When one spends as much time at Barnes and Noble as I do, the journey to the location of certain authors’ works becomes automatic. One author that has surprised me for the past couple of years by popping up in different and unexpected places is David Sedaris.
What’s funny is that the literary community never seems to know where to place Sedaris as far as genre goes. I have seen his work in memoir, humor, fiction, essays, and of course, best seller table. It was on the best sellers table that I picked up ‘Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls’. This title made me smile because it was so seemingly abstract that I had no idea everything would actually tie together.
I dove into the book, and laughed the entire time. This wasn’t a chuckle, a guffaw, or a self-satisfied smirk. This writing produced laughter that made me tear up in the dentist office, prompting people to ask not only if I was okay, but if I had received pain medication or laughing gas for the procedure that day. It was a cleaning.
Sedaris writes from his own unique perspective of the world, and I for one couldn’t be happier about that. With a mixture of true life stories, embellished life moments, and pure fiction, Sedaris puts together a collection of essays that, once the end is reached, all have a common theme. While Sedaris leads an extraordinary life, living in different places, he makes things relatable. When it comes to this writing, I truly believe that no matter who you are or what you believe in you will find an essay that strikes a chord with you and allows you to say, “Yes! Exactly. He gets it.”
I must warn future readers though, that if one approaches the book with extreme views on sexuality, religion, race, or politics, one or two essays might want to be skipped. There are other chapters that any person could find enjoyable.
Sedaris’ mix of social commentary, humor, and memoir create something unique in a world filled with templates for authors to follow. While I garner from his writing that Sedaris was always one to march to the beat of his own drum, I can only imagine what publishing houses first thought about him. While as a community no one can really agree where to put Sedaris on a shelf, I vote we give him his own. In his writing he has created his own breed of book, one that everyone can enjoy at least one part of, but most likely more.