Topic: David Sedaris

Mentioned him on  the other funny thread but fuck me he is tear inducing. Short stories about his family and work. Very dark observations and great insults.

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Re: David Sedaris

Not exactly seasonal, but here's the Santaland Diaries link

http://odeo.com/episodes/568281

"I'm gonna have you killed"

¡50337 '50337 '50337

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Re: David Sedaris

I was reading one the other day where he was describing his parents pets and he compared the great dane jumping up at him as looking over his shoulder like a dance partner looking for something better

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Re: David Sedaris

The book with the two guys on the cover, something to do with Barrel..., that has about ten brilliant laugh out loud stories in it. Jon Ronson recommended him to me about six years ago and I bought Me Talk Pretty One Day and I didn't get past the first few pages - not his best opening story - but my girlfriend was reading them last year and she was just constantly cracking up and showing me bits. By the end of various holidays we were fighting over who had which book.

If anyone wants a laugh buy these books

Story and essay collections
Barrel Fever (1994)
Naked (1997)
Holidays on Ice (1997)
Me Talk Pretty One Day (2000)
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim (2004)
Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules (editor, 2005)
When You Are Engulfed in Flames (2008)

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Re: David Sedaris

Early life and "SantaLand Diaries"
Sedaris was born in Binghamton, New York, and raised in a suburban section of Raleigh, North Carolina. He is the second child of Lou Sedaris, an IBM engineer, and Sharon Sedaris; his siblings, from oldest to youngest, are Lisa, Gretchen, Amy,[8] Tiffany,[9], and Paul. In his teens and twenties, he dabbled in visual and performance art. His lack of success is described in several of his essays. Sedaris dropped out of Kent State University in 1977, and moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1983, graduating from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1987. (He did not attend Princeton University, although he spoke fondly of doing so in "What I Learned", a comic baccalaureate address delivered at Princeton in June 2006.)
While working a string of odd jobs across Raleigh, Chicago and New York City, Sedaris was discovered reading his diary (which he has kept since 1977) in a Chicago club by radio host Ira Glass, who asked Sedaris to appear on his weekly local program The Wild Room.[10] Sedaris later said, "I owe everything to Ira....My life just changed completely, like someone waved a magic wand."[11] Sedaris's success on The Wild Room led to his National Public Radio debut on December 23, 1992, when he read a radio essay on Morning Edition titled "SantaLand Diaries", which described his experiences working as an elf at Macy's department store during Christmas time in New York.
"SantaLand Diaries" was an immediate success with radio listeners,[12] and made Sedaris what The New York Times called "a minor phenomenon".[10] He began recording a monthly segment for NPR (based on entries in his diary, and edited and produced by Glass), considered adapting "SantaLand Diaries" into a screenplay for Touchstone Pictures, and signed a two-book deal with Little, Brown and Company.[10] In 1993, he told The New York Times that he was polishing his first book, a collection of stories and essays, and had 70 pages written of his second book, a novel "about a man who keeps a diary and whom Mr. Sedaris described as 'not me, but a lot like me.'"[10]
[edit]Collections and mainstream success
In 1994, Sedaris released the book of stories and essays titled Barrel Fever. When, in 1995, Ira Glass began hosting the weekly hour-long PRI/Chicago Public Radio radio show This American Life, Sedaris became a frequent contributor. He also began publishing essays in Esquire and The New Yorker. In 1997, he published another collection of essays, Naked. His next book, Me Talk Pretty One Day, was written mostly in France over a period of seven months, and was published in 2000 to "practically unanimous rave reviews".[13] For that book, Sedaris won the 2001 Thurber Prize for American Humor, and was named "Humorist of the Year" by Time magazine.

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Re: David Sedaris

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBdymtyXt8Y

[i]Freak out, Sugar! Come with us to Grantham[/i]

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Re: David Sedaris

I'm going to see him tonight

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Re: David Sedaris

Just read 'When you are engulfed in flames' - funny as fuck. Thank you.

I'm going to start on his others now.

"I'm not very good at being a hedonist... ...must try harder"

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Re: David Sedaris

He's recording a radio show for Radio 4 this Sunday and the tickets are free I believe. Not much use to those outside London, but a heads-up to those that are.

#DoTheDai \o/

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Re: David Sedaris

where's that? He's funny as fuck.

