Wild, Wicked and Humorous

You know you’re a damn good writer when you make even shit hilarious. As recounted in “Big Boy,” a short essay in his witty Me Talk Pretty One Day, David Sedaris discovered a big turd sitting in the toilet someone left back in his friend’s bathroom. After the second flush failed, he “scrambled for a plunger and used the handle to break the turd into manageable pieces, all the while thinking that it wasn’t fair, that this was technically not [his] job. Another flush and it still didn’t go down. Come on, pal. Let’s move it.” From the way his sister pranks his father to the way his brother, “the Rooster,” talks to the old man—“The past is gone, hoss. What you need now is some motherfucker pussy” (after his mom passed away)—Sedaris’ simple, natural writing makes personal storytelling seem so engaging yet effortless.

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