May 20, 2010

Nonrequired Reading: 016: Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim

The following is taken from my new favorite Sedaris collection of essays. For me, these essays were weightier than other works, both in humor and redemption.

"She'll turn on him sooner or later," my father says. "Just you wait. In a couple of years Madelyn won't want anything to do with him."

I look into the future and see my brother's face, impossibly middle-aged. His daughter has rejected all of his values, and stands now on the dais of a major university, the valedictorian preparing to deliver her commencement speech. What will she think when her dad stands in the aisle, releasing a hog call and raising his t-shirt to reveal the jiggling message painted upon his bare stomach? Will she turn away, as my father prediects, or might she remember all the nights she awoke to discover him: this slob, this lump, this silly drooling toy asleep at her feet.

David Sedaris, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, 244-45


Amanda said...

I just finished When You Are Engulfed in Flames for the third time. My favorite thing about Sedaris is I can read him over and over again without it getting old.

Just last night I came to the annoying realization that all of my other Sedaris books were loaned out with little chance of ever making their way back.

Sarah said...

Looking forward to reading these! I actually might have to move this up a few notches on the "to read" list.

Josh Jackson said...

Whoa, three times! There are lots of free Sedaris books on Maybe you can get some of those back? :) Have you ever read any David Foster Wallace essays? I'm not into all of his work, but I would highly recommend his collection called "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again" - especially the essay in the book with the same title.

Sarah - You've already read some Sedaris, right? This one is my favorite! :)

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