American humorist and essayist David Sedaris delivers delightfully witty commentaries on the queries of life and his experience as a student, patient, artist, teacher, and writer in his collection of essays “Me Talk Pretty One Day.”
The first half of the book, “One,” focuses on Sedaris’ childhood and finding direction in his life while the second half, “Deux,” covers his move to Normandy, France, with his partner Hugh and the often comedic struggles of a person just beginning to learn French.
Among the most memorable essays are those in which Sedaris recounts his experience going through elementary school while seeing a speech therapist for his lisp, his father’s various interests for the family of which he gets thrown into, his efforts to establish himself as an artist while sustained by meth, his job as a teacher conducting writing workshops, and his experience with his harsh French teacher and the fellow students in his class.
Throughout his experiences he makes meaningful and, at the same time, satirical commentary on familiar struggles like being teased in school for a speech impediment, drug addiction, and coming out of the closet.
Sedaris’ essays remind me of my own struggles of being pushed into doing something I’m not interested in while trying to find something I am. College is a great place for doing just that, but sometimes we can get caught up in the vastness of it all and find ourselves struggling for a foothold. “Me Talk Pretty One Day” shows us the importance of finding a passion and following it no matter what others think.
With an incredible insight into human nature and satirical understanding of life, Sedaris teaches his readers that people are only human and we can make it through the day no matter what. There are plenty of things that will get us down, but there is no need to take everything so seriously. He shows us that sometimes people are just people with all our quirks and flaws, but that’s OK because that’s how it should be. We aren’t meant to be perfect.
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