nontraditional golf instruction, Karp embarks on a unique journey across the fairways of North America (and Scotland, of course!) that's as funny as it is illuminating. A golf story in the tradition of The Legend of Bagger Vance, Straight Down the Middle is a blend of helpful tips and hilarious memoir that's a must-read for golfers of all stripes and plaids.


Josh Karp's first book, A Futile and Stupid Gesture

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)