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David Sedaris and the Joy of Book Tours

David Sedaris at WBUR studios in June 2008.

Bestselling memoirist David Sedaris recently spoke to the San Francisco Chronicle about his penchant for telling stories with a dark twist and the enjoyment he gets out of interacting with his fans while on a book tour. When asked about touring, he says, “To me that’s my reward for the solitude of writing – you get to be in front of that audience, and you get to read it out loud.” Sedaris is well known for his patience at book signings, conscientiously trying to talk to everyone in line, to the point of spending hours in one location.

“The longest I’ve ever signed books is 10 1/2 hours. I think it was in Louisville, Ky. A woman asked me to sign her book and write, ‘Explore your inner possibilities.’ I said, ‘You know, this is not something I would really say, but I will write something with the word ‘explore’ in it.’ So I wrote, ‘Let’s explore diabetes with owls.’ That’s what I wanted to name Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk. And the publisher said, ‘Please don’t put the word ‘diabetes’ in your book title.’”

The author is also know for handing out the odd party favor at signings, most memorable among the handouts are the condoms he gave out to young people a couple of years ago. Sedaris had to lug several cases of the prophylactics from city to city in his suitcase. “I kind of like the person that my suitcase said I was. But I’m far from that,” he admits

Sedaris’ latest book Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk is now available in paperback.

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