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David Sedaris

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David Sedaris
BornDec. 26, 1956
Binghamton, New York
ResidenceLondon, England
CitizenshipUnited States of America
Known forHumorist, comedian, radio contributor, writer
InfluencesLorrie Moore, Alice Munro, Flannery O'Connor, Tobias Wolff, Richard Yates, Kurt Vonnegut[1]

David Sedaris (born December 26, 1956) is a Grammy Award-nominated American humorist, comedian, bestselling author, and radio contributor.

Sedaris was first publicly recognized in 1992 when National Public Radio broadcast his essay "SantaLand Diaries". He published his first collection of essays and short stories, Barrel Fever, in 1994. His next five subsequent essay collections, Naked (1997), Holidays on Ice (1997), Me Talk Pretty One Day (2000), Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim (2004), and When You Are Engulfed in Flames (2008), have become New York Times Best Sellers.[2][3][4][5][6] In 2010, he released another collection of stories Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary.[7][8][9]

As of 2008, his books have collectively sold seven million copies.[10] Much of Sedaris's humor is autobiographical and self-deprecating, and often concerns his family life, his middle class upbringing in the suburbs of Raleigh, North Carolina, Greek American heritage, various jobs, education, drug use, homosexuality, and his life in France with his partner, Hugh Hamrick.

Various episodes of This American Life have featured Sedaris.

Early life Edit

Sedaris was born in Binghamton, New York, to Lou and Sharon (nee Leonard)[11] Sedaris[12][13] and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. He is of half-Greek-American descent.[14] His mother was Protestant and his father was Greek Orthodox.[15]

He is the second child of six born to Sharon and Lou, an IBM engineer. His siblings, from oldest to youngest, are Lisa, Gretchen, Amy,[16] Tiffany,[17] and Paul. He moved to Chicago, Illinois, in 1983, graduating from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1987.

While working a string of odd jobs 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.[18] Sedaris's success on The Wild Room led to his National Public Radio debut on December 23, 1992.

Collections and mainstream success Edit

In 1994, Sedaris released the book of stories and essays titled Barrel Fever. When, in 1995, Ira Glass began hosting the weekly hour-long Public Radio International/Chicago Public Radio radio show This American Life, Sedaris became a frequent contributor. He also began publishing essays in Esquire magazine 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".[19] For that book, Sedaris won the 2001 Thurber Prize for American Humor, and was named "Humorist of the Year" by Time magazine.

In April 2001, Variety magazine reported that Sedaris had sold the Me Talk Pretty One Day film rights to director Wayne Wang, who was adapting four stories from the book for Columbia Pictures with hopes of beginning shooting in late 2001.[16][20] Wang had completed the script and begun casting when Sedaris asked to "get out of it", after a conversation with his sister aroused concerns as to how his family might be portrayed on screen. (He wrote about the conversation and its aftermath in the essay "Repeat After Me".) Sedaris recounted that Wang was "a real prince....I didn't want him to be mad at me, but he was so grown up about it. I never saw how it could be turned into a movie anyway."[21]

In 2004, Sedaris published Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, which hit #1 on The New York Times Nonfiction Best Seller list on June 20, 2004.[5] The audiobook of Dress Your Family, read by Sedaris, was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album; the same year, Sedaris was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album for his recording Live at Carnegie Hall. In March 2006, Ira Glass said that Sedaris' next book would be a collection of animal fables;[22] that year, Sedaris included several animal fables in his US book tour, and three of his fables were broadcast on This American Life.

In the March 19, 2007 issue of The New Republic, Outside Magazine editor Alex Heard fact-checked Sedaris's books and alleged that some of what Sedaris described as true events actually never happened.[23] Several published responses to Heard's article argued that Sedaris's readers are aware that his descriptions and stories are intentionally exaggerated and manipulated to maximize comic effect.[23][24][25] For his part, Sedaris said he had not read the article, and, of the allegations, stated, "It just bothers the shit out of me."[7]

In September 2007, a new Sedaris collection was announced for publication on June 3, 2008.[8] The collection's working title was All the Beauty You Will Ever Need, but Sedaris later retitled it Indefinite Leave to Remain and finally settled on the title When You Are Engulfed in Flames.[7][26] Although at least one news source assumed that the book would consist entirely of fables,[8] Sedaris said in an October 2007 interview that the collection might include a "surprisingly brief story about (his) decision to quit smoking....along with stories about a Polish crybaby, throwing shit in a paraplegic's yard, chimpanzees at a typing school, and people visiting (him) in France."[7]

In December 2008, David Sedaris traveled to Binghamton University to act as the Fall commencement speaker; he then received an honorary doctorate from university president Lois B. DeFleur.[27]

In April 2010, BBC Radio 4 aired Meet David Sedaris, a four-part series of essays Sedaris read before an audience at BBC Radio Theatre in Broadcasting House.[28]

Sedaris revealed in a book signing/reading at the Chicago auditorium that his next book would be out in October 2010 (April 17, 2010). At the time it was tentatively titled 'Beastiology', things animals do and was reportedly centered around fictional memoirs by animals. The collection of fables "detailing animals in strange adult situations" was released Sept. 28, 2010 under the title "Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary".[7][8][9]

