David Raymond Sedaris, born in Binghamton, New York on December 26, 1956, is an American humorist. He was raised in Raleigh, North Carolina with his sister Amy Sedaris, a comedic actress and writer. They were raised Greek Orthodox members of a six sibling brood, years that Sedaris references back to constantly in his works. According to his writings, a lisp led to a love of all “s-less” words and to parents worried about his orientation while he was young. Sedaris has written that this all brought to him an incredible vocabulary. His satirical wit comes from a life filled with his own unique experiences and observations in which only he would find humor.
A declared sufferer of OCD while he was younger, Sedaris has written that smoking helped to cure him of the obsessive behaviors. Many criticize Sedaris on these claims while others wonder if he is only being satirical when making them. The privilege Sedaris has now to write and to get noticed did come easily. In 1977, he left both Kent State University and Duke University without a degree but finally earned one in 1987 from the Art Institute of Chicago.
His path to writing fame was a slow one as he had to take on jobs such as house cleaning to support himself. But his hilarious, thoughtful autobiographical works would soon become acclaimed. They were mostly written accounts early on about his teenage and young adult years where he experimented with drugs. Then he began to explore his family ties and his own homosexuality in his material. He has often contributed his short works to The New Yorker and Esquire magazine as well as delivered them on a radio show entitled “This American Life”, a Public Radio International distribution.
He has gained an international audience for his top selling books and collections of stories such as Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, Me Talk Pretty One Day and Naked. He was even nominated for a Grammy for the category “Best Spoken Word Album for Dress Your Family in Corduroy & Denim. He has done gained mainstream attention in the states by doing shows like “The David Letterman Show”. And he was the editor for the book Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules: An Anthology of Outstanding Stories.
He and his sister Amy Sedaris are an explosively funny collaborative team. They write under the moniker “The Talent Family”. Many of their works were produced in New York City at The Drama Department and at the Lincoln Center. Brother and sister have created plays like The Book of Liz, Stump the Host as well as One Woman Shoe, an Obie Award-winning play.
David Sedaris has also won several awards on his solo material. He was nominated for Grammy Awards in the categories of Best Comedy Album for David Sedaris: Live at Carnegie Hall. Along with that distinction he received the Thurber Prize for American Humor and was only the third writer to do so. Time magazine in 2001 had even honored him with the title of Humorist of the Year.
Presently, Sedaris resides in France with his partner Hugh Hamrick. However, Sedaris makes several tours throughout the United States on promotional book tours often. For 2008, Sedaris is panning to release a book titled Indefinite Leave to Remain.