David Sedaris has one of the driest wits around. He has had audiences rolling in the aisles for years. But his start was not so glamorous. Born the day after Christmas in 1956, he entered into the large Sedaris family of Johnson City, New York. Of his five siblings, his sister Amy Sedaris, like her brother, won her time in the spotlight as a stage actress and also collaborated with David on writing plays.
In 1987, Sedaris graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago. After holding several menial jobs and doing readings from his diary on the side, a National Public Radio representative caught one of his acts and his humor career began.
His first fame came from The Santaland Diaries (a collection of autobiographical sketches about his life as a Christmas elf at Macy's), which were featured on NPR's Morning Edition series. His radio fans could not get enough of him on the radio, so he began to write books.
In 1994 he published Barrel Fever, a collection of humorous short stories. The collection includes many notable stories as well as a few essays: 'Season's Greetings to Our Friends and Family', 'Glen's Homophobia Newsletter', and 'Diary of a Smoker'. After the great success of Barrel Fever, Sedaris decided to keep writing. He put out the much- anticipated Naked in 1997, another collection of short stories. This guffaw-inspiring book features such stories as 'Get Your Ya-Ya's Out' and 'The Drama Bug'. In the same year a collection of his Christmas stories was packaged into the book Holidays on Ice. This collection of stories was also adapted into a play by a group of actors and playwrights in Austin, TX. Another gathering of short stories by Sedaris came out in 2000.
Me Talk Pretty One Day is a longer collection of eclectic stories ranging from 'The Youth in Asia' to 'Jesus Shaves' to 'Picka Pocketoni'. All three of Sedaris' works have been converted into audiobooks, though the table of contents differs slightly. The audiobooks are narrated by David and Amy Sedaris.
David Sedaris' fame extends from the literary world of books to the literary world of magazines and plays. Sedaris is a regular contributor to Esquire. The New York Times Magazine and The New Yorker have also featured Sedaris' essays. Sedaris is no stranger to the world of theatre either. With his sister, Amy, he wrote Stitches in 1994, One Woman Shoe in 1995 (a hilarious play about single moms forced to perform one-woman shows), Santaland in 1996 (an adaptation of his series on NPR), Incident at Cobblers Knob in 1997 (not-so-coincidentally directed by Sedaris' partner, Hugh Hamrick), and The Little Frieda Mysteries in 1997.
The big year for awards for David Sedaris was 2001. He won the Thurber Award, the Time Magazine Humorist of the Year award, and the Advocated Lambda Award. Holidays on Ice was also nominated for the Audie (The Oscars for Audio Books). The nomination was for best package design.
Sedaris frequently tours the country to try out his new works on a live audience, much to the joy of his fans. He has a unique speaking style that comes from his days on NPR. Usually these events require tickets, but Sedaris has been known to do readings in college bookstores, coffee shops, and other neighborhood spaces.