I Wanna be Literated #262

I Wanna be Literated #262

Tuesday, 22 November 2022

by David Sedaris

I forget every time I crack open a new David Sedaris book how this guy isn’t as popular as he should be. Oh, I realize he’s a rich famous author with enough money to throw around to own multiple houses, Picassos, and shop for useless overpriced things that he’s probably never even going to take out of the wrapping, so he’s clearly successful and widely read. But, it’s just the humanity of it all that I think might be overlooked. I don’t know of hoity toity writers who laud David Sedaris, but then again, I don’t read much. I guess I’m the problem. He’s famous enough with aunts and recent-Florida importees, and that’s what matters.

The reason I’m saying all this is that in his new book Happy-Go-Lucky, 40 years into his writing career, Sedaris has once again managed to write an engaging, hilarious, and sentimental collection of stories that really hit at the heart of what it means to be a human being. The fact that there is significance and personal impact in many of our life events, they make us who we are, and they don’t have to be those of movie star, a famous comedian, a musician, or a venture capitalist to be interesting. Happy-go-Lucky deals with events that are instantly relatable, and their elegance and beauty become more apparent through Sedaris’ writing. It hits at an often-forgotten thing, which is that we all have interesting stories to tell.

The stories collected here deal extensively with the analysis and death of Sedaris’ father, life during the pandemic, personal care, and interpersonal dynamics. His writing, as always, is poignant (a word I’m not quite sure what it means, but seems apropos here), funny, introspective, and masterfully cuts to what should make these otherwise-boring stories so interesting. Happy-Go-Lucky is exactly what one would expect from a master-storyteller and further proves that Sedaris hasn’t lost a beat. His stories could be about anyone, and in doing so, speak to everyone

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