The work of humorist and memoirist Wade Rouse has been featured multiple times on NBC’s Today Show as well as on Chelsea Lately on E!, People.com, Salon.com, Forbes.com, Publisher’s Weekly, Writer’s Digest and Michigan Radio, one of the nation’s largest public radio stations, where Wade is a regular contributor. USA Today calls Wade “a wise, witty and often wicked voice,” and the Chicago Tribune’s Pulitzer Prize-winning cultural critic states that Rouse’s memoirs are filled with “sparkling humor” and that everyone should “read Wade Rouse, especially if you value laughter and wisdom.” Writer’s Digest named Rouse the #2 Writer, Dead or Alive, “We'd Love to Have Drinks With” (Wade was just behind Ernest Hemingway, and just ahead of Hunter S. Thompson).
Wade Rouse is the author of five books, including four critically-acclaimed memoirs: America’s Boy (Dutton/2006), Confessions of A Prep School Mommy Handler (Harmony/2007), and the bestsellers, At Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream: Misadventures in Search of the Simple Life (Harmony/2009), and It’s All Relative: A Memoir of Two Families, Three Dogs, 34 Holidays and 50 Boxes of Wine (Crown/2011). Wade is also the creator and editor of the humorous dog anthology, I’m Not the Biggest Bitch in This Relationship: Hilarious, Heartwarming Tales about Man’s Best Friends by America’s Favorite Humorists (September 6, 2011-NAL/Penguin),which features a foreword by Chelsea Handler and her dog, Chunk, and essays by nine New York Times bestsellers and one Tony winner. Wade is donating 50 percent of the book’s net royalties to the Humane Society of the United States.
Wade’s current memoir, the IndieBound bestselling It’s All Relative: A Memoir of Two Families, Three Dogs, 34 Holidays and 50 Boxes of Wine, asks and attempts to answer the question, “How come the only thing my family tree grows is nuts?”, in blisteringly funny detail. The book (out in paperback from Random House in February) deals with America’s obsession with picture-perfect holidays and celebrates Rouse’s imperfect family—a chatty yet loving mother, an eccentric engineer of a father, a marvelously Martha Stewart-esque partner, a garage-sale obsessed set of in-laws, and an oddball collection of relatives—through the yearly celebrations that bring out the very best in our nearest and dearest. Rouse paints a funny, sad, poignant, and outlandish portrait of an all too typical family that will have you appreciating or bemoaning your own. “It's rare to find a book that is both funny and mean, family-intensive and gay-friendly, gossipy and sweet. It’s All Relative is all of the above!” Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “A mix of humor, poignancy and lust, Rouse’s books only get funnier.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Funny, sad, touching, and off-the-wall!”-Tulsa World.
At Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream chronicles the misadventures of two neurotic urbanites who quit their jobs, and leave the city, cable, couture and consumerism behind in order to move to the Michigan woods and recreate a modern-day Walden. To highly mixed results. At Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream was a national bestseller, 2009 Best Book of the Year by B&N, and named a Must-Read by NBC’s Today Show, Detroit Free-Press, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Petersburg Times, Out, MetroSource Magazine, Chicago Magazine, Chicago Public Radio, Michigan Public Radio, St. Louis Magazine, Frontiers Magazine, among others. “If one is looking for laughs, this belongs at the top of any summer reading list. At first, you laugh when you least expect to, and then, somewhere along the way, you realize you’ve been laughing nonstop.”-Detroit Free Press. “Rouse’s journey from frenzied unhappiness to quiet happiness is hilarious, poignant, and touching … His journey will make you shout with laughter and cry real tears. His fine writing will dazzle.”-Grand Rapids Press. “This is David Sedaris meets Dave Barry. Every page is good for a laugh.”-Library Journal. “Erma Bombeck’s lovechild.”-The Advocate. “Hilarious, riotously funny, catty, and an absolute delight!”-Christian Science Monitor.
