Thursday, April 11, 2013

David Sedaris Has Followed a Long Road to Success and DeVos Performance Hall

David Sedaris has been described as one of the top American humor writers of his generation.  He has topped the New York Times Best Sellers list on multiple occasions.  He has over seven million copies of his books in print, and they have been translated into 25 different languages.  He was named “Humorist of the Year” by Time magazine in 2001.

One of Sedaris’ short stories has been adapted into a full-length film that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.  To say his satirical and witty writing style has been a smashing success would be an understatement at this point.  However, this kind of mainstream success isn’t something David has always been familiar with.

Before becoming a best-selling author, Sedaris jumped around from place to place and odd-job to odd-job. He briefly worked for a moving company in North Carolina, and he has spent countless mornings working as a maid in New York, scrubbing toilets and cleaning cat litter boxes for $10 an hour.

He attempted to earn a degree from two different universities before finally graduating from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  After he finally earned a degree in 1987, he began reading from his personal diary at a small club in Chicago.  It was at this club that he would be “discovered” by radio personality, Ira Glass.

Keeping a personal diary proved to be a habit that would serve him well as Glass eventually asked Sedaris to come on his show to share some excerpts.  After a little success on the show, Sedaris read his essay “SantaLand Diaries” on NPR in December of 1992 and was quickly dubbed a “minor phenomenon” when the New York Times put him on their unofficial watch-list.

He began recording a monthly segment for NPR in which he read other stories and essays from his diary, and he quickly wound up with a book deal.  After being flooded with offers from TV shows and soap operas, he chose to stick with the diary instead. About a year and a half after “Santaland Diaries,” Sedaris released his first book, Barrel Fever.

Sedaris, who has been nominated for multiple Grammy awards, will bring his humor and story-telling to DeVos Performance Hall.  Set to release his ninth collection of stories and essays, Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls, a live reading with David Sedaris carries much more fanfare than it did before he first appeared on NPR a little over 20 years ago.

From stories of his various odd jobs to anecdotes about family members, Sedaris amuses and delights his audience with his humorous essays, observations about life, and excerpts from his personal diaries that haven’t quite made it into a publication yet.

Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls will be released on April 23, 2013, only nine days after his appearance at DeVos Performance Hall on April 14th.  Michigan Radio presents An Evening with David Sedaris will begin at 7:00 PM, and is sure to provide quite a few laughs.