The Talent Family Edit

Sedaris is also a playwright, having written with his sister, actress Amy Sedaris, several plays under the name "The Talent Family". These include Stump the Host (1993), Stitches (1994), The Little Frieda Mysteries (1997), All were produced and presented by Meryl Vladimer when she was the artistic director of "the CLUB" at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club and The Book of Liz (2002) produced by Ania A. Shapiro. Sedaris also co-authored Incident at Cobbler's Knob, which was presented and produced by David Rockwell at the Lincoln Center Festival. Sets for those performances were designed by Sedaris's longtime partner, Hugh Hamrick, who also directed two of them, The Book of Liz and Incident at Cobbler's Knob.

Works Edit

Story and essay collections Edit

  • 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)
  • Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary (2010)[29]

Articles Edit

The New Yorker Edit

Other Articles/Unpublished Edit

  • "I Brake for Traditional Marriage" – 2010 a heterosexual perspective of California's repeal of Proposition 8
  • "The Poo Corner" – Public defecation in department stores

Audio recordings Edit

  • Barrel Fever and Other Stories (1994)
  • Naked (1997)
  • Me Talk Pretty One Day (2001)
  • The David Sedaris Box Set (2002)
  • Live At Carnegie Hall (2003)
  • Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim (2004)
  • Holidays On Ice (2008)
  • "When You Are Engulfed in Flames" (2008)
  • Live For Your Listening Pleasure (2009)
  • "Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: a Modest Bestiary"(2010)

References Edit

  1. Sedaris, David. "Introduction" to Sedaris, David, ed. Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005. ISBN 0-7432-7394-X. p. 1-7.
  2. "BEST SELLERS: April 6, 1997", The New York Times, 1997-04-06. Retrieved on 2007-10-07.
  3. "PAPERBACK BEST SELLERS: December 22, 2002", The New York Times, 2002-12-22. Retrieved on 2007-10-07.
  4. "BEST SELLERS: June 11, 2000", The New York Times, 2000-06-11. Retrieved on 2007-10-07.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "BEST SELLERS: June 20, 2004", The New York Times, 2004-06-20. Retrieved on 2007-10-07.
  6. "BEST SELLERS: July 6, 2008", The New York Times, 2008-07-06. Retrieved on 2008-07-01.]
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Hambrick, Greg. "David Sedaris is Taking Notes", Charleston City Paper, 2007-10-03. Retrieved on 2007-10-07.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Isaac, Mike. "David Sedaris announces new book release", Paste (magazine), 2007-09-20. Retrieved on 2007-01-08.
  9. 9.0 9.1 [1]. September 8, 2010. Retrieved on 2010-08-09.
  10. Lyall, Sarah. "What You Read Is What He Is, Sort Of", The New York Times, 2008-06-08. Retrieved on 2008-06-09.
  11. Sedaris, David (2006). "'Dix Hill', p. 90", Naked, 1, London: Abacus. Retrieved on 09-02-2010. 
  12. TNR.
  13. TNR.
  14. : : A N T O N E L L A G A M B O T T O - B U R K E W E B : : C R I T I Q U E : :.
  15. Me Talk Pretty One Day: Books: David Sedaris.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Lafreniere, and Steve "Amy and David Sedaris", Index Magazine, 2001. Retrieved on 2007-10-09.
  17. Moore, Jina. "Sister in a Glass House", The Boston Globe, 2004. Retrieved on 2009-03-24.
  18. Marchese, John. "He Does Radio And Windows", The New York Times, 1993-07-04. Retrieved on 2007-10-07.
  19. Richards, Linda. "David Sedaris", January Magazine, June 2000. Retrieved on 2007-10-09.
  20. Fleming, Michael. "'Wave' duo pilot cable; Wang's 'Pretty' deal", Variety (magazine), 2001-04-05. Retrieved on 2007-10-07.
  21. Tyrangiel, Josh. "10 Questions For David Sedaris", Time (magazine), 2004-06-21. Retrieved on 2007-10-07.
  22. Glass, Ira. Chicago Public Radio pledge drive, 2006-03-24.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Heard, Alex. "This American Lie: A midget guitar teacher, a Macy's elf, and the truth about David Sedaris", The New Republic, 2007-03-19. Retrieved on 2008-06-15.
  24. Balk, Alex. "David Sedaris May Sometimes Exaggerate For Effect!",, 2007-03-14. Retrieved on 2007-08-07.
  25. Villalon, Oscar. "Public's taste for nonfiction has publishers playing fast and loose with labels", San Francisco Chronicle, 2007-04-03. Retrieved on 2007-08-07.
  26. Why Does David Sedaris Keep Changing the Title of His Book? The Man Himself Explains New York Observer. February 21, 2008. Retrieved on 2008-10-17.
  27. Binghamton University to hold second Fall commencement
  28. Meet David Sedaris. BBC Radio 4.
  29. Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary.

External links Edit

Wikipedialogo This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at David Sedaris. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with LGBT Info, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0.

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