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Re: David Sedaris

this woman was at the show we went to but i didn;t see this interview

Life & style
The G2 interview
Series: The G2 interviewPrevious | Next | Index
David Sedaris: 'If you tell a funny story at the dinner table in front of 10 people, nine will laugh, and one will say: that's not true. I've always hated that person'
Decca Aitkenhead meets David Sedaris
Buzz up!
Digg it
Decca Aitkenhead
The Guardian,     Monday 22 June 2009
Article history

David Sedaris cleaning the bathroom. Photograph: David Corio/Getty Images

It's a cliche to say that writers don't always look too impressive - but even by the standards of his profession, the little man waiting in the restaurant foyer is a curious spectacle. He is short and slight, and wearing a truly terrible sports jacket - a check design made out of all the colours of an Easter basket, with shoulders that are somehow the opposite of padded, and seem deliberately to dip. He says hello in a shy, singsong voice that straddles three notes in two syllables - "He-lo-o" - and he walks like a child pretending to be an old man, or possibly the other way around, with dainty little steps. There is no charisma in his physical presence, and no heads swivel as we sit at our table - but I am more star struck than I think I have ever been in my life. I am having lunch with David Sedaris.

Sedaris is the sort of writer who makes his fans feel like he is their personal Christmas present. When friends say they have never heard of him I send them copies of his books, like an excitable teenager swapping vinyl; at a recent reading in London, the audience had the fashionable look of Hoxton meets the British Library, and hung on to his words like groupies. A permanent fixture on National Public Radio in his native US, his five volumes of stories have all made the New York Times bestseller list, and sold more than 7m copies in 28 countries. So it is odd that he is so little known in this country - particularly as he lives here.

Sedaris writes what he calls the comic essay; broadly autobiographical accounts of his childhood growing up in suburban North Carolina, of his years as a dropout doing odd jobs in Chicago and New York - working as an elf in a department store's Santaland, cleaning people's houses - and more recently of his life travelling the world on lecture and book tours. His material lies somewhere between that of Garrison Keillor, Bill Bryson and Armistead Maupin - observational tales of everyday strangeness, filtered through his very particular comic sensibility, which is a blend of waspish irony and gleeful delight at the absurdity of human life and himself.

His latest book, When You Are Engulfed In Flames, features hitchhiking stories from his early 20s; when a middle-aged couple picked him up in a Cadillac, and "drove in silence for a mile or two before the man turned in his seat and asked, as if enquiring about my health, 'How'd you like to eat my wife's pussy?'" Another describes a foul-mouthed, hilariously vicious elderly neighbour in New York, Helen, who delighted in tyrannising the block, and once physically attacked a 14-year-old deaf-mute delivery boy for "stealing my things" - by which "she meant that he had borrowed her pen". In another, Sedaris attends a murder trial, where all he can concentrate on is the defendant's mother's outfit - cut-off jeans and a Ghostbusters T-shirt. "It couldn't have been easy for her, but still you had to wonder: what would she consider a dress-up occasion?"

In truth, though, Sedaris is not a little eccentric himself; until last year he had never looked at the internet, and typed with one finger on a typewriter. "I found towards the end people in other rooms in hotels would complain about the noise." My questions often elicit a curious exclamation, halfway between interest and surprise - a short, high "Hmm!" - the sort of noise you make when you have taken a wrong turn, and find that you are not where you expected to be. He used to write only when drunk, but has quit alcohol and drugs, and in order to give up smoking (40 a day - "oh, at least"), he moved to Tokyo for three months.

"I always used to reach for the cigarette when the phone rang, and I figured nobody would ever call me in Tokyo. The time difference is so profound it's, like, already September in Tokyo, and I figured nobody would be able to work it out."

He and his long-term partner, Hugh Hamrick, left America 12 years ago to live in France, and now divide their time between homes in Paris, Normandy and London. Having grown up one of five children in an outwardly conventional American family - whose internal eccentricities are the subject of so many of his stories - at 52 he is still finding infinite incident and humour in everyday life. How has he contrived a life, I ask, which seems to generate so much more comic material than most people's?

"Oh no," he says at once. "I don't think my life is more interesting than anybody else's.

I think the only difference between me and everyone else is this ... [he reaches into his inside pocket and pulls out a small notepad] I write things down. That's all."

Sedaris began keeping a diary when he was 20, travelling in the US with a friend. "I'd been writing letters to people, but I didn't have an address for them to write back to me so I started writing to myself. And I just turned over a placemat one day and I wrote stuff on the back. And then I'm pretty good at doing the exact same thing at the exact same time every day, so I did it the next day, and the day after that, and the day after that. And then I thought, what am I going to do with all these placemats? So then I got a little book."

