Readersforum's Blog

April 23, 2013

David Sedaris: The Greatest Hits

letsexploreowlsAs the literary community braces for the arrival of David Sedaris’ latest satirical essay collection, Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls(hitting stores April 23rd from Little, Brown and Company), Lambda takes a nostalgic look at some of Sedaris’ most hilarious and gut-wrenching stories.

By Paul Florez

There are many books that can make a reader blush. For instance when Humbert fantasizes about burying his head in Lolita’s plaid skirt in Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita or when Rodolphe finally seduces Emma in a sultry glen on a warm summer day in Madame Bovary. Heck, even when Alex Kirby loses his virginity to the hunky Taylor Grayson in Fifty Shades of Gay. However, there is only one author who can turn his reader a deep scarlet while simultaneously making them laugh out loud at the misadventures of a potty mouth department store elf who is silently objectifying the other elves in the changing room. That author is David Sedaris.

I first read David Sedaris when I was a freshman at Florida State University. As a high school poet, I was trained to think the only literature that mattered was written by the classic authors: Emily Dickinson, Edith Wharton and Alexandre Dumas. All amazing writers in their own right, but each picked over by years of dusty scholars and redundant literary theory. I walked into ENC 1101 thinking I knew it all, and began reading Holidays on Ice. At the end of that first day, I felt like a four-year-old boy being lectured on the birds and the bees by his dad; except this time my dad was a Truman Capote-esque writer who found humor and irony in the crevasses of ordinary life. This is when I knew I was destined to learn all my life lessons from David Sedaris.

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