David Sedaris, whose personal essays and humorous social commentary have earned him recognition as one of America’s greatest living humor writers, will be the speaker for the Lackawanna County Library System’s 2022 American Masters Lecture, Thursday, March 31 at 7 p.m. in the Scranton Cultural Center. The lecture was rescheduled from September 2021.
Free tickets for the event are available at Lackawanna County libraries and online. Anyone who holds a ticket from the rescheduled event can exchange it for a new ticket at any library location.
Sedaris is the author of 11 collections of essays, many of which appeared first in The New Yorker and two collections from his diaries.
The titles of his books alone suggest the wit to be found within: Barrel Fever, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, and Theft By Finding: Diaries (1977-2002).
Each of these books was an immediate hit.
His most recent book, A Carnival of Snackery: Diaries (2003-2020), was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice selection. The audiobook was a finalist for the Audie Award in Humor.
Said a reviewer for the Chicago Tribune, “Sedaris’s droll assessment of the mundane and the eccentrics who inhabit the world’s crevices make him one of the greatest humorists writing today.”
The San Francisco Chronicle added, “Sedaris belongs on any list of people writing in English at the moment who are revising our ideas about what’s funny.”
In addition to articles and books, Sedaris has gained an audience through his commentaries on CBS Sunday Morning and his voice has become known from National Public Radio.
He was born in Johnson City, New York, where his father worked as an IBM engineer before moving his family to Raleigh, North Carolina, where Sedaris grew up.
Much of his early writing was about his family and the cultural milieu he experienced as the son of an Episcopalian mother and Greek Orthodox father. He was raised in his father’s faith.
His formal education was rather scattered. He briefly attended Western Carolina University before transferring to Kent State University, where he quickly dropped out. Eventually he moved to Chicago where he graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Throughout his teens and twenties, Sedaris experimented with visual and performance art, and the failure he experienced then gave him fodder for several early essays.
His pieces regularly appear in The New Yorker and have twice been included in “The Best American Essays.” There are over ten million copies of his books in print and they have been translated into 25 languages.