Yet even though he has had a home here for the past six years, British stories never feature in his writing. The reason, he smiles, is quite simple: "To me a lot of what happens here is funny because of the way that it's said, and there are certain accents I can imitate, but I can't sustain any kind of British accent." Go on, I coax. Try. "Oh no," he giggles, "I would be too embarrassed. I just sound like what's-his-name in Mary Poppins."

For most writers that would be neither here nor there, but Sedaris has an unusual way of working. He trials all of his material by reading it aloud on lecture tours, making coded notes of the audience response, then editing accordingly, before committing anything to publication. "I go back to the hotel and look at my notes and think: all those were the laughs I got - and this was the audience coughing. Which is like throwing skulls at you." Coughing is a bad sign? "Oh yeah. Not good. I read something a couple of months ago, and you would have thought I was the featured speaker at a TB clinic."

Sedaris is on tour for at least two months of the year, reading to audiences of thousands, who can pay hundreds of dollars for a ticket. It is an awfully long way from his days in Santaland - and one of the criticisms of his work is that success has taken him away from the rich seam of strangeness that a less comfortable life once enabled him to mine. If he spends half his life in business class or five-star hotels, does he worry that his material begins to wear thin?

"No," he says mildly, "I don't think that's true. That's like if you live in New York, people will ask you where you live, and if you say you live in SoHo they'll say, well the real people live on the lower East Side. No, I think that they're all real people. And I think that the incidents of bizarre and inappropriate behaviour is pretty much equal."

I wonder, though, if he deliberately seeks it out. After all, most people's instinct, if they found themselves with a cantankerous bigot like Helen for a neighbour, would be to keep well away. If he was never going to write about her, would he still have made friends just for fun?

"Oh I would," he smiles slightly mischievously. "Because I've always been a fairly nervous person. I'm like my mom, in that something would happen to her and she didn't write it down, but she would keep it in her mind - and then when she met someone, she would tell them that story. And then when she met someone else, she would tell it again, so she'd work that story for a couple of days until something else came around. So she would use it as a kind of ice-breaker. And I'm the same way. So I would have enjoyed Helen even if I didn't write, because she did one outrageous thing after another."

With Helen, he adds, he left an awful lot out "because there were certain things the reader would not have forgiven her for". And with his family, he always shows them what he has written before making it public - though they have never, he says, wanted to exercise their right of veto. Only once, he says, has he regretted writing something because it hurt someone. It was a story that appeared in Esquire, when he first moved to Paris, about his French teacher, and it never occurred to him she would read it.

"Everything I'd written in the article was true, but I didn't mention that we really liked her. Yes, she threw chalk at her pupils, yes she stabbed a girl in the eye with a pencil and told her to wake up or go back to Korea - but she also did some really good things. Anyway, I left all that out, and I left it out because I was being lazy; it was too hard." Isn't that, I suggest, the nature of comedy?

"Maybe, but it doesn't have to be either or. It could have been a richer story. So I hurt someone by being lazy, and I learned a lot from that. It happened 10 years ago and I think about it pretty much every time I sit down to write."

The "tongue lashing" he received from her colleagues did make him laugh, though. "They said if that was your teacher, and she was really throwing chalk at people, why would you not switch classes? And I thought, if you're a writer, and that's your teacher - are you crazy? That's gold! If someone's being nice to you, you can't do anything with it!"

More serious doubts have been cast over the veracity of his work, however. Two years ago, a writer called Alex Heard wrote an article in the New Republic magazine accusing Sedaris of embellishing the truth to the point where his claim to be a non-fiction writer was essentially fraudulent.

"But I'm a humorist. I'm not a reporter, I never pretended to be a reporter. I've always been very upfront about the way I write, and I've always used the tools humorists use, such as exaggeration. And then, all of a sudden, for someone to say he's using those tools - it just seemed silly to me.

"I went to a nudist colony, and so Heard called the colony and said he wrote about you and said you were all freaks, and the woman - who was completely naked - said no, we're just like everyone else. But actually - if she was honestly like everybody else - she would have had her clothes on."

But if Sedaris isn't claiming to write memoir, the charge is that he should call his work fiction. He smiles, and sighs. "You know, if you tell a funny story at the dinner table in front of 10 people, nine of them will laugh, and one of them will say that's not true. Now, I never say that to people. I'm never the 'that's not true' guy when someone tells a funny story. And I don't like the 'that's not true' guy. I've always hated that person. And all of a sudden those people are like the arbiters; in America, that's who we're hearing from."

Sedaris has been a regular contributor to the New Yorker for many years, and his relationship with the magazine's famously pedantic fact-checkers has not, unsurprisingly, always been an easy one.

