REVIEW: David Sedaris at the Winspear

David-Sedaris-laughing-CREDIT-Anne-FishbeinWhenever people tell me I have a great job because “you get paid for watching movies,” I always correct them — I don’t get paid for watching anything; I get paid for writing about it afterwards.

Now, wanna talk about great jobs, you’re talkin’ David Sedaris. Here’s a guy who turns his daily life into a career. He writes pieces for erudite magazines like the New Yorker, anthologizes them, then gets paid for standing in front of 2,000 adoring fans reading them aloud. Sometimes he doesn’t even have to publish them: At last night’s appearance at the Winspear as part of the DMA’s Arts & Letters Live series, Sedaris spent 20 minutes reading from his diary. Now that’s a plum job.

Of course, it helps that Sedaris’ diary entries are more cogent, funny and insightful than most anything else you’d read in edited periodicals. His style is starchy and prim, but his subject matter rangy — he can recount shopping in an antique store with the same high-mindedness of portraying a Santaland elf at Macy’s. Yes, the reading part is easy; it’s the genius it took to get there that’s hard to come by.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Slender read

Our critic looks at the best in gay li

Freeman Hall
Freeman Hall

The holidays are a good time to curl up with a book — or get one for the hard-to-shop-for literati in your life. Here are my suggestions for the best of the last year or so for the queer audience.

Best novel with a twist, 2010: Room by Emma Donoghue. You’ve undoubtedly heard a lot about this book — all of it true. Room is a bit of a challenge at the outset, but the plotline will grab you, especially if you let your own imagination run wild. What would you do if you’d never seen the world from anywhere but TV?

Best novel with a twist, ever: Five Minutes and 42 Seconds by T.J. Williams. There are drugs in the house, and you’ve got to get rid of them. The feds know about the drugs and they’re on their way. I added this oldie-but-a-goodie because it’s quick to read, it’s action-packed, it’s wildly fun and because it’s my list, right?

Best slam-bang didn’t-see-it-coming novel ever: So You Call Yourself a Man by Carl Weber. I wish I could tell you why. I’d love to give you reasons, and you’d understand why I screamed and laughed like I needed a straitjacket. But if I told you, then you’d see it coming, wouldn’t you?

Best humorist: Freeman Hall. As if Retail Hell wasn’t enough to make you laugh ‘til you peed your pants, along comes Stuff That Makes a Gay Heart Weep. Hall’s books are the kind you read when you’re tired of wallowing in pity and need a snarky snicker.

E. Lynn Harris
E. Lynn Harris

Close runner-up: Wade Rouse.

Author who will be missed most: E. Lynn Harris. Hands-down.

Novel that camps like Yosemite: Divas Las Vegas by Rob Rosen. Fun, silly, rompish and vintage Vegas, this mystery-ish novel about two friends in Sin City needs to be read in a tent by flashlight while eating s’mores.

Best book to share with mom: Where’s My Wand? by Eric Poole. A coming-of-age story with a bedspread, this book is cute, gentle and funny. My own mother loved it, and if you can’t believe a mom, who can you believe?

Close runner up, and sharable with your sister, too: Rhinestone Sisterhood by David Valdes Greenwood.

Happy reading!

— Terri Schlichenmeyer

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 24, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens

Letters • 07.09.10

Label Schlein ‘Guest humorist’

The next time you publish a column by Dallas’ own Log Cabin Republican it should read Rob Schlein/Guest Humorist.

I laughed out loud when he said he found the term “Tea Bagger” as offensive as the term “Faggot.” Surely this man cannot be serious, and if he is, all the more reason to pull the Democratic lever this November!

Michael Hallock
Dallas


Even a dog knows abuse

I usually let things I read in the paper go by without a comment, but this is one I just couldn’t let go.

I think denial is a river in Egypt. How many times does the person you feel you have the most in common with, and love dearly have to hit you up side the head and say that you are disgusting before you realize that you are in a bad relationship?

Do you continue in the relationship with the idea that if I stay in this relationship, I’m going to change this individual, because I love them, only to get hit again? Even a dog will eventually come to see when it has been abused: And dogs are loyal to a fault.

It seems to my weak imagination that the Log Cabin Republicans are in this type relationship with the Texas Republican party, especially. How many ways and how many times does this party have to show them you are not welcome before they realize that changing it from the inside is impossible?

It is like going as a guest of someone invited to a party and the host, emphatically telling saying, “You are not welcome here.” Would you stick around because you thought it would hurt the feelings of the person who invited you if you left?

How many ways does the Texas Republican party have to say that gay people are not wanted? Because I believe in the principles of smaller government, low taxes etc. etc. should not make me the target of abuse.

I am not fool enough to associate with people who don’t want me. At every step of the way, the Texas Republican Party has shown great contempt for gays, for blacks, for Latinos, and anybody that is not rich.

Joe Bennett
Dallas


Thanks from YFT Collin County

Thank you to [the Voice] and our wonderful community. We now have a VERY discounted storage space and the donated use of a truck to move our stuff.

Now we just need a permanent home. Wouldn’t it be great if we could purchase something in Collin County?

We have lots of handywomen (& men) who could turn it into something the whole community could use in addition to the Youth, i.e., coffee nights, movies, fundraisers, meetings, etc.

Jeanne Rubin
Frisco
Youth First Texas Collin County

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TO SEND A LETTER  | We welcome letters from readers. Shorter letters and those addressing a single issue are more likely to be printed. Letters are subject to editing for length and clarity, but we attempt to maintain the writer’s substance and tone. Include  your home address and a daytime telephone number for verification. Send letters to the senior editor, preferably by e-mail (nash@dallasvoice.com). Letters also may be faxed (214-969-7271) or sent via the U.S. Postal Service (Dallas Voice, 4145 Travis St., Third Floor, Dallas TX 75204). All letters become the property of Dallas Voice.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 9, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens