Related to: 'This Is Not Fame'

Da Capo Press

Digging Up Mother

Doug Stanhope, Johnny Depp
Doug Stanhope, Johnny Depp

Doug Stanhope is one of the most critically acclaimed and stridently unrepentant comedians of his generation. What will surprise some is that he owes so much of his dark and sometimes uncomfortably honest sense of humour to his mother, Bonnie. It was the cartoons in her Hustler magazine issues that moulded the beginnings of his comedic journey, long before he was old enough to know what to do with the actual pornography. It was Bonnie who recited Monty Python sketches with him, who introduced him to Richard Pryor at nine years old, and who rescued him from a psychologist when he brought that brand of humour to school. And it was Bonnie who took him along to all of her AA meetings, where Doug undoubtedly found inspiration for his own storytelling.Bonnie's own path from bartending to truck driving, massage therapy, elder abuse, stand-up comedy, and acting never stopped her from being Doug's genuine number one fan. So when her alcoholic, hoarding life finally came to an end many weird adventures later in rural Arizona, it was inevitable that Doug and Bonnie would be together for one last excursion. Digging Up Mother follows Doug's absurd, chaotic, and often obscene life as it intersects with that of his best friend, biggest fan, and love of his life,his mother. And it all starts with her death,one of the most memorable and amazing farewells you will ever read.

Aeronwy Thomas

Aeronwy Thomas was the only daughter of Dylan Thomas and his wife, Caitlin, and was her father's literary executor. A writer and a poet in her own right she was also president of the Dylan Thomas Society, patron of the Dylan Thomas Award, president of the Association of Literary Societies and president of Swansea Little Theatre.She regularly lectured and attended readings around the world up until her death in 2009, just weeks before the publication of My Father's Places.

Alan Smith

Alan Smith is a former Leicester, Arsenal and England footballer. He has been a Telegraph columnist for 20 years and is also a regular Sky Sport commentator.

Alex Preston

Alex Preston is a bestselling and award-winning novelist, most recently of the critically-acclaimed In Love and War. He appears regularly on BBC television and radio. He writes for GQ, Harper's Bazaar and Town & Country Magazine as well as monthly fiction reviews for the Observer. He is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Kent.

Alyssa Mastromonaco

Alyssa Mastromonaco served as assistant to the president and director of scheduling and advance at the White House from 2009 to 2011 and as assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff for operations at the White House from 2011 to 2014. She currently works as chief communication and talent officer at A+E Networks and is a contributing editor at Marie Claire.

Barney Hoskyns

Barney Hoskyns is the co-founder and editorial director of online rock-journalism library Rock's Backpages (, and author of several books including Across the Great Divide: The Band & America (1993), Waiting for the Sun: Strange Days, Weird Scenes, & the Sound of Los Angeles (1996), Hotel California: Singer-Songwriters & Cocaine Cowboys in the LA Canyons (2005) and Lowside of the Road: A Life of Tom Waits (2009). A former US correspondent for MOJO, Hoskyns writes for Uncut and other UK publications, and has contributed to Vogue, Rolling Stone and GQ.

Charlie Mortimer

Charlie Mortimer was born in 1952 and educated at Wellesley House, Broadstairs and (reluctantly) Eton. He has been, among other things, an officer in the Coldstream Guards, a vintage car restorer, an estate agent, a roughneck on an oil rig, a pop group manager, a mechanic in Africa, a manufacturer of boxer shorts and an antiques dealer. He currently describes himself as a 'middle aged, middle class spiv (mostly retired)'.

Cleve Jones

Cleve Jones' career as an activist began in San Francisco in 1970s where he befriended pioneer gay rights leader Harvey Milk. After Milk's death, Jones co-founded the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and conceived the idea of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, which memorializes over 85,000 Americans who have died from AIDS. He lives in San Francisco and works as a labour activist.

Connie Johnson

Connie Johnson was a wife and mother of two beautiful young boys who worked in the disability sector for ten years until diagnosed with cancer. With her brother, Samuel, she founded the charity LOVE YOUR SISTER. The proud recipient of a Member of the Order of Australia, she passed away in September 2017.

David Rodigan

David Rodigan is an English radio DJ.

Deborah Rodriguez

Deborah Rodriguez spent five years teaching at and later directing the Kabul Beauty School, the first modern beauty academy and training salon in Afghanistan. She also owned the Cabul Coffee House, and is now a hairdresser and a motivational speaker. Deborah currently lives in Mexico where she owns the Tippy Toes Salon. To learn more about her visit

Denis O'Connor

Denis O'Connor trained as a psychologist and teacher. Throughout his career he taught in schools and lectured in colleges and universities. He is retired and lives with his wife Catherine and his two Maine Coon cats in a remote country cottage in Northumberland.

Ed Nash

Ed Nash was born in the South East of England and, after a number of years of travelling in Africa and Asia, studied for a degree in History at a university in the North West of England, gaining first class honours. He worked as a press officer with the Free Burma Rangers, anorganisation that provides medical support and assistance to persecuted minority movements across Burma.

Evelyn Shillington

Born in 1893, Evelyn Shillington carefully documented her life as an army wife in the second world war, accompanying her husband, Captain Rex Shillington, around his postings. She died in 1981.

Greg Lake

Greg Lake was a vocalist, musician and producer, best known as the frontman of the first progressive rock supergroup Emerson, Lake and Palmer. He is often described as having the voice of a generation.

Irvin D. Yalom

Dr Irvin Yalom is an emeritus professor of psychiatry at Stanford University and the author of many books, including Creatures of a Day and the bestselling Love's Executioner. He and his wife, the author Marilyn Yalom, live in Palo Alto, California.

James Atlas

JAMES ATLAS is the author of Bellow: A Biography, Delmore Schwartz: The Life of an American Poet, which was nominated for the National Book Award, and the memoir My Life in the Middle Ages. The founder of the Lipper/Viking Penguin Lives series and a longtime contributor to The New Yorker, he was an editor at The New York Times Magazine for many years. His work has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The New York Review of Books, London Review of Books, Vanity Fair, and many journals. He lives in New York City.

Jane Torday

Jane Torday is a freelance writer specialising in gardening, food, social and oral history, and family memoir. She lives in Northumberland.

John Crace

JOHN CRACE is a staff feature writer for the Guardian, where he is best known for the literary pastiche 'Digested Read'. He has also written several books, including Vertigo: One Football Fan's Fear of Success. A committed Spurs supporter, he lives in south-west London but travels to N17 for every home game.

John Waters

John Waters is an American filmmaker, actor, writer and visual artist best known for his cult films, including Hairspray, Pink Flamingos and Cecil B. DeMented. He is also the author of a memoir, Role Models. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.