Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, David Sedaris

Back Bay Books, 2004

Ok, I’m going to start off by saying that I think David Sedaris is a hilarious human being. This was my first full collection of Sedaris’s works and I’m so upset with myself that I put it off for so long. I’m obviously the worst. It’s been a while since I read a book and literally lol-ed (haha, hate myself). I’d be reading by myself in my room and every so often I’d just chuckle. Sometimes it’s like full blown laughter and I’m sure everyone who heard this must’ve thought I was a crazy person. Anyway, I think that’s a great thing. To be able to make someone laugh and connect without actually really saying anything outwardly funny. I think that’s what I liked best about his style. He’s a funny guy, but he doesn’t have to try. He writes what he feels and what he sees, but he does it in such a way that makes you feel familiar with you. David Sedaris and I feel like old buddies at this point.

Personally, I’ve always had a hard time writing quality nonfiction stuff. I guess for a long time I thought my life wasn’t interesting enough. But now maybe I’m realizing that I don’t have to write any differently when writing fiction and nonfiction. I guess I assumed all nonfiction should have a more serious tone to it. Sedaris has proven to me that this is not the case. He’s living his life and writing about it in a less than normal way. I’m not saying that the situations in the collection were anything close to my life experience, but even then, he wrote about the extraordinary events in the same manner that he discussed the ordinary. Sometimes it’s the writing that grabs us, not always the experience behind it. Lesson learned, Professor Sedaris. (He’s not a professor but, get it, because lessons being taught and professors, haha ok.) But on a serious note, I would love to write nonfiction in this way because, let’s get real, who wouldn’t?

There is no clear order to the placement of each story. Sedaris weaves in and out through his past and his present seamlessly. I had no problems with the jumps and the flashbacks and the flash forwards. I guess my only complaint (???) would be the placement of the last story. As in, should it be the last story? I’m not sure. I’m sure Sedaris knows what he’s doing so do it, Sedaris. Do it. Don’t get me wrong, Nuit of the Living Dead did seem to round out all the other pieces really well. I think it captured a lot of who Sedaris is today, but even more so, the person he was at various points in his life. So great, good work, love that aspect of it. I just don’t know if I loved the tone for being the last story. Maybe I just wanted more funny. Maybe that’s it. Because I guess now that I’m writing about it, more funny would’ve just made me want more. The tone of the last piece did make it seem a little more final–as in, get another book to continue reading about my life, ok? Maybe that’s it. Maybe I just didn’t like it at the time. Ok guys, I change my mind. Forget this ever happened.


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