Me Talk Pretty One Day contains far more than just
the funniest collection of autobiographical essays, it registers as a manifesto
about language itself. Wherever there’s a straight line, you can be sure
Sedaris lurks beneath the text, making it jagged with laughter. And just where
the fault lines fall, he sits mischievously perched at the epicenter of it all.
No medium available to mankind is spared his cultural
vision, no family member (even the dynasties of family pets) is forgotten in
these pages of sardonic memories of Sedaris’ numerous incarnations in North
Carolina, Chicago, New York, and France.
One essay, punctuated by a conspicuous absence of s’s and
plurals, introduces the lisping young fifth-grader David “Thedarith,” who arms
himself with a thesaurus, learns every non-sibilant word in the lexicon, eludes
his wily speech therapy teacher, and amazes his countrified North Carolina teachers
with his out-of-nowhere and man-size vocabulary.
By an ironic twist of fate, readers find present-day Sedaris
in France, where only now, after all these years, he must cling safely to just
plural nouns so as to avoid assigning the wrong genders to French objects. Even
the strictest of grammarians won’t be able to look at the parts of speech in
the same way after exposing themselves to the linguistic phenomena of
What David Sedaris has to say about language classes, his
brother’s gangsta-rap slang, typewriters, computers, audiobooks, movies, and
even restaurant menus is sure to unleash upon the world a mad rash of
pocket-dictionary-toting nouveau grammarians who bow their heads to a new,
inverted word order. Download and start listening now!