By Morgan Tate, Arts & Community Editor
Demi Rodriguez, Photographer
Sardonic humor. Witty intelligence. Ironic discussions. These elements, and plenty more, are woven into the personal essays of David Sedaris. His style of writing is nothing short of delightfully entertaining. Whether you’re on a road trip listening to the audio of his newest book, “Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls”, or looking to take a break from calculus, Sedaris will keep your mind satisfied and laughter abundant. The New York Times reviewed his book “Naked” as “Sidesplitting.”
Sedaris began his career by reading to those who listened to “Morning Edition” on National Public Radio. His readings were excerpts from a journal he’d been keeping for 15 years. It was filled with his simple yet strange queries. John Marchese of the New York Times wrote an article entitled, “He Does Radio and Windows” where he gave a summation of Sedaris’ work on “being an unrepentant smoker, on falling in love too easily, on soap operas and on men who love women who grow too much (and are subjects in Giantess magazine).” All of his personal essays are former journal entries chock-full of intriguing analyses of his family, his life and his unique perspective. Thus, Sedaris’ books examine themes such as childhood alienation and being gay while surrounded by straight people.
The wit within Sedaris’ writing is the way he thinks, contemplates life and reacts to various situations. Through cynical critiques of the human condition today, Sedaris has become a best-selling author. Some of his better known works are “Me Talk Pretty One Day” and “When You Are Engulfed In Flames.” According to his biography on his personal website, he has over 7 million of his books in print which have been translated into 29 languages.
Despite Sedaris being named one of America’s pre-eminent humor writers, Sedaris describes himself as “no good at public displays of anything” in the New York Times article, “Turning Sour Grapes into a Silk Purse.” However, Sedaris doesn’t want anyone to think that fame has gotten the better of him. He gladly spends time to signbooks after readings until everyone is satisfied, and encourages moments of conversation with each person. Amy Sedaris, David Sedaris’s younger sister, said “[Sedaris] has written since he was a teenager. But he’ll never call himself a writer[…]’”
Bill Richardson of the Toronto Globe and Mail said, “Sedaris has hit upon the narrative equivalent of Pepsi, or the PlayStation, or oxygen or the haircut: something that others in the world might actually want and find useful. . . He’s smart, he’s caustic, he’s mordant and, somehow, he’s . . . well, nice.”
An Evening with David Sedaris, presented by Innovation Arts & Entertainment, will come to the UH Hilo Performing Arts Center on Thursday, Feb. 19 at 7:30 p.m. One night only, David Sedaris will be featuring all-new readings of his work followed by a book signing. There is reserved seating and tickets are available only on ticketmaster for $60-$75.
For more information, contact: www. ticketmaster.com or call (808) 932- 7490.