Book: Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

Good, but similar books by the same author are better

David Sedaris
Me Talk Pretty One Day
Little, Brown, 2000
ISBN: 978-0-316-77696-7
272 pages

David Sedaris is, as I have said before, a talented storyteller and memoirist. Me Talk Pretty One Day is a collection of 27 autobiographical articles, most of which previously appeared in the New Yorker. They're mostly about his family, his youth in North Carolina, his life in New York and Chicago, and, later, his life in France with his partner, Hugh. The stories are all funny, but some of them are rather painful at the same time. It's easy enough to laugh with Mr Sedaris about his difficulties in communicating in French (that's where the title comes from), but the laughs are a little more strained when he's talking about having been a meth addict. Take, for example:

    My performing career effectively ended the day my
    drug dealer move to Georgia to enter a treatment
    center. Since the museum I'd done a piece at a
    gallery and had another scheduled for the state
    university. "How can you do this to me?" I asked her.
    (p. 55)

The book is a good deal like his later book, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. It may be a trick of my memory, but I think that I liked that book a bit more, partly because Mr Sedaris evokes a broader range of feelings in it. But if you've read that book and want more, Me Talk Pretty One Day should do nicely.

There are a couple of tiny editing errors in the book: "rep" should be "repp" (p. 63) and "grieving my" should be "grieving over my" (p. 147).

Posted: Tue - January 22, 2008 at 07:21 PM   Main   Category: