Late last year, author David Sedaris contributed an essay to The New Yorker — and would later turn it into a segment for the radio program "This American Life" — about the suicide of his sister a year before, and how his family reacted, and interacted during a pre-planned beach vacation soon after. The story, "Now We Are Five," is intensely personal, emotional, and even hilarious at times — and made even more poignant when heard told by Sedaris himself on the radio. But above all else, it's a brave story; it's plain to see that Sedaris is willing to share his soul completely with his readers.
"Now We Are Five" is an exemplary story from the author, but for many familiar with Sedaris' work, it won't be out of the ordinary. The writer and humorist has written seven essay collections (five of which became New York Times bestsellers), each as deeply personal and funny as the next, including "Me Talk Pretty One Day," "Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim," and his latest, "Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls." Sedaris — a regular contributor to "The New Yorker" and "This American Life" — holds nothing back in his writing; his heart and mind are wide open, from stories of his childhood in North Carolina to his relationship with his longtime partner, Hugh. But the pieces are always delivered in a thoughtful, entertaining way.
Writers & Books will host David Sedaris for an evening of stories, a Q&A, and a book signing, on Sunday, October 19, at Kodak Center for Performing Arts, 200 West Ridge Road. 8 p.m. $42. 473-2590 x107; wab.org; davidsedarisbooks.com.