If the name David Sedaris means nothing to you (and/or you lack laughter in your life), do yourself a favour and pick up one of his books. Me Talk Pretty One Day is the one with the chalkboard cover - chances are you've seen it in a window over the last few years - read that first. You'll eventually get to When You Are Engulfed in Flames. That's the most recent collection of his 97% real life tales, and the reason he was in Toronto last week, when I sat down for an hour-long interview with him.
I was going to cover questions about the book in our interview, but realized that stuff is all over the net. Like on CBC's As It Happens, which he did right after our talk.
Instead we talked about Swimming spots, eating cute animals, and "what white people like," all of which you can hear below. The chat is informal, so it's not like just listening to This American Life (just search ‘Sedaris'), but has the authenticity of Sedaris sitting in the Four Seasons drinking a "small" Starbucks coffee a few days away from the end of his latest book tour.
He also gave some suggestions for good audio books to have on a long road trip. In no particular order, he likes:
- Jeremy Irons reading Lolita
- Tim Robbins reading The Great Gatsby
- Susanna Clarke reading her Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell
- Stephen Fry reading Harry Potter
- Michael Chabon reading his Yiddish Policemen's Union.
Here's the audio of our conversation, with short explanations of what you're hearing. Just so you know, that jazzy background noise was already there. I didn't add it for cliché value.
On chasing and eating meat, especially the cute kind
What he does to disarm some people
A little on being called a racist
Sedaris talks about what he likes to do if he has a little spare time on tour
On being ranked in the Stuff White People Like