Theft by finding
David Sedaris, Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977-2002 (New York: Little, Brown and Company), 2017.
I guess that it is a sign of success that David Sedaris can go through his old journals, pick out a few entries and edit them into a book that sells well. I bought a copy. I've appreciated Sedaris' sense of humor for some time now and, after reading the Santa Diaries, was attracted to anything that combined Sedaris and Diary. The book does give a fresh perspective on Sedaris. It shows an earlier, less successful, less famous, less confident person. Although his genius and his ability to survive show forth, so do his struggle with various addictions, lack of judgment and inexperience. The result is a slightly more raw and vulnerable picture of a man who already has established a raw and vulnerable presence. I think it is good that I knew that he had achieved a level of happiness, found meaningful relationships and established a career before I read these entries, in which success is far from certain.
Knowing what I know, however, I appreciated Sedaris' courage in pulling together these stories from his past and crafting them into a published and very readable book. It is the kind of thing that inspires me even though there are so few similarities between his life and mine. An open window on his life also gives me the desire to learn more about other complex people who come into my life. Our stories reveal that we are far from simple. And that makes us fascinating. Sedaris certainly is.