Wednesday, June 10, 2009

David Sedaris in Duluth

Hi Everyone...this is Jim's wife, Voula, posting something of interest today on Jim's blog.

As many of you know, David Sedaris came to town on Monday night. He did a book signing at Northern Lights Books at Canal Park. To read all about the event in yesterday's Duluth News Tribune, CLICK HERE. Northern lights is an Indie book store, smallish and wonderful. BTW...they sell Jim's book, Cooler Near the Lake there too :-)

Why did David Sedaris want to do his book promotion here in Duluth and at this small, independent Bookstore? Anita Zager, Northern Lights owner, and her crew didn't know why either. It turns out Sedaris is making a big national tour, going to middle sized towns and hitting only Independent Bookstores to give them the spotlight. Anita and her staff were kept busy trying to figure out how to handle all of this and they did a great job. The deal was that you had to purchase a David Sedaris book at their book store first. Then, beginning on June 1, you had to come in and show your receipt and get a ticket with a number to get in line for the signing on Monday evening. The bookstore was too small to accommodate everyone who wanted to come so they devised a fun event out in the parking lot with music and festivities and an outside loud speaker piping his in-store readings before the signings took place. They planned to call in groups by number as the store could only handle so many readers. Sedaris planned to stay "as long as it takes" to sign everyone's books and I understand he went 'till all hours.

I came to Northern Lights on June 2nd with my book receipt and got number 163. Jim and I both love Sedaris' crazy humor and writings and we were to meet friends in the parking lot and take in the scene before I could get in to have my book signed by Sedaris. Well... the weather was really dour... downpours all day. We decided to dump our plans, with regret. I didn't know they'd have buses to house the crowds (a creative last minute idea) and I couldn't envision standing in the rain. The true believers came anyway and it sounded like a fun event and I missed it, darn!

Sedaris has the same background as our children, half Greek. He mentions his Greek father and the Greek culture in his books often. I'm 100 percent Greek and get a real kick out of that...and so do our children who enjoy his books and writings as well. The book I'm reading now is Me Talk Pretty One Day. Sedaris refers to his childhood speech issues and his run in with speech therapy in school. Having worked in schools and special education as a school social worker, I giggled throughout that section. Sedaris takes a unique spin on everything in life and speech therapy through his eyes proved hilarious. He's just a funny, zany guy. Pretty outrageous too... and it all works. Hooray for David Sedaris for coming to Duluth, supporting the independent booksellers and giving his local fans a thrill!

Just some more lore about the local hype... The day I got my ticket at Northern Lights, I brought into the store a full page ad in the NY Times of Sedaris' tour and the mention of Duluth. Jim spotted it and the crew at the bookstore had not seen it. It was exciting for all of us to see that ad and the mention of Duluth.

Christa Lawler of the Duluth New Tribune covered the event and additionally wrote a piece in her blog on Area Voices on the Duluth News Tribune web site. Check it out to get more of the flavor of a night in Duluth with David Sedaris.

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