Smile Politely

David Sedaris returns to the Virginia

It was on December 23, 1992 that the world first heard David Sedaris’s ironic, sardonic, sarcastic and sometimes squeaky voice emanate from their car stereos on NPR’s Morning Edition. That was the day that “The Santaland Diaries” first aired, the day his very unique literary voice was catapulted into the national limelight. He has ever since become something of an institution in our culture. With a biting and at times strangely sympathetic voice, his work has come to define a very important part of the American disposition — the part that wants to belong to something greater while simultainiously criticizing that greater thing. Tonight Tomorrow night, Sedaris will provide you with an opportunity to be a part of his audience at Virginia Theater when he begins his reading at 8 p.m.

Sedaris’s work is at once personal and public, often setting its sights upon our obvious but unnoticed quirks. In his most recent book, When You Are Engulfed In Flames, Sedaris tells of an experience on an airplane wherein he accidentally loses a piece of gum in the crotch of a fellow traveler — a fellow traveler whom he has already engaged in an adversarial exchange with. What ensues is a kind of hilariousness that utilizes his personal akwardness as a means to expose our greater lack of connectedness. It’s great, and if you’ve never read him, you should. What’s more is that, if you’ve never seen him read from his work, you definitely should take the opportunity to do so this evening.

If you’ve already got tickets, you’re in for a treat, and if you don’t, take out your rotary dial telephone and call 217-356-9063 for ticket information (don’t even try to buy em online). They range in price from $42.50 to $55.

From his booking agency’s website: David Sedaris is the author of Barrel Fever and Holidays on Ice, as well as collections of personal essays, Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, and When You Are Engulfed in Flames, each of which became a bestseller. There are a total of seven million copies of his books in print and they have been translated into 25 languages. He was the editor of Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules: An Anthology of Outstanding Stories. Sedaris’s pieces appear regularly in The New Yorker and have twice been included in “The Best American Essays.”

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