American writer, playwright and radio host, he is famous all over the world for his extraordinary barbed and bitter irony.Born in Johnson City to a picturesque family of Greek origin, he used his own life as inspiration for his books, which are highly amusing and often self-deprecating. Among his well-known tales are his descriptions of his sessions with the speech therapist that tormented him as a little boy due to his inability to pronounce the letter “s”, or those in which he recalls his experience as a child suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. He enrolled at Kent State University but graduated in 1987 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He often did menial jobs, the most famous of which was as a Santa’s helper, which he recounts in Holidays on Ice (1997).He came to fame as a host on National Public Radio with the program This American Life during which he read to the listeners his essay SantaLand Diaries, but it was in 1994 that he published Barrel Fever, the first book of stories and essays that introduced him to the public as a fierce humorist who was, at the same time, full of kindness.He fled New York to relocate to Paris "to be able to smoke in peace" with his partner Hugh. He describes himself as an anti-prohibitionist.