I have been voraciously reading David Sedaris’ books for a few weeks now. There are few writers who can make me laugh so hard that the tears stream down my face.
He has such a quirky worldview.
Sedaris is Greek, he is also gay; either of those could contribute to his quirkiness.
I first bought one of his books because he was a gay writer, or perhaps it is better to say he was a writer who happened to be gay.
His books talk about his partner and his life as a gay man but it is not the focus of his writing — it just happens to be part of his life and he refers to it casually.
I like that.
There is no political agenda or any self-serving pity in his writing. His writing is for everyone, not just a gay audience.
He writes amusing essays about his life and the odd things he notices, such as the weird statistic that 5,000 children every year are startled to death. In other words, playing that game where you hide and yell “Boo!” could actually kill your kid.
Sedaris goes off on a tangent about such things.
He is one of the few writers I have ever read who actually extols the virtues of smoking. What he writes is so real and honest to me.
He wrote a love essay about smoking from the point of view of a smoker. I am not a smoker, but I do find that society has become overly zealous about non-smoking and I find it irritating; apparently so does Sedaris.
When he does talk about being gay, his re-telling of events from his childhood is always funny; they are also filled with pathos (a good Greek word).
He has probably been asked a million times whether his sexuality influences his writing.
How could it not?
I think if anything, his life as a gay man has given him great insight and a great humanity. He sees the good in even the vilest of people he has met. And the more vile the person, the more intrigued he seems to be.
But with all the nasty outward stuff, Sedaris still manages to find a kernel of goodness in everyone.