David Sedaris Reads You a Story By Miranda July

Thanks to his fre­quent appear­ances on radio’s This Amer­i­can Life, David Sedaris pos­sess­es one of the most rec­og­niz­able author voic­es in the world. Simul­ta­ne­ous­ly light and insin­u­at­ing, it has come to seem as much a part of his oeu­vre as the San­ta­land Diaries and his anec­dotes about his par­ents, sib­lings and boyfriend. His arch spin on var­i­ous region­al and gen­er­a­tional phras­es is noth­ing if not instant­ly rec­og­niz­able.

What a plea­sure, then, to hear the sin­cer­i­ty with which he deploys this instru­ment in ser­vice of a fel­low author’s work. Invit­ed to choose a sto­ry to read aloud for the New York­er’s fic­tion pod­cast, Sedaris went with “Roy Spivey” by Miran­da July, anoth­er writer who could nev­er be accused of hid­ing behind her work. One sus­pects there are ele­ments of auto­bi­og­ra­phy with­in this tale, though don’t dri­ve your­self nuts try­ing to fig­ure out the iden­ti­ty of the male movie star seat­ed next to the main char­ac­ter. Just enjoy the non-wink­ing gen­eros­i­ty with which Sedaris embod­ies July’s female nar­ra­tor, even when called upon to get her through a bath­room scene that — in spir­it, any­way — recalls one of his most cel­e­brat­ed, non­fic­tion­al fol­lies.

(Speak­ing of which, stay tuned for the post-sto­ry inter­view for the sort of admis­sion Sedaris fans have come to crave.)

For more lit­er­ary read­ings, see our pre­vi­ous post: The New Yorker’s Fic­tion Pod­cast: Where Great Writ­ers Read Sto­ries by Great Writ­ers.

- Ayun Hal­l­i­day’s region­al accent does noth­ing for her book sales.

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