Evening with Sedaris is witty and racy
David Sedaris was in one of his infamous racy moods during his reading Monday at Northern Lights Books & Gifts. The bestselling author, with the frank and unedited wit of a cranky old lady, did his best to elicit giggles from the audience. Th...
David Sedaris was in one of his infamous racy moods during his reading Monday at Northern Lights Books & Gifts.
The bestselling author, with the frank and unedited wit of a cranky old lady, did his best to elicit giggles from the audience.
The target of one new piece of fiction: a paraplegic.
Sedaris read for about 45 minutes.
He read a piece about his book tour that ran in the New Yorker and short journal entries dating back to 2004.
Sedaris did a short Q&A, meeting questions ranging from specific scenes in his essays to the role his boyfriend Hugh plays in the editing process (A: None. "Hugh doesn't want to read anything until it comes out in the New Yorker," Sedaris said).
The stop was part of Sedaris' tour to independent bookstores in medium sized towns to promote the soft cover release of his latest book, "When You Are Engulfed in Flames." The store in Canal Park held about 80 fans of the frequent contributor to the New Yorker and the National Public Radio program "This American Life."
Sedaris' voice was piped through a speaker to the sidewalk in front of the store and to two school buses -- a last-minute addition to the event -- for fans who wanted shelter from Monday's cold and rainy weather.
Local musician Rachael Kilgour, who was scheduled to perform outside when a warmer day was imagined, played acoustic guitar from the front of the bus while Adeline Wright harmonized from a seat away. Kilgour wasn't sure she wanted the bus gig, until Wright coaxed her into it.
" 'Let's do it. We've never done that before!' " Kilgour said Wright, her wife, encouraged her.
Before the reading, Sedaris signed a CD for the couple: "To Adeline and Rachael, Two married women who are gay in Minnesota."
Corey Slettedahl had his face pressed against the store window for much of the reading. With ticket No. 254, he wasn't able to get inside. Slettedahl, a fan for three years, was glad to put a face to the voice he hears on his collection of Sedaris' books on tape, which he listens to during his weekly drives from Duluth to see his girlfriend in Fergus Falls, Minn.
"I've never seen him perform," Slettedahl said. "It was unbelievable. To see him talk brought it to a new level."
Sedaris had promised to stay at the bookstore until every book was signed. His personal record is 9½ hours. Monday promised to go faster. By 9 p.m., everyone who wanted a book signed was off the buses and the street and had finally gotten into the store.
Laura Witrak-Belcastro of Duluth got off easy. She was among the first to get three copies of his books signed. One was inscribed "I'm so happy you can walk," another said that it was nice to see her again, although they had never met. But the most prized one was the picture Sedaris penned of a turtle with Abraham Lincoln's head.