Thursday, December 19, 2013

Santa Land Diaries........On Ice

"Here I was a 33 year old man applying for a job as an Elf."  -David Sedaris

Santa Land Diaries by David Sedaris is his retelling of one of his more unusual jobs before he became a published writer.  I think this was an excerpt in a magazine and my first introduction to him which got me hooked on his witty observations of life.

When I really get into a writer I will check out all of their books so as to get "into their head".  I did this with Sedaris and found him to be highly entertaining and even educational....(of course some of the things I learned I would have preferred not to know!)

What I like most about David Sedaris is he can take any life experience and remind the reader of the humor (and humanity) of what seems at first glance otherwise ordinary.

I haven't yet read his most recent book but have all of the others.  All of his stories are not real and you are left to guess which ones are, which to me is part of the fun of the journey of his works.  Did he hitchhike across the country? Live in a nudist colony? Work as a house painter for a year with an ex con? Have a daughter whose wisdom teeth he tried to remove on his own? Some of these are true...but by the way he writes them it is hard to tell which ones aren't.

He also has the rare ability to write so well in the first person of a fictional character that you forget it is a fictional character. For example the suburban wife writing her annual family holiday newsletter and informing everyone of her husband's adult  illegitimate son from a previous relationship they just discovered and how they are all welcoming him into the family, (meanwhile resentment oozing out of every other sentence just under the surface of forced cheerfulness).

Looking forward to whatever he comes up with next...

David Sedaris...........Photo
Books by David Sedaris

"I started writing when I was 20 and my first book came out 17 years later."  - David Sedaris

Holidays On Ice...Six Christmas stories....none typical

Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls..."Hilarious, elegant, and suprisingly moving'....Washington Post

Me Talk Pretty One Day.....this best seller contains a collection of his best work

When you are Engulfed in Flames....contains of his best stories ever, his attempt to quit smoking while on a trip to Tokyo

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk....A Modest Bestiary ...(note from blogger, my sister Julie would like this book as she sometimes sends me emails as if she were her cat).

Naked....Fact or fiction? Yes and no.

Santa Land Diaries....Worked as a Macy's Elf in NYC and lived to tell about it

Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim...Like talking to a friend about your childhoods and realizing you all went through the same weird and wonderful journey

Barrel Fever....Clever, fresh and high energy

Children playing before a Statue of Hercules.....a book of short stories David Sedaris loves most by some of his favorite writers...Of this book he says "the authors in this book are huge to me and I am a comparative midget, scratching around in their collective shadow".....(I did not know about this book so I just now downloaded it on my Kindle).


The Santa Land Diaries and Seasons Greetings

All of the above are also available on audio.

 "I like to reserve the right to write about anything I like."   -David Sedaris

Links to sources:


  1. You should check out is work on This American Life Podcast.