David Sedaris is a genius

Satirist David Sedaris skewers himself again in latest collection

Despite attempts to savour each crazy morsel, I gulped down the latest David Sedaris essay collection, When You Are Engulfed in Flames. I didn't love it as passionately as Me Talk Pretty One Day, but that was my first contact with Sedaris, who I stumbled onto at a Gisborne bookshop quite by accident when I was not expecting anything better than the latest Jane Green (she really bugs me but sometimes needs must) and it holds a special place in my affections.

Engulfed is Sedaris' typical wacked-out assortment of family tales, French adventures, and distressingly awkward situations. Standouts are Solution to Saturday's Puzzle, about his absurd battle with a woman on a plane (he accidentally spit out his cough lozenge on her lap), In the Waiting Room, in which a miscommunication at