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David Sedaris Returns to Chicago

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David Sedaris Returns to Chicago

AP Photo/Anne Fishbein, Little, Brown and Company

In a lot of memoirs, there's a little note on that front page near the copyright information. It will usually say something like "Author's note: the events described in this book are real." In David Sedaris's books, that description has applied to a visit to a nudist colony, guitar lessons from a homophobic little person and adventures as a Macy's Christmas elf. In the front of Sedaris's newest collection of essays, the note reads: "The events described in these stories are realish." Sedaris freely admits that he exaggerates and invents dialogue. But he insists his books be filed under non-fiction … perhaps because they get at truths, if not always facts. Sedaris spent about six years in Chicago, going from a drug-addled art student to a rising literary star.

He's back in his old stomping ground today, promoting his book, When You Are Engulfed in Flames. And one warning, if you've ever heard Sedaris read his material before, you won't be surprised that some of his readings in this interview are irreverent. Being in Chicago reminded him of his time teaching at the School of the Art Institute. 

David Sedaris will read from his book tonight at Barbara’s Bookstore

near the University of Illinois, Chicago.

Music Button:
Junior Mance, “Letter From Home”, from the CD Junior Mance Trio at the Village Vanguard, (Jazzland records)
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