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David Sedaris

As pearl-clutching a scenario it is to conceive, if NPR radio host Ira Glass hadn’t stumbled upon a particular late-night comedy show in Chicago years ago, we might not have ever learned of David Sedaris, a man many regard as one of the today’s best humorists. The rock star treatment he now enjoys could be attributed to the bold imperfection of his stream-of-consciousness style and the curious Alice B. Toklas-like presence of his real-life partner, Hugh. In January, the audio version of his recent book of essays, Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Spoken Word Album category (a near-compliment losing to “truthiness” icon Stephen Colbert) and his observations about everyday occurrences have attracted an astounding variation of young fans who seem to claim him, with a makeshift bookmark wedged half-way through any one of his older offerings, as a best-kept secret. Lately, his literary splash has undergone some fact-checking scrutiny from publications like The New Yorker, who seem to be forcing writers of his kind to define the difference between non-fiction vs. creative non-fiction (#whatevs). He can be heard on NPR’s This American Life saying the things we’re all thinking but afraid to say—perhaps for fear of sounding trite. Sedaris’ absence of that fear has made him a still-rising multimedia messiah.

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