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David Sedaris Brings The Best of Him in The Best of Me

November 2, 2020
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New York Times reviewer and author Andrew Sean Geer, was sitting on a plane reading David Sedaris's newest book, The Best of Me, when he wrote a note in the margins: “This is the best thing Sedaris has ever written.”

For more than twenty-five years, David Sedaris has been carving out a unique literary space, virtually creating his own genre. A Sedaris story may seem confessional, but is also highly attuned to the world outside. It opens our eyes to what is at absurd and moving about our daily existence. And it is almost impossible to read without laughing.

Now, for the first time collected in one volume, the author brings us his funniest and most memorable work. The pieces are the sort [he] hoped to produce back when [he] first started writing, at the age of 20. In Geer's words, "They are what he hoped he would be. They are the best of him... The genius of The Best of Me is that it reveals the growth of a writer, a sense of how his outlook has changed and where he finds humor."

In these stories, Sedaris shops for rare taxidermy, hitchhikes with a lady quadriplegic, and spits a lozenge into a fellow traveler's lap. He drowns a mouse in a bucket, struggles to say "give it to me" in five languages, and hand-feeds a carnivorous bird.

But if all you expect to find in Sedaris's work is the deft and sharply observed comedy for which he became renowned, you may be surprised to discover that his words bring more warmth than mockery, more fellow-feeling than derision. Nowhere is this clearer than in his writing about his loved ones. In these pages, Sedaris explores falling in love and staying together, recognizing his own aging not in the mirror but in the faces of his siblings, losing one parent and coming to terms--at long last--with the other.

Taken together, the stories in The Best of Me reveal the wonder and delight Sedaris takes in the surprises life brings him. No experience, he sees, is quite as he expected--it's often harder, more fraught, and certainly weirder--but sometimes it is also much richer and more wonderful.

Full of joy, generosity, and the incisive humor that has led David Sedaris to be called "the funniest man alive" (Time Out New York), The Best of Me spans a career spent watching and learning and laughing--quite often at himself--and invites readers deep into the world of one of the most brilliant and original writers of our time.

Geer demands, "You must read 'The Best of Me.' It will be a new experience, knowing that enough time has passed to find humor in the hardest parts of life. More than ever — we’re allowed to laugh."

Pick up your autographed copy of The Best of Me today!

New York Times Review

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