I think I’ve decided that I like Sedaris’ non-fiction essays better than his fiction essays. I found myself skipping through the pieces where, for instance, he was writing as a right-wing woman, etc. His life is just so interesting – or he MAKES it interesting through his writing – that I want to read more of that, not that other stuff.
The title of this book is clever, but I don’t recall any essays on the topic of diabetes. There was definitely one on owls. Not diabetic owls, though – stuffed, taxidermied owls. Actually, “Understanding Understanding Owls” was probably my favorite essay in the book. Sedaris visited a taxidermist to get his partner, Hugh, a gift for Valentine’s day. And what says “I love you” more than a stuffed owl? But the taxidermist shows him some of his other treasures, including a severed arm, a skull of a pygmy, etc. Sedaris is dumbfounded that there are people he’s known all his life who wouldn’t guess in a million years that he would be the kind of person who would want to touch a taxidermied severed arm, but the taxidermist pegs him right away.
Sedaris is masterful at taking the mundane and the bizarre and writing about it in a humorous fashion, often tying events from his childhood into occurrences in his adulthood. All told, it makes for a very entertaining read. I’m definitely a David Sedaris fan.