David Sedaris to promote new book, 'Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls'
By Chris Fish
SUNTREE -- As a New York Times bestselling author, David Sedaris is no stranger to traveling.
"I'm at the Buffalo airport, fixing to fly to Baltimore," he said in an email. "My tour started two day ago, so I'm fairly fresh."
In promotion of his new material, Mr. Sedaris is embarking on a tour across the country, which will make a stop in Melbourne at the Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday, Oct. 27.
With his significant other, Hugh Hamrick, Mr. Sedaris has traveled the world and lived in various countries, such as Japan and France. There, he observes the daily nuances of his life, remembering each unique moment of his day to later craft them into compilations of short stories and essays.
"I've been keeping a diary for 36 years, and, while I don't write down everything - who has the time - I try to record all the things I find odd or funny or moving for one reason or another," he said. "Sometimes, life just feels like a story. I'm thinking of the time I bought a stuffed owl, and the taxidermist looked into my soul, or the time I went to Australia and fed a Kookaburra."
"There are days that seem majestic to me," he said. "That said, they can't be forced, and they don't come along too often."
On April 23, Mr. Sedaris released his latest collection of narrative essays, "Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls," where he discusses topics ranging from the fear of socialized medicine to purchasing a stuffed owl. The new book debuted at the No. 1 spot of the "New York Times" Bestseller List, an accomplishment that he hasn't let slide pass without jabbing at it with a respectful taste of his self-depreciating humor he has become synonymous with.
"It feels great to be No. 1 on the Times' list until you look at what was No. 1 a week before, and you realize it was 'written' by a celebrated embezzler or a runaway cat," he said. "It feels great until you consider all the books that are much better than yours, but don't get the attention they deserve because they've not been made a priority by the publisher. All that said, it still feels great."
It is through his public appearances that Mr. Sedaris hones his craft, learning how to best convey his material aloud, which also translates humorously onto his audio versions of his books - something he reads aloud himself.
"By the time I head into the recording studio, I've read each story in front of an audience at least 50 times," he said. "This is to say that I've learned how to read it; I know when to pause and when to lay on a particular word."
"The trick is recording someone else's work," he continued. "I recently read a story for a New Yorker podcast that was written by Miranda July. I'm a huge admirer of her stories, and, though I practiced for a solid week beforehand, I'm not sure that I did it justice."
True to form, even as he is in the process of traveling from city to city, waiting to board his next plane to Baltimore, Mr. Sedaris never stops observing the world around him.
"One of the stories I've written for this tour involves the time I spent as someone's campaign manager," he said. "I was 13, and it's something I've never forgotten for some reason. Understanding why I've never forgotten it is what takes it from memory to a full fledged story."
David Sedaris will perform at the Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m.
Tickets begin at $35.
For more information, call (321) 242-2219.