Glenn Rockowitz

Glenn Rockowitz was a 28-year-old stand-up comic in New York, with a wife just two weeks away from giving birth, when his ongoing tiredness was finally diagnosed as cancer. He was given three months to live. I hope it won’t “spoil” his new memoir of that time, Rodeo in Joliet, to say that he did not actually die. Rather, after months of terror, absurdity, and outrageous good fortune, he went into full remission, thanks to a then-experimental drug. There’s nothing flip or false about his book. It’s far more grim than jokey, as Rockowitz wrestles with the reactions of friends and loved ones. The sentences are direct, declarative, and immediate. “I didn’t spent time being precious about things,” says Rockowitz, who has lately been working as a copywriter and voiceover artist at the Seattle ad agency WongDoody. “I tried to keep it in almost a real-time vibe, to put the reader in that moment, what it felt like, every step of the way.” The rodeo of the title refers to a certain prison custom best left for the author to describe, which serves as a metaphor for his experience as cancer’s bitch. MARK D. FEFER

Thu., May 27, 7:30 p.m., 2010