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Local writer takes comparing ages to a new level

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Eric Hanson
Eric Hanson says he used to keep his anecdote collection in s shoebox, but as it's grown larger he has transfered it to a computer.
MPR photo/Euan Kerr

A number of years ago Eric Hanson was working as an illustrator for Minnesota Monthly when he came up with a gag gift for a friend's 30th birthday. 

It was three novels by famous writers who died before they were 30. He says it was meant as an ironic existential statement, but it launched him on a collecting binge which has become somewhat of an obsession.  

Hanson gathers anecdotes about interesting, quirky, and sometimes outright odd, things famous people have done at specific points in their lives. 

He's now compiled some of them in "A Book of Ages." It has a chapter for every age from one to 100. He told Minnesota Public Radio's Euan Kerr it allows people to compare and contrast the lives of the famous, and perhaps their own.