David Sedaris plays in the snow with his sisters.
He goes on vacation with his family.
He gets a job selling drinks.
He attends his brother's wedding.
He mops his sister's floor.
He gives directions to a lost traveller.
He eats a hamburger.
He has his blood sugar tested.
It all sounds so normal, doesn't it?
In his new book David Sedaris lifts the corner of ordinary life, revealing the absurdity teeming below its surface. His world is alive with obscure desires and hidden motives - a world where forgiveness is automatic and an argument can be the highest form of love. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim finds one of the wittiest and most original writers at work today at the peak of his form.
Sedaris (Me Talk Pretty One Day, etc.) perfects his written essays by going on the road and reading them aloud, so it's no surprise that his new collection is even more hilarious and haunting as an audiobook. All 22 of the book's essays are here, and it's a treasury of riches matched by Sedaris's slightly nasal but enthralling delivery. Sedaris's material has always walked a razor's edge between hilarious and heartbreaking, and never more so than here. Although Sedaris pokes fun at his family, he mixes the laughs with empathy. When he tries to make sense out of his sister's squalid living conditions in "Put a Lid on It," his deadpan descriptions and hyper reactions are hysterically funny, but it's clear that his sister is a complex person, not just a punch line. Likewise, his late mother, previously seen as a chain-smoking, tart-talking dame, gains more depth in the downright spooky "The Girl Next Store." In "The End of the Affair," he and boyfriend Hugh disagree over a romantic movie and he concludes, "Real love amounts to withholding the truth, even when you're offered the perfect opportunity to hurt someone's feelings." Still, Sedaris hasn't lost his irreverence; in "Possession," he tours Anne Frank's annex and imagines how he'd redecorate it. Simultaneous release with Little, Brown hardcover (Forecasts, May 24).