In a story from Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, one of his five best-selling collections of essays, David Sedaris talks about his compulsion to touch people on the head when speaking to them. (Were guessing this is why he doesnt do interviews.) This need is put to the test when Sedaris encounters a young boy and must fight the urge to - for no reason at all - place his hand on the boys head. Not only does Sedaris not know the boy, but as an openly gay man, he might be subjected to more scrutiny than the average stranger. Sedariss writing is filled with these types of awkward, personal moments.
Sedaris rose to fame after his story SantaLand Diaries, chronicling his two-year stint as a Macys Christmas elf, was broadcast on National Public Radios Morning Edition. The story became the most popular ever aired and launched Sedariss career, which now includes five books, two Grammy nominations, regular contributions to The New Yorker and popular radio program This American Life and a number of plays co-written with his sister Amy Sedaris (of Strangers With Candy fame).
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Sedariss essays are mostly autobiographical, but his latest work, slated for release in June 2008, is rumored to be a mix of nonfiction and animal fables. Sedaris will no doubt share some of these at his reading today as he struggles to keep his hands to himself and fans pray hell lose out to obsession and pat them on the head. 8 p.m. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-227-4772 or visit www.spahouston.org. $20 to $40
Thu., Oct. 25, 8 p.m., 2007