David Sedaris

Erin lent me David Sedaris' book of found diaries from a couple of decades of his life, and it reminds me that, if you're going to be a writer, you really have to keep track of what's going. Basically, the book is excerpts of the diary he kept while in Chicago and then for his first few years in New York. He goes from being a house painter and handyman to being a well-known writer and darling of NPR, but it doesn't happen because he gets lucky--it happens because he keeps writing, and observing, and putting himself out into reading spaces. He's basically always on the cusp of financial failure, but still manages to keep trying. And of course, Amy Sedaris is his sister, and she's one of my favorite, funniest people, so he's also funny. She's one of the characters in Homecoming, which we're listening to in class currently. Anyway, I feel like to succeed as a writer, you have to always be paying attention and I certainly don't do that, not on the train when I could every day, though New Jersey Transit only has sporadic opportunities for weirdness and I always sit in the quiet car so never overhear conversations. Also, he's always writing about the weird strangers he meets who hit him up for money or have no feet or turn up naked in the middle of the street, and that just doesn't happen that often in Princeton. Not that often. We have a different kind of weirdness, which is the weirdness of New Jersey driving aggression and white privilege of many of the residents. I suppose that could be interesting to someone.

Here is an article Sedaris wrote for The New Yorker called "Now We are Five."
The siblings, clockwise from top left: Gretchen, Lisa, David, Tiffany, Paul, and Amy.