it was his grandmother!
I had the privilege of witnessing David Sedaris (author of Me Talk Pretty One Day, Naked, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim and frequent contributor to NPR's This American Life) read up close and personal, as we were seated front row center last Sunday night. So close, that I can report he stands on the outer sides of his rubber soled shoes while reading and bounces ever so slightly to keep his knees from buckling. A fifty-year-old man who simultaneously lives as the young boy he writes about - one who dresses dead bees in tin foil suits of armor and cares for the spiders who reside in his home in France (he moved to London and quit smoking - did you know that?)
As many of you know, I'm an obsessive This American Life fan. And being one, I'm used to hearing David Sedaris speak; however, it was still surreal to see him walk out on stage, open his mouth and have that same voice come out - the sweet voice that allows him to do a brilliant impersonation of Billy Holiday.
For those wondering, he read mostly new material - some soon to be published and one rejected. He also read one from Holidays on Ice about Santa's eight black men. He closed with a question/answer session.
Plus, he recommended two books - Foreskin's Lament by Shalom Auslander and The Easter Parade by Richard Yates. And of course I had to immediately purchase them because that's the kind of dork I am. My stack of unread books needed to be higher.
I've started reading Foreskin's Lament and already I'm captivated. It's a hilarious memoir about growing up in an Orthodox Jewish family and the author's relationship with God. The words hilarious and God aren't usually used in the same description, but I assure you it's worth a read. Terry Gross just interviewed Auslander about his book, so that should be all the incentive one needs.
Regarding the grandmother reference, remember when Sedaris (TAL episode #28 Detectives) had a stakeout in his parent's closet in order to solve the mystery of the person wiping one's rear on the bathroom towels? You know, the one where he considers himself a fugitive for being wrongly accused and covers his head in black shoe polish to dye his hair but ends up creating a rock hard hair helmet? Well, after all these years, he has finally figured out it was his elderly grandmother who would only visit on weekends. He, he.