Thursday, October 16, 2008

An evening with David Sedaris and my husband

"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."

--Craig Seligman, New York Times

David Sedaris

My husband gave me the most wonderful surprise anniversary gift--tickets to see our favorite author, David Sedaris! It was an incredible evening. All of the material was new—Mr. Sedaris didn't even repeat anything from his most recent book, When You Are Engulfed in Flames. Instead, he read unpublished essays and diary entries. He also talked about how much he enjoys going on book tours and meeting his readers in person, and he told us stories about his adventures on the road. For instance, one time he asked if he could work as a ticket scanner before the show, and he couldn’t believe how rude people were. Most didn’t say thank you or bother to take their tickets out of the envelopes for him. He thought to himself, “Do I really want these kind of people coming to my show?”

Sedaris, David. Naked. Boston: Little, Brown and Co, 1997.

David Sedaris is one of the nicest authors I've ever met. Marc and I arrived really early and were fifth in line for the book signing. Because there were so many people waiting behind us, I didn't want to take up too much of his time when it was my turn. (I was kind of star struck, too.) Mr. Sedaris encouraged me to talk, though. Here’s our exchange:

Me: Hi, could you please sign this book to Charlotte?

Mr. Sedaris: Sure! And who is Charlotte?

Me: My mother.

Mr. Sedaris: Oh, and where does she live?

Me: In Connecticut.

Mr. Sedaris: I was just in New Haven the other day.

Me: That’s my second favorite city.

Mr. Sedaris: Did you go to Yale?

Me: No, but I worked there.

Mr. Sedaris: Oh, what did you do there?

Me: I worked in the library.

Mr. Sedaris: And which city is first favorite?

Me: New York.

Mr. Sedaris: Really?

Me: Yes, I love New York and New Haven.

I didn’t elaborate because I was too nervous and afraid that I’d say something stupid. I also felt bad for the gazillion people waiting in line behind me. I just thanked him and moved along.

For more about David Sedaris, visit Read his books, too. Naked is my favorite, but they are all hysterically funny.

Sedaris, David. Naked.
Boston: Little, Brown and Co, 1997.

Boston: Little, Brown, 2004.

Sedaris, David. When You Are Engulfed in Flames.
New York: Little, Brown and Co, 2008.

Sedaris, David. Me Talk Pretty One Day.
Boston: Little, Brown & Co, 2000.

Sedaris, David. Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays.
Boston: Back Bay Books, 1994.

Sedaris, David. Holidays on Ice.
Boston: Little, Brown and Co, 1997.