||David Sedaris made his comic debut recounting his strange-but-true
experiences of being a Macy's elf clad in green tights, reading
his SantaLand Diaries on National Public Radio's Morning Edition.
Sedaris' sardonic humor and incisive social critique have since
made him one of NPR's most popular and humorous commentators.
At the end of each of his commentaries, David Sedaris was identified
as an apartment cleaner in New York City. But Sedaris isn't
"just a working Joe who happens to put out these perfectly constructed
pieces of prose," as Morning Edition's former producer Ira Glass
puts it. The great skill with which Sedaris slices through euphemisms
and political correctness proves that he is a master of satire.
Everywhere he goes David Sedaris delights his audience with
his irreverent style and great humor.
Talk Pretty One Day
David Sedaris became a star autobiographer on public radio,
onstage in New York, and on bestseller lists, mostly on the
strength of "SantaLand Diaries," a scathing, hilarious account
of his stint as a Christmas elf at Macy's. (It's in two separate
collections, both worth owning, Barrel Fever and the Christmas-themed
Holidays on Ice.) Sedaris's caustic gift has not deserted
him in his fourth book, which mines poignant comedy from his
peculiar childhood in North Carolina, his bizarre career path,
and his move with his lover to France. Though his anarchic
inclination to digress is his glory, Sedaris does have a theme
in these reminiscences: the inability of humans to communicate.
The title is his rendition in transliterated English of how
he and his fellow students of French in Paris mangle the Gallic
language. In the essay "Jesus Shaves," he and his classmates
from many nations try to convey the concept of Easter to a
Moroccan Muslim. "It is a party for the little boy of God,"
says one. "Then he be die one day on two... morsels of...
lumber," says another. Sedaris muses on the disputes between
his Protestant mother and his father, a Greek Orthodox guy
whose Easter fell on a different day. Other essays explicate
his deep kinship with his eccentric mom and absurd alienation
from his IBM-exec dad: "To me, the greatest mystery of science
continues to be that a man could father six children who shared
absolutely none of his interests."
Fever : Stories and Essays
||A collection of stories and essays by humorist and NPR commentator
David Sedaris based upon his own experiences and the hidden
perversity that can be found in Anytown, U.S.A. Here are images
and blasphemies that nice people don't dare look at--blatantly
exposed and told with the clear, casual voice of intimate knowledge.
Sedaris' humor is born of compassion and his tales range from
the sharing of cheery Christmas letters featuring infanticide,
to experiences of the Gay and Famous (Charlton... read
||Theatre folk who belong to the cult of Obie-winning playwright/performer
David Sedaris must kill to get this book. These would be fans
of the scaldingly snide Sedaris's hilariously described personal
misadventures like The Santaland Diaries (a monologue
about his work as an elf to a department store Santa) seen off-Broadway
in 1997. In a series of similarly textured essays, Sedaris takes
us along on his catastrophic detours through a nudist colony,
a fruit packing plant, his own childhood, and a... read
||Holidays on Ice is a collection of three previously
published stories matched with three newer ones, all, of course,
on a Christmas theme. David Sedaris's darkly playful humor is
another common thread through the book, worming its way through
"Seasons Greetings to Our Friends and Family!!!" a chipper suburban
Christmas letter that spirals dizzily out of control, and "Front
Row Center with Thaddeus Bristol," a vicious theatrical review
of children's Christmas pageants. As always, Sedaris's best
work is his sharply observed nonfiction, notably in "Dinah,
the Christmas Whore," the tale of a memorable Christmas during
which the young Sedaris learns to see his family in a new light.
Worth the price of the book alone is the hilarious "SantaLand
Diaries," Sedaris's chronicle of his time working as an elf
at Macy's, covering everything from the preliminary group lectures
("You are not a dancer. If you were a real dancer you wouldn't
be here. You're an elf and you're going to wear panties like
an elf.") to the perils of inter-elf flirtation. Along the way,
he paints a funny and sad portrait of the way the countless
parents who pass through SantaLand are too busy creating an
Experience to really pay attention to their children. In a sly
way, it carries a holiday message all its own. Read it aloud
to the adults after the kids have gone to bed.
Books by David Sedaris
THE NEW YORK TIMES - June 16, 2000
The Zeitgeist of Cyberspace Isn't at 59th and Lex
By Michiko Kakutini
ME TALK PRETTY ONE DAY
As readers of his 1997 best seller ''Naked'' already know, David
Sedaris is part Walter Mitty, part Garry Shandling, part Andy Rooney,
with a little bit of Oscar Wilde thrown in for good measure: a campy
commentator on the absurdities of contemporary life, a writer whose
favorite subject always remains himself.
A sequel of sorts to ''Naked,'' his latest book, ''Me Talk Pretty
One Day,'' amplifies the antic family portrait he created in the
earlier book, while recounting his adventures in New York and Paris.
Whereas ''Naked'' reads like a series of overlapping autobiographical
essays, this volume feels more like a collection of magazine pieces
or columns on pressing matters like the care and feeding of family
pets and the travails of dining in Manhattan. But if Mr. Sedaris
sometimes sounds as though he were making do with leftover material,
''Talk Pretty'' still makes for diverting reading... [more]
from THE NEW YORK TIMES - July 4, 1993
He Does Radio And Windows
By John Marchese
AS his celebrity sprouted this spring, David Sedaris was
visited in New York by a fan from Dallas, who asked him excitedly,
"What's it like to wake up in the morning and be David Sedaris ?"
On a recent hot summer morning, being David Sedaris (pronounced
seh-DAR-iss) meant sticking your hand into the toilet in the Gramercy
Park apartment of a personal trainer and doing a vigorous scrub.
It meant washing the man's dishes and cleaning his cat's litter
box, changing the sheets and vacuuming the worn carpet. Then it
meant going to another apartment and doing roughly the same thing.
Most mornings, Mr. Sedaris said, with his high-tech retractable
feather duster sticking from his back pocket, "I'm a maid." ...
from THE NEW YORK TIMES - March 16, 1997
Every Funny Family Is Funny in Its Own Way
By Craig Seligman
I RECENTLY made the mistake of reading David Sedaris while I was eating
lunch. Fortunately, I was alone in my office, so there were no witnesses
when I spewed a mouthful of pastrami across my desk. Not one of the
17 autobiographical essays in this new collection failed to make me
crack up; frequently I was helpless. Many of the pieces are about
nutty or bizarre experiences, like volunteering at a hospital for
the insane, but the funniest ones, and ultimately the saddest, have
to do with the writer's family. His best character is his mother,
a wicked comic with a genius for sarcasm... [more]
PAGE- June 2000
pretty with David Sedaris
INTERVIEW BY MICHAEL SIMS
Many of us still remember when we first heard the dry, droll voice
of David Sedaris on public radio. He was the only person in the
early 1990s more amusing than George Bush. Sedaris talked about
his hilarious adventures doing such seemingly innocent tasks as
cleaning New York apartments or working as a Christmas elf at Macy's.
Gradually, collections of his essays appeared: Barrel Fever, Naked,
Holidays on Ice. With these books, Sedaris fans could keep him nearby
rather than waiting for a broadcast on All Things Considered.
Fans will rejoice again, because Sedaris is back with a new laugh-out-loud
collection, Me Talk Pretty One Day. The book's title, after
one of the essays, records Sedaris's first official stroke of genius
-- choosing to present his own garbled English translations of the
garbled French uttered by students in an introductory French class.
Sedaris's version is the first time this trick has worked since
Mark Twain pulled it off with one hand tied behind his back... [more]