Home Arts & Entertainment Bestselling Author David Sedaris Visits Schuler Books

Bestselling Author David Sedaris Visits Schuler Books


By Brandon Smith

As part of a book tour celebrating the release of “Happy-Go-Lucky,” bestselling author David Sedaris visited the 28th St. Schuler Books on June 10 to talk about his latest release, followed by a meet and greet where he signed copies and spoke to a number of excited attendees. He was accompanied by Cindy House, promoting her debut book of essays entitled “Mother Noise.”

Registration for the event was available on the Schuler Books website. Seating was limited, and anyone who missed their chance to register for a spot was left standing in the back area until a few minutes into the presentation when Schuler Books employees allowed them to take any empty seats they could find.

Sedaris is an essayist and humorist whose essays have been published in magazines and on Amazon Original Stories. His work has also been featured in The New Yorker and BBC Radio 4. “Happy-Go-Lucky” includes 18 essays tackling topics such as seeing his father on his deathbed, learning to shoot a gun in today’s world of school shootings, trying to give money to the neediest poor person he can find, and life during the COVID pandemic.

Reading “Happy-Go-Lucky” is like watching a standup comedian introduce a relatable situation, deconstruct it in the funniest way possible, and then unexpectedly smack the reader in the emotions with a bowling pin. To enhance the experience, Sedaris is also the narrator in the audiobook version, available wherever audiobooks are sold.

While the presentation was scheduled for 2 p.m. and the signing afterward was scheduled for 4 p.m, Sedaris and House did a pre-signing for a handful of fans lucky enough to grab a spot in line prior to the presentation.

The Collegiate Staff | The Collegiate Live

The presentation opened with Sedaris introducing House, who read “Gifted,” a story from her book about her son’s hyperfixation on ceiling fans. She touched on the subject of autism and how a child’s mind works.

Following House’s story, Sedaris took the podium to share an experience he had speaking at a commencement for Columbia University’s 2023 graduation. In his speech, he talked about the dangers of putting a timer on one’s success, explaining that out of all the people who get degrees in writing, very few get published straight out of school.

Sedaris said that a friend had told him that at 37 years old, writing was never going to happen for him. He said that he was glad he didn’t take her “shitty advice.”

“If it can happen for me, it can happen for any of you,” Sedaris said, explaining that writing was about persistence.

Sedaris finished his story by saying that when his speech was over, the Columbia University dean thanked him by gifting him a school-branded tote bag, which nearly prompted Sedaris to go back on stage and tell everyone that none of them were going to make it.

Following Sedaris, House again took the podium to share another story called “Vodka Vodka Vodka,” which was inspired by her 4-year-old son and word association. She spoke of her private sessions with her therapist. One experience that House reflected on was when her therapist told her that she “didn’t need to feel like she needed to entertain her.”

To finish, Sedaris again took the podium to talk about modern art and how much he hated his experience seeing “this shiny lima bean,” actually Chicago’s “Cloud Gate,” otherwise known as “The Bean.”

Sedaris and House closed with a Q&A with members of the audience. One notable question focused on how they decide what to write about and what to keep private in a collection of such personal essays.

House simply answered, “Lawyers.”

Sedaris agreed and said that he tried not to shy away from writing about unsavory topics. Sedaris said, “The worst things you can say, people can relate to.”

After the Q&A concluded, Sedaris and House returned to the signing table. Staff announced that House had a plane to catch and offered a priority spot in line for anyone who wanted her to sign their book before she had to leave, but Sedaris had offered to stay as long as it took to meet everybody.

The Collegiate got an opportunity to speak to Sedaris and House about advice for anyone interested in someday being published or becoming a writer. Sedaris said the most important thing was to “Just write. Everyday.” Likewise, House advised reading as much as possible.

In any case, their books feature unique perspectives on surprisingly relatable lives. The two writers have a way of taking some of the saddest or most infuriating parts of life and making their audience laugh at it. Even if you missed the book signing, “Happy-Go-Lucky” and “Mother Noise” are for sale at Schuler Books. Future events with visiting authors are also available for registration at all Schuler Books locations.

Previous articleGRCC Board of Trustees gives President Lepper glowing review, approves $120.6 million budget for 2023-24 fiscal year
Next articleThe Chop it Up Podcast Episode 4 – GR Pride and biggest NBA Draft steals and busts