Be His Guest: David Sedaris at Home in Rural West Sussex, England

Note:  Watch the entire 25-minute inter­view here. There’s a brief intro­duc­tion in Dutch, after which the con­ver­sa­tion switch­es to Eng­lish.

Dutch TV jour­nal­ist Wim Brands looks a bit dour to be inhab­it­ing the role of World’s Luck­i­est Man, but that’s sure­ly how bazil­lions of David Sedaris fans will view him, wish­ing they too had been invit­ed to cozy up to their favorite author’s kitchen table. Par­tic­u­lar­ly since that table is sit­u­at­ed in the rus­tic, six­teenth-cen­tu­ry West Sus­sex house that pro­vid­ed the set­ting for “Com­pa­ny Man”, one of his more delight­ful New York­er sto­ries of late.

Sedaris has made a for­tune pass­ing him­self off as a self-involved fuss-pot, but in this episode of Boeken op Reis (Dutch for “Books on Tour”) he’s the per­fect host.

He sup­plies thought­ful respons­es to Brands’ unsmil­ing ques­tions and affa­bly points out the home­’s notable fea­tures, includ­ing off-kil­ter door­ways and a taxi­der­mied lap­dog (“We call him Casey because he’s in a case.”)

He brings a plas­tic bag on a stroll through the sur­round­ing coun­try­side in order to col­lect lit­ter  — an endear­ing rou­tine, even if it’s a scoop Brands must share with the BBC’s Clare Bald­ing.

Best of all, he oblig­es his guest with a cou­ple of live read­ings, the first from the afore­men­tioned  New York­er piece, the oth­er hav­ing to do with his youngest sis­ter’s sui­cide this sum­mer.

“I always fig­ure that what­ev­er most embar­rass­es you is some­thing that every­one can relate to,” he mus­es, effec­tive­ly sum­ming up the secret of his suc­cess. If you ever feel like Sedaris is over­do­ing the craven com­plain­er bit, this vis­it will set the record straight.

Watch the entire inter­view here. Non-Dutch speak­ers, please be advised that the seg­ment switch­es to Eng­lish once Brands sets the scene for his intend­ed audi­ence.

-Tip of the hat to Michael Ahn for the idea.

Ayun Hal­l­i­day’s teenage daugh­ter wrote David Sedaris a fan let­ter and David Sedaris sent a hand­writ­ten reply on a post­card. Classy!  Fol­low her @AyunHalliday

Relat­ed Con­tent:

David Sedaris Reads You a Sto­ry By Miran­da July

David Sedaris and Ian Fal­con­er Intro­duce “Squir­rel Seeks Chip­munk”

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