When You are Engulfed in Flames
"David Sedaris's ability to transform the mortification of everyday life into wildly entertaining art," (The Christian Science Monitor) is elevated to wilder and more entertaining heights than ever in this remarkable new book.
Trying to make coffee when the water is shut off, David considers using the water in a vase of flowers and his chain of associations takes him from the French countryside to a hilariously uncomfortable memory of buying drugs in a mobile home in rural North Carolina. In essay after essay, Sedaris proceeds from bizarre conundrums of daily life-having a lozenge fall from your mouth into the lap of a fellow passenger on a plane or armoring the windows with LP covers to protect the house from neurotic songbirds-to the most deeply resonant human truths. Culminating in a brilliant account of his venture to Tokyo in order to quit smoking, David Sedaris's sixth essay collection is a new masterpiece of comic writing from "a writer worth treasuring" (Seattle Times).
Praise for When You Are Engulfed in Flames
"Older, wiser, smarter and meaner, Sedaris...defies the odds once again by delivering an intelligent take on the banalities of an absurd life." --Kirkus Reviews
This latest collection proves that not only does Sedaris still have it, but he's also getting better....Sedaris's best stuff will still--after all this time--move, surprise, and entertain." --Booklist
Table of Contents:
This Old House
Buddy, Can You Spare a Tie?
What I Learned
The Monster Mash
In the Waiting Room
Solutions to Saturday's Puzzle
Adult Figures Charging Toward a Concrete Toadstool
All the Beauty You Will Ever Need
Town and Country
The Man in the Hut
Of Mice and Men
April in Paris
The Smoking Section
* A brilliant new collection of stories from the number 1 bestselling writer named by TIME magazine as America's Favorite Humorist
'A virtual Klondike of darkly glittering anecdotes.' Adam Mars-Jones, Observer 'Sedaris' anecdotes play off his sublime talent for turning the absurdly neurotic into the hilariously funny.' GQ 'Howlingly funny, jaw-snappingly honest and endlessly perceptive... Sedaris' wellspring of quirky yet strangely universal comic experiences show no sign of drying up.' Tom Cox, Daily Mail 'The most popular American humorist since Woody Allen... As a prose stylist he is often compared to that other great New Yorker writer James Thurber - dry, mordant, pitch perfect. As a human being, the most obvious comparison is with the comedian Larry David.' Ngel Farndale, Sunday Telegraph It's a cracker. David Sedaris, acid tongued transatlantic humorist, knows his way around an opening line.' Andrew Collins, Word Magazine 'Reading this new collection of memoir-essay-stories by the master US humorist David Sedaris is like being tickled on the ribs by someone you love: you laugh hysterically, feel a mixture if excitement and irritation, and instinctively wiggle away as exhaustions sets in... Everyone of these 22 essays has something unique and extraordinary to offer.'Rebecca Loncraine, Independent 'His writing seems a perfect mirror of a confessional culture that revels in personal revelation - a self dramatising, post Seinfeldian talkshow culture which nothing is too embarrassing or too private or too trivial to recount... These pieces remind the reader of what Sedaris can do at his best.' Michiko Kakutani, Scotland on Sunday
David Sedaris lives in Paris. Raised in North Carolina, he has worked as a housecleaner and most famously, as a part-time elf for Macy's. Several of his plays have been produced, and he is a regular contributor to Esquire and Public Radio International's 'This American Life.'