Friday, April 22, 2016

S is for David Sedaris

I was introduced to David Sedaris' work slowly. First, a friend gave me a copy of one of his essays to read. A year or so later, a co-worker made me a CD of Sedaris reading his work to listen to on a road trip and I thoroughly enjoyed it. One of my best friends sent me a copy of Naked in a care package when I was going through my divorce. I read it cover to cover in about a day, and that's when I truly came to appreciate David Sedaris.

I went to a used book store that same week and bought copies of the other Sedaris books they had, Me Talk Pretty One Day and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. I read them both in quick succession and I've been an adoring fan ever since!

David Sedaris is my number one inspiration as a writer. Once I began reading his work, I tried to emulate him. My writing shifted into personal essay style and not too long afterward, I started my first blog. In his books, I found someone doing what I wanted to do and it was like I finally had permission to start telling my stories.

What I value so much about Sedaris' writing is how he takes every day occurrences and makes them significant. I love his dark, cynical humor and how he can laugh at his misfortune and still tell one hell of a story.

I have three David Sedaris shelves in my house. One on the big book shelf in our living room (pictured above.) That's where I keep my signed copies and all the books that mean the most to me. These guys do not get lent out! Then I have a second shelf on my writing desk where I keep the copies I turn to for reference and inspiration. I buy used copies of his books when I come across them, to pass on to others and I keep those in a stack in my closet.
I've been extremely fortunate to attend two of David's readings and book signings at both. The first time I met him I was speechless (which  is a rarity for me!) so the second time I was prepared! I sat in the front row, my notebook in my lap and as soon as he welcomed questions from the audience my hand shot into the air like a rocket. Afterward, I spoke to him more as he signed my books and asked him, to give me some writing advice in an inscription. He answered my questions thoughtfully and honestly. I'm sure not many writers have had an opportunity like that! It's so awesome to have a story to tell about my biggest writing inspiration saying "Ramona, you're over thinking it." I have taken that advice to heart in more ways than he probably intended and I'm much better for it!


  1. This made me smile.
    I see/read "David Sedaris" and I *IMMEDIATELY* think of you. You introduced me to his writing/his books, and I'm forever grateful.

  2. That's so amazing that you've gotten to meet an author you love. I've only ever been to one book signing. It occurs to me that I should try to find others.