"I had a story in the New Yorker a couple of months ago about going to Costco with my brother-in-law and buying a box of condoms to give away as gifts on my book tour, and I wrote that the box was the size of a cinder block. So I dealt with the fact-checker, he called Costco and said do you actually sell these condoms? Yes. Now was the box of condoms actually the size of a cinder block? No. But when it's the only thing in your cart, and you're in a hypermarket surrounded by straight families, it feels like it's huge.

"Now, as a humour writer, I reserve the right to say it was the size of a cinder block. If I tell you it was the size of a cinder block you will laugh. If I give you the exact dimensions of the box you will not laugh. Right? But I'm not going to call it fiction because it was not the size of a cinder block. Fact-checkers," he says sadly, "have no sense of humour whatsoever."

I have one last question as we get up to leave. You have got to talk me through your jacket, I say. He bursts into peals of delighted laughter. "I loved how you put that!" Then, as he is still laughing, he makes me happier than I can possibly say. He gets out his notepad, and writes it down.

• When You Are Engulfed In Flames, by David Sedaris, is published by Little Brown at £11.99. To order a copy for £8.99 (inc UK p&p), go to guardian.co.uk/bookshop, or call 0330 333 6846.

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Re: David Sedaris

It's that time of year

oneallanclarke wrote:

Not exactly seasonal, but here's the Santaland Diaries link

http://odeo.com/episodes/568281

"I'm gonna have you killed"

¡50337 '50337 '50337

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Re: David Sedaris

Have tickets to see him again in March

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Re: David Sedaris

Sister bought me a David Sedaris CD for Christmas, live readings. Been listening in the car, very funny, very clever.

Call me up in dreamland. Radio to me man.

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Re: David Sedaris

So weird there not being a Like button on here

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Re: David Sedaris

Jesus! Sometimes they come back!

We like our old technology.

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Re: David Sedaris

Loose Lips wrote:

Jesus! Sometimes they come back!

We like our old technology.

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Re: David Sedaris

Somebody has to post something likeable to make such a facility worthwhile.

Only those who dream will someday see their dreams converted to reality

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Re: David Sedaris

What about a particular phrase that auto produces a thumbs up or one that makes a thumbs down?


Mind you isn't there only about 20 of us who post.  Is it worth it?

I'd offer you a beer, but I've only got six cans.

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Re: David Sedaris

Reggie Perrin wrote:

What about a particular phrase that auto produces a thumbs up or one that makes a thumbs down?


Mind you isn't there only about 20 of us who post.  Is it worth it?

http://lasvegastribune.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/donald-trump-thumbs-up-300x214.jpg

'When you become a grown up, people stop asking you what your favourite dinosaur is....They don't even care.'

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Re: David Sedaris

Mitaman wrote:
Reggie Perrin wrote:

What about a particular phrase that auto produces a thumbs up or one that makes a thumbs down?


Mind you isn't there only about 20 of us who post.  Is it worth it?

http://lasvegastribune.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/donald-trump-thumbs-up-300x214.jpg


Shudder.....

I'd offer you a beer, but I've only got six cans.

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Re: David Sedaris

Reggie Perrin wrote:
Mitaman wrote:
Reggie Perrin wrote:

What about a particular phrase that auto produces a thumbs up or one that makes a thumbs down?


Mind you isn't there only about 20 of us who post.  Is it worth it?

http://lasvegastribune.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/donald-trump-thumbs-up-300x214.jpg


Shudder.....

I was chatting abuot the US election to my Japanese teacher this morning and she likened him to Berlusconi which I thought was probably more accurate than Hitler.

'When you become a grown up, people stop asking you what your favourite dinosaur is....They don't even care.'

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Re: David Sedaris

Some of the trade magazines I subscribe to, don't let you Command-C.

Clicky-Ba aots. Wang chung indeed.

He’s walked back to his youth and hymned the young man he was with knowing affection, despite the rain of bitter knowledge manhood has inevitably brought him.

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Re: David Sedaris

luxury_scruff wrote:

Some of the trade magazines I subscribe to, don't let you Command-C.

Clicky-Ba aots. Wang chung indeed.

translator anyone?

'When you become a grown up, people stop asking you what your favourite dinosaur is....They don't even care.'

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Re: David Sedaris

Re: Sedaris.  Listened to all his beeb 4 stuff.  Will search out some books now.

he can dole out a good portion of pathos.  For a septic.

Last edited by space (Thu 09 Jun 2016 1:57 pm)

People are Twats

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