David Sedaris, Calypso (Center City, MN: Hazelden), 2010.
David Sedaris makes me laugh. His cleverly written essays tell the story of his life, which seems a bit disordered and chaotic. When he describes his addiction to a device that counts his steps, I realize that the only way that one could devote that many hours to walking is if one also is able to write engaging essays about the experience. It sometimes seems as if his writing must be effortless and quick because of the number of hours he spends traveling, working out family relationships and pursuing his interests. The truth, I suspect, is otherwise. His personal essays are spot on and carefully crafted.
Calypso focuses on a home in North Carolina that David purchased to be a gathering place for his family. Remembering family summers on the outer banks from his childhood, he purchased the home as a way of reconnecting with his family. Sedaris somehow succeeds in making his essays on vacations at the home into reflections on middle age and mortality and so much more. Still he makes me laugh and I read him for his deep sense of humor. Perhaps I even connect with him in such a way that I am laughing not only at his writing, but at my own foibles as I grow older.