“I started writing one afternoon when I was twenty, and ever since then I have written every day. At first I had to force myself. Then it became part of my identity, and I did it without thinking.” – David Sedaris
An American humorist, comedian, author, and radio contributor, Sedaris first burst onto the scene in 1992 when National Public Radio broadcast his essay "SantaLand Diaries,” which have since become one of NPR’s standards for the Christmas season.
Sedaris went on to publish six best-selling collections of essays and short stories in a row, the best-known being the absolutely hilarious When You Are Engulfed in Flames. (The title comes from a guide for guests in a hotel in which he was staying).
A native of New York, he grew up in North Carolina and – as noted above – started writing down thoughts about growing up, family life, heritage and various and sundry jobs. It was while reading from this diary at a comedy club that he was “discovered” by NPR’s Ira Glass, who arranged for him to do his SantaLand essay.
Sedaris, of course, is a firm believer in keeping a diary or journal, and not
only because it has served as the basis
“I've been keeping a diary for thirty-three years and write in it every morning,” Sedaris said. “Most of it's just whining, but every so often there'll be something I can use later: a joke, a description, a quote. It's an invaluable aid when it comes to winning arguments. 'That's not what you said on February 3, 1996,' I'll say to someone.”
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