A Late Night Chat With David Sedaris


The voice on the other end of the line is unmistakable: the nasal nonchalance, the curious-up-to-a-point tone, the pauses-for-effect manner all belong to writer, NPR contributor and commentator on life’s mad quirks, David Sedaris.

It was midnight and his dinner guests just left from the home he shares with “Hugh-my-boyfriend” (seemingly one word) in West Sussex, England, and he was ready for a chat about his upcoming tour, that will take him to the Shubert Theatre in New Haven on Oct. 6, about his relationship with Carol the fox and about his new role as expatriate explainer of Donald Trump.

But first some local color.

“I’m wearing this pair of shorts that I wrote about recently from Paul Harnden. He’s English and he makes these insane clothes. I bought a pair of trousers that he made that come up to my nipples. I’m also wearing a shirt with shells on them that comes down to my knees and over that I’ve got like a denim smock with side pockets. I think I look fantastic.”

Sedaris, author of “The Santaland Diaries” and other collections of oddball essays, has created a cottage industry over 18 years with his popular speaking tours each spring and fall. A new collection of essays is about to be turned in to his publisher, culled from a diary he’s been writing since 1977, featuring tour incidents and encounters and stories fans have shared with him on the road.

“People tell me a lot of things when I’m signing books,” he says. “Like I just met someone a while ago who told me that policemen are really bad spellers and that if they find a body on a boulevard they’ll take it to the curb because its easier to spell ‘curb’ than ‘boulevard.’”