David Sedaris has become one of America’s preeminent humor writers. Known for cutting through cultural euphemisms and political correctness, the master of satire has become one of the most observant writers addressing the human condition today. He’s written a number of bestselling memoirs, including Me Talk Pretty One Day and Naked. His newest book, a collection of fables entitled Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary immediately hit the New York Times’ bestseller fiction list. We spoke with the humorist about bicycles, postcards and his upcoming appearance in Hawai‘i.
It looks like you’re going to be here in Hawai‘i around Thanksgiving. Anything in particular you want to do when you’re here?
I’m usually in Europe for Thanksgiving, and there it’s just Thursday, so I’m really out of the habit of celebrating Thanksgiving. But goodness, I’ll be touring 41 cities in 41 days and Honolulu will be my last stop. So really, I just want to ride a bike. I mean, I don’t have an outfit or anything, or any special sort of pants. I just want to ride a girl’s bike, with a basket on it and no helmet. A week after that, I’ll be starting my book tour.
Do you prefer paper books or e-readers?
I just read my first couple of books on the iPad and I guess, because I travel so much, it is good for that. But there was always something about signing a book that I liked. All that’s changing so fast. I was just throwing tons of stuff away in my apartment because it all just seems like stuff from a former life. Audio books on cassette or CD that I’ve been holding on to. I don’t even know who to give that stuff to anymore. There aren’t even blind people that want books on tape anymore. Used to be, I’d bring stuff like that into the United States and give it away. I lug around a lot of stuff. I never go anywhere without 70 pounds on my back.
That’s a lot of weight!
I have 9,000 postcards to give away to people on this tour. I had a designer make these postcards for me. One of them has a bunch of owls on it, and it says, “Lets explore diabetes with owls.” Like, what in god’s name? What do owls know about diabetes? I’m a big collector of postcards. We have another card printed up. It says, “abortion 3 dollars.” I mean, that’s such a good price for an abortion. You try for years to get pregnant and you finally got pregnant. And you saw a sign that said abortion for three dollars, wouldn’t you just have an abortion because its such a good price?
It is. You can’t even get a number one at Mcdonalds for that price anymore.
I’m really into postcards. And mushroom models.
I just saw a mushroom and I wanted it. I have oh, about 30 plus mushrooms. I’ll see a model of a mushroom and it’ll cost like $1,300, but it’s a really beautiful sculpture so I don’t know why it would not cost a lot of money. I put that one on my Christmas list.
Have you gotten any postcards or letters regarding your openness about being gay from readers?
I get letters from kids, maybe a small percentage of them are gay kids. Maybe 20 years ago, I probably would’ve, but there’s so much out there now. And I think probably they’re writing to that guy on Glee.
David Sedaris appears at the Blaisdell Concert Hall November 22. Purchase tickets HERE.