David Sedaris on a Career-Spanning Collection

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This week on the podcast, we gladly give the majority of the episode to David Sedaris, who discusses life and creativity during this very unusual year, his recent collection, “The Best of Me,” and the beginnings of his career as an essayist.

“I started off by writing fiction. It never occurred to me to write about my life until I started on the radio, on NPR,” he says. “I was just writing fiction and it was all sort of — character studies would be a good word. I like to write about characters who are deluded. We all have a blind spot, and I’m fascinated by that. You meet somebody and they seem so together, and then you realize, ‘Wow, they have no idea how they come across to other people.’ Or, ‘They have no idea how cheap they are.’ And so, I have a blind spot, too. But it’s a blind spot, so I don’t know what it is.”

Also on this week’s episode, Alexandra Alter has news from the publishing world; and Jennifer Szalai and Dwight Garner talk about what they’ve recently written. Pamela Paul is the host.

Here are the books discussed by the Times’s critics this week:

“A Promised Land” by Barack Obama

“Garner’s Quotations” by Dwight Garner

We would love to hear your thoughts about this episode, and about the Book Review’s podcast in general. You can send them to [email protected].

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