A Carnival of Snackery: Diaries (2003–2020)

Little, Brown. Oct. 2021. 576p. ISBN 9780316558792. $32. HUMOR
Sedaris’s second collection of diary entries are more cosmopolitan and assured than his first collection, Theft by Finding, which covered 1977–2002. In spite of Sedaris’s new financial security and his homes in Europe and the United States, the core of his personality and insecurity—which draws so many to his writing—remains. Sedaris is curious about the world, particularly its tawdry or ugly sides, and constantly aware of his role and complicity in that ugliness. His style of engagement means finding humor in nearly everything, often in ways that may elicit discomfort, though he is serious when it comes to tragedies such as mass shootings. For this reason, some will see his book as unsalvageable. Yet selected and edited as it is, his work is about radical vulnerability and reflects a universal experience of contending with one’s internal life. “Who am I, how did I get to be this way, and what is wrong with me?” is a question Sedaris asks, and one worth asking.
VERDICT Entertaining reading in itself, with references to some of the books he published in this era; a must-read for Sedaris’s many fans.
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