Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977–2002)

Little, Brown. May 2017. 560p. ISBN 9780316154727. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780316308519. HUMOR
For decades, Sedaris has engaged readers with artfully constructed essays of his and his family's experiences. His diaries have served as source material for those pieces, and this collection of selected diary entries provides new stories, vulgar jokes, and social commentary that have not previously appeared in his writing. While his essays are crafted to present a particular persona and possess a wry tone, reading the same situation in the diaries fills in the edges and makes Sedaris (and his family) more fully rounded people as we see the trajectory of their lives unfold over time. Of particular interest are details of his collaborations with his sister Amy. Here Sedaris is still a keen observer of the world, but he's also a man who must get to work, navigate sexual relationships, and consider the price of chicken.
VERDICT For Sedaris fans, this is a primary source not to miss, but even the more casual reader will be drawn in, as the author comes into his own as a writer and a person.
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