David Sedaris’s best stories and essays, spanning his remarkable career—as selected by the author himself
For more than twenty-five years, David Sedaris has been carving out a unique literary space, virtually creating his own genre. A Sedaris story may seem confessional, but is also highly attuned to the world outside. It opens our eyes to what is at absurd and moving about our daily existence. And it is almost impossible to read without laughing.
Now, for the first time collected in one volume, the author brings us his funniest and most memorable work. In these stories, Sedaris shops for rare taxidermy, hitchhikes with a lady quadriplegic, and spits a lozenge into a fellow traveler’s lap. He drowns a mouse in a bucket, struggles to say “give it to me” in five languages, and hand-feeds a carnivorous bird.
But if all you expect to find in Sedaris’s work is the deft and sharply observed comedy for which he became renowned, you may be surprised to discover that his words bring more warmth than mockery, more fellow-feeling than derision. Nowhere is this clearer than in his writing about his loved ones. In these pages, Sedaris explores falling in love and staying together, recognizing his own aging not in the mirror but in the faces of his siblings, losing one parent and coming to terms—at long last—with the other.
Taken together, the stories in TheBest of Me reveal the wonder and delight Sedaris takes in the surprises life brings him. No experience, he sees, is quite as he expected—it’s often harder, more fraught, and certainly weirder—but sometimes it is also much richer and more wonderful.
Full of joy, generosity, and the incisive humor that has led David Sedaris to be called “the funniest man alive” (Time Out New York), The Best of Me spans a career spent watching and learning and laughing—quite often at himself—and invites readers deep into the world of one of the most brilliant and original writers of our time.
About the Author
David Sedaris is the author of Calypso, Theft by Finding, Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Holidays on Ice, Naked, and Barrel Fever. He is a regular contributor to The New Yorker and BBC Radio 4. He lives in England and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
“Sedaris’s brilliant knack for observational humor is on full display in this terrific retrospective essay collection… Sedaris finds ample fodder for his keen satiric sense in his life and the lives of those around him. Sedaris can take even the most serious subject and evoke both empathy and laughter. He can also be just plain hilarious… This is the perfect introduction for the uninitiated, while Sedaris’s fans will enjoy rediscovering old favorites.”
"This book allows us to observe not just the nimble-mouthed elf of Sedaris's previous work, but a man in his seventh decade expunging his darker secrets and contemplating mortality...The brilliance of David Sedaris's writing is that his very essence, his aura, seeps through the pages of his books like an intoxicating cloud, mesmerizing us so that his logic becomes ours...The geeks really do inherit the earth."
"The king of the humorous essay returns...Sedaris fans will find plenty of familiar delights: His misanthropic charms and wry wit are as delightful as ever, even if some of the subject matter has changed. From his new vacation home on the coast of North Carolina, he writes about the concerns of health and aging, treating us to a story about the persnickety doctor who refused to let him keep a noncancerous tumor that he'd planned to feed to a snapping turtle once removed. We can only assume that the audiobook version of Calypso will be the perfect travel companion during road trips and getaways this spring and beyond."—Maris Kreizman, New York Magazine
Sedaris's latest collection of essays. His observations feel sharper and often
darker than in previous collections, as he ponders the inevitable breakdown of
the human body, the shame attendant with illness and age, the nature of
addiction, and the eccentricities of his family. Though middle age may have
made his shades of gray blacker, the wit and incisiveness that make Sedaris
collection could probably find unshakable life even in the dust kitties
under the bed...He gets you laughing even as he gently turns you toward
the darkness we all must face."
who thinks they know what our favorite curmudgeonly humorist will be up
to next. His charming observational humor is still the engine, but
there's nothing frivolous about it. In the wake of his sister's suicide,
Sedaris grapples poignantly and satisfyingly (and yes, often
hilariously) with death, the aging body, and just how far the bonds of
family can stretch."
"With this tenth book, Sedaris demonstrates yet again what makes him the best American humorist writing today: a remarkable ability to combine the personal with the political, the mundane with the profane, slime with sublime, and hilarity with heart."
—Heller McAlpin, NPR
"The beauty of David Sedaris's personality---and what keeps his readers coming back for best-selling book after best-selling book---is his unwavering dedication to a helter-skelter train of thought...Calypso is his most personal and open book yet, shedding light on his late sister's struggle with mental health, his mother's addiction, and his own experiences with the legalization of gay marriage, but it still finds plenty of room for laughs."
—Seija Rankin, Entertainment Weekly