Rouse’s first memoir, America’s Boy, which chronicles his life growing up gay in the Ozarks thanks to the unconditional love from an unconventional family, was recently reissued in fall 2011 by Magnus Publishing. America’s Boy was named by Border’s as a Best Book (Literary Memoir) of 2006, “A Best Book of 2006” by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. a 2006 BookSense selection by the nation’s independent booksellers, an inaugural “Rainbow” pick for GLBT young readers by the American Library Association, and a PFLAG “Required Read”. The American Library Association recently named it as one of the top 100 GLBT books. “A revelatory story about acceptance, pride, and the many ways even a seemingly prejudiced family can surprise us … A real tearjerker.”-The Washington Post. “Wade Rouse is a storyteller and a memoirist in the best sense of the words. Reading Rouse’s memoir is like sitting with good friend and a cold beer, trading stories and remembering those things that may have been painful or tragic at the time, but must now be respected for what they are. There is a great fondness in his writing, as well as a bright and welcome honesty.”-Metro Weekly. “A startlingly honest memoir … Brutally funny, extremely observant, and poignantly heartfelt.”-Genre
His second memoir, Confessions of A Prep School Mommy Handler, about his tenure as PR director at an elite prep school where he quickly learns his “real job” is to cater to a Lilly Pulitzer-clad clique of “Mean Mommies,” was selected by both Barnes & Noble and Target as a Breakout Bestseller, and hailed as “funny” by Entertainment Weekly. The memoir is about job discrimination and the incredible pressures facing faculty, students and parents today. “Beautifully combines humor and pathos; this is Prada meets Prep.”-Out. “Another wincingly funny memoir from Rouse!”-Kirkus. “An incredibly amusing memoir about Midwestern moms and spoiled children.”-OK Weekly.
With I’m Not the Biggest Bitch in This Relationship, Wade has gathered some of America’s best-known humorists – authors, comedians, actors – to offer biting commentary on what it means to share a life, and a heart, with a dog. The book features hilarious essays by Chelsea Handler and her dog, Chunk, Laurie Notaro, Bruce Cameron, Jane Green, Stephanie Klein, Beth Harbison, Alec Mapa, Jeff Marx (Tony winning creator of Avenue Q), Rita Mae Brown, Jill Conner Browne, and many others. Wade is donating 50 percent of the book’s net royalties to The Humane Society of the United States. “Dogs are, indeed, our best friends. This book celebrates the special—and often hilarious—bonds that develop between us. It will make you laugh, and touch your heart.”-Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO, The Humane Society of the United States.
Rouse was a contributor to the humorous anthology on working in retail, The Customer Is Always Wrong: The Retail Chronicles (Counterpoint-Soft Skull Press). Rouse’s essay on working at Sears after years of wearing Husky’s was selected to kick off the collection.
Rouse is a regular contributor to Michigan Public Radio, the nation’s 8th-largest public radio station, where his humorous essays on life, love, technology and the holidays prompt laughter and tears in cars and offices across the state. He is a contributing humor columnist for Metrosource magazine, a national, glossy lifestyle and entertainment magazine geared towards the modern metropolitan gay community, as well as for TheBeachCoast.com, an online lifestyle magazine for Lake Michigan’s “Southern Riviera.”
Wade’s essays and articles have appeared in numerous national magazines and online publications, including Forbes.com, which reaches nearly 10 million readers, as well as on CBC Radio One’s popular “Definitely Not the Opera” in Canada and Chicago Public Radio. He has lectured and taught writing seminars around the country, from Chicago’s Printers Row Lit Festival and the Wisconsin Book Festival to The Chicago Public Library and the Erma Bombeck Humor Writers Workshop. Rouse is represented by the Random House Speakers Bureau – alongside such luminaries as Ken Burns, Jay McInerney, Richard Russo, Jane Smiley, Gay Talese, Roy Blount Jr., and Lisa See – and is available for select readings and lectures. To inquire about a possible appearance, please visit www.rhspeakers.com or call 212-572-2013.
Rouse’s personalized, intense and transformational writing retreats – which center on overcoming fears in one’s life and one’s writing – and provide insider advice on securing a literary agent and finding success as a fulltime author, have been credited by numerous writers for helping their manuscripts be published by mainstream publishers. For more, please visit www.WadesWriters.com.
He earned his B.A. in communications (with honors) from Drury College (now University) and his master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.
Rouse lives on the coast of Michigan, where – in between beach weather and blizzards – he writes memoirs and battles for bed space with his partner, Gary, and their beloved mutt, Mabel. Wade is a volunteer and fundraiser for Wishbone, an animal shelter in Michigan, a member of HRC, and supporter of Hospice. He is a marathon runner, avid reader and movie/theatre buff, and addicted to fashion, hair, lip shimmer, reality TV and non-fat, triple shot white chocolate lattes.
Wade is represented by literary agent Wendy Sherman of Wendy Sherman Associates in Manhattan, and the Random House Speakers’ Bureau.