marginalia || Naked, by David Sedaris

Welcome to the hilarious, strange, elegiac, outrageous world of David Sedaris. In Naked, Sedaris turns the mania for memoir on its ear, mining the exceedingly rich terrain of his life, his family, and his unique worldview-a sensibility at once take-no-prisoners sharp and deeply charitable. A tart-tongued mother does dead-on imitations of her young son’s nervous tics, to the great amusement of his teachers; a stint of Kerouackian wandering is undertaken (of course!) with a quadriplegic companion; a family gathers for a wedding in the face of imminent death. Through it all is Sedaris’s unmistakable voice, without doubt one of the freshest in American writing.

Off the top of my head, because I’ve got a ridiculous graded recitation for PolSci: The essays in this book (memoir!), Naked by David Sedaris, were not laugh-out-loud funny–they were witty, and that’s fine by me. Sedaris has a colorful family, a kick-ass mother, convoluted adventures, and he has no qualms about being wise and sentimental about it. That last italicised part’s the best thing about this goshdarned book.

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