Synopses & Reviews
David Sedaris's best stories and essays, spanning his remarkable career — as selected by the author himself
For more than twenty-five years, David Sedaris has been carving out a unique literary space, virtually creating his own genre. A Sedaris story may seem confessional, but is also highly attuned to the world outside. It opens our eyes to what is at absurd and moving about our daily existence. And it is almost impossible to read without laughing.
Now, for the first time collected in one volume, the author brings us his funniest and most memorable work. In these stories, Sedaris shops for rare taxidermy, hitchhikes with a lady quadriplegic, and spits a lozenge into a fellow traveler's lap. He drowns a mouse in a bucket, struggles to say "give it to me" in five languages, and hand-feeds a carnivorous bird.
But if all you expect to find in Sedaris's work is the deft and sharply observed comedy for which he became renowned, you may be surprised to discover that his words bring more warmth than mockery, more fellow-feeling than derision. Nowhere is this clearer than in his writing about his loved ones. In these pages, Sedaris explores falling in love and staying together, recognizing his own aging not in the mirror but in the faces of his siblings, losing one parent and coming to terms — at long last — with the other.
Taken together, the stories in TheBest of Me reveal the wonder and delight Sedaris takes in the surprises life brings him. No experience, he sees, is quite as he expected — it's often harder, more fraught, and certainly weirder — but sometimes it is also much richer and more wonderful.
Full of joy, generosity, and the incisive humor that has led David Sedaris to be called "the funniest man alive" (Time Out New York), The Best of Me spans a career spent watching and learning and laughing — quite often at himself —and invites readers deep into the world of one of the most brilliant and original writers of our time.
“The Best of Me encompasses a wide swath of his past work, from early entries in The New Yorker’s Shouts & Murmurs section to fan-favorite essays like 2000’s 'Me Talk Pretty One Day'... and 2016’s 'The Perfect Fit'.” Seija Rankin, Entertainment Weekly
“Sedaris is a fun, wickedly funny companion… For those new to Sedaris’s work, this book will serve as a delightful introduction. For longtime fans, it will offer a familiar comfort, like catching up with an old friend.” Cornelia Channing, Vulture
“Sedaris’s brilliant knack for observational humor is on full display in this terrific retrospective essay collection... This is the perfect introduction for the uninitiated, while Sedaris’s fans will enjoy rediscovering old favorites.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
About the Author
David Sedaris is the author of Calypso, Theft by Finding, Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Holidays on Ice, Naked, and Barrel Fever. He is a regular contributor to The New Yorker and BBC Radio 4. He lives in England and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.