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An Evening with David Sedaris

You know you want to hear David Sedaris read his insightful, satirical, real-life stories aloud.
By Madeleine Watts
June 28, 2013
By Madeleine Watts
June 28, 2013

Here are some things that have happened in the stories of American writer David Sedaris:

A man goes in search of a stuffed owl to give to his boyfriend for Valentine's Day. Befriending a taxidermist who confirms his interest in formerly alive creatures is strictly non-professional, the man finds himself in a London basement gazing at the 400-year-old preserved head of a 14-year-old girl and the skeleton of a 19th-century Pygmy. They raise questions, uncomfortable ones. Like, 'how much are they?'

A man takes a job at Macy's department store as a Christmas elf named Crumpet. He encounters fistfights, vomiting and magnificent tantrums, children with modelling contracts and children with adjectives instead of first names. He tells a child that Santa has changed his policy, and no longer brings coal if you misbehave. Instead he will break into your house, steal all your appliances, and leave you alone, in the dark, with nothing.

A father imagines his children forming a jazz quartet. Hoping to make the fantasy reality, the father gifts the son 'that guitar you always wanted'. The son, while regularly petitioning for a brand-name vacuum cleaner, had never mentioned a guitar. He takes lessons from an artistically thwarted midget, until one evening the son admits to his teacher that what we really wants to do is perform a medley of television jingles in the voice of Billie Holiday.

David Sedaris has developed a cult-like following for penning insightful, satirical, real-life stories like those above. His latest book is entitled Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls. You could read it, if that is a thing you would like to do. You could also read Naked, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, Me Talk Pretty One Day or any of his other fine collections available at your local bookshop.

A regular contributor to This American Life, Sedaris will be touring our fine country in January 2014. As part of the summer program for Ideas at the House, he will spend one special night at the Sydney Opera House talking to you. David Sedaris is wonderful. Ideas at the House is also wonderful. Together, they are guaranteed to make your evening approximately 89 percent smarter, funnier and more profound.

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