Yes, Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris made me cry. Granted, they were tears of laughter, but they were tears. Me Talk Pretty One Day explores Sedaris’ childhood in Raleigh, North Carolina, time in college, jobs and eventual move to Paris. It’s a book about his inability to communicate, and Sedaris has a genius for finding the wit and eccentricity in everyone around him, and it is a gift to the reader.
Most of the book elicitied an occasional guffaw from me. I don’t know if I expected the entire book to be laugh-out-loud, side-splittingly funny, but some of the essays were sad. I often wanted Sedaris to get his act together, finding some accounts painful and a little too revealing. I guess I expected Sedaris’ success to mean that his life was somehow “together” even though I should know better.
The part I enjoyed the most was Sedaris’ time in France. I cried with laughter at his experiences trying to learn French and how he and his fellow students tried to explain Easter–in pidgen French– to a Muslim classmate. Deep, can’t breathe, not nearly as funny to anyone else as it was to me kind of sobs.
Sedaris, you may not be a native Southerner, and your family may have tried to keep you from becoming one, but to me, you are an honorary one. You are too eccentric not to be.