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David Sedaris

David Sedaris

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Also Known As: David Raymond Sedaris Died:
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David Sedaris has taken on many roles throughout his career. He's an award-winning humorist, accomplished playwright, a beloved radio performer; but if you asked him what artistic endeavor he most identifies with, Sedaris would tell you he's first and foremost a writer. Beginning with his first essay collection in 1994, Barrel Fever, Sedaris has earned critical praise, as well as legions of fans, for his revealing, at times darkly humorous, personal essays. He has released numerous books of personal essays â¿¿ six of which have become bestsellers on the New York Times list â¿¿ as well as a 2010 collection of animal-themed short stories, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk. In addition to his writing, Sedaris is also a frequent contributor to NPR's weekly radio program "This American Life," as well as an in-demand figure on the public-speaking circuit, having read his personal essays to countless sold-out auditoriums. In 2013, the feature comedy "C.O.G." ("Child of God"), which was inspired by an essay from Sedaris's 1997 collection, Naked, appeared in theaters. Although previous attempts to adapt his work had been made in the past, the film was the first big-screen adaptation of a Sedaris story. Born in New York...

David Sedaris has taken on many roles throughout his career. He's an award-winning humorist, accomplished playwright, a beloved radio performer; but if you asked him what artistic endeavor he most identifies with, Sedaris would tell you he's first and foremost a writer. Beginning with his first essay collection in 1994, Barrel Fever, Sedaris has earned critical praise, as well as legions of fans, for his revealing, at times darkly humorous, personal essays. He has released numerous books of personal essays â¿¿ six of which have become bestsellers on the New York Times list â¿¿ as well as a 2010 collection of animal-themed short stories, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk. In addition to his writing, Sedaris is also a frequent contributor to NPR's weekly radio program "This American Life," as well as an in-demand figure on the public-speaking circuit, having read his personal essays to countless sold-out auditoriums. In 2013, the feature comedy "C.O.G." ("Child of God"), which was inspired by an essay from Sedaris's 1997 collection, Naked, appeared in theaters. Although previous attempts to adapt his work had been made in the past, the film was the first big-screen adaptation of a Sedaris story.

Born in New York State and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina, David Sedaris had a somewhat difficult upbringing. Growing up knowing that he was different, Sedaris struggled to tell his parents that he was gay. After learning of his homosexuality, Sedaris's father kicked him out of the house when he was in his early 20s, an event that Sedaris chronicles rather seriously in his 2004 essay "Hejira." After brief stints at Western Carolina University and Kent State University in Ohio, Sedaris moved to Chicago in 1983 to attend art school. He graduated in 1987, and embarked on a series of odd jobs, while never really staying put at one for longer than a few months. Then in the early '90s, Sedaris was discovered by radio host Ira Glass while reading entries from his diary at an open mic night in Chicago. Glass was impressed by Sedaris's ability to draw humor out of the mundane, and put him on his weekly radio program, "The Wild Room." Audiences immediately fell in love with Sedaris's hilarious personal tales, and were particularly enamored by the turtle-like Southern drawl he still maintained from his days growing up in North Carolina. The singular event that would change his career, however, came in 1992, when he read a comical piece about his time spent working as a Christmas elf at Macy's in New York City on NPR's "Morning Edition." The essay, entitled "SantaLand Diaries," received an overwhelmingly positive response from listeners, thus catapulting Sedaris to overnight-celebrity status.

The unexpected success of the "SantaLand Diaries" broadcast earned Sedaris a two-book deal, the first of which, Barrel Fever, received rave reviews upon its release in 1994. Sedaris wrote tirelessly throughout the remainder of the decade, with his essays appearing in Esquire and The New Yorker, while his subsequent books, Naked, Holidays on Ice and Me Talk Pretty One Day, all became instant New York Times bestsellers. It was also during this period that Sedaris began writing plays with his sister Amy, who was famous in her own right as one of the stars of Comedy Central's darkly surreal "Strangers with Candy" (1999-2000). The 2000s saw Sedaris publish two more essay collections, 2004's Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim and 2008's When You Are Engulfed in Flames, as well as a book of wryly humorous short stories, 2010's Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk. Although his personal stories were assumed to be largely autobiographical, The New Republic questioned the factual accuracy of Sedaris's body of work in 2007. Although readers mostly assumed that certain aspects of his work was embellished for comedic effect, the ensuing controversy caused Sedaris to add a disclaimer at the beginning of When You Are Engulfed in Flames, in which he referred to the stories as "realish." 2013 proved to be a banner year for Sedaris, with his seventh book of essay, Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls reaching the top spot of the New York Times Bestseller List, as well as the release of the first film adaptation of one of his work-related short stories, "C.O.G.," starring Jonathan Groff and Denis O'Hare.

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1992:
Became a national star after reading "SantaLand Diaries" on NPR's "Morning Edition"
1994:
Release of his first book of personal essays, <i>Barrel Fever<i>
2008:
Received an honorary doctorate from Binghamton University
2008:
Wrote the New York Times bestseller, <i>When You Are Engulfed in Flames<i>
2013:
Film adaptation of his personal essay, "C.O.G.," released in theaters
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Education

Kent State University: -
Art Institute of Chicago: - 1983 - 1987

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