Sunday, June 8, 2008

What You Read Is What He Is, Sort Of

Nice article in the NY Times on David Sedaris today part of which I have posted below. I have read the first 4 stories in the new book. The first one was hilarious, the others were ok.

IN preparation for the interview David Sedaris cleaned up his living room. Which is to say, he removed the magazines — The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Review of Books, GQ — from the coffee table of his one-bedroom walk-up here, stashed them in a cupboard and closed the door. This left the room practically naked.

Mr. Sedaris likes a detritus-free room. And he was afraid of creating the impression that he is some sort of intellectual poseur. “If you leave them on the table, it looks like you set them out on purpose,” he explained, referring to the magazines. “It looks so phony.”

It was characteristically sweet of Mr. Sedaris to be concerned, but it was also unnecessary. He has reached a point in his career where it hardly matters what anyone thinks of his periodicals, his housekeeping or, indeed, of him. His books, starting with “Barrel Fever” (1994) and including the recent “Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim” (2004), are invariably best sellers, with a total of seven million copies in print and translations into 25 languages. He is about to embark on a 30-city United States book tour.

Critics love Mr. Sedaris as much as readers do. Publishers Weekly called him “Garrison Keillor’s evil twin.” Craig Seligman wrote in The New York Times Book Review that, laughing as he read “Naked” (1997) over lunch, “I spewed a mouthful of pastrami across my desk.” As Dave Barry said of Stephen King, another author for whom the world is his oyster: “Pretty much whatever he wants to do, he can do. Like if he said to his publisher, ‘I’d like to start a new state, and I’d like to be governor of it,’ they would probably do it.’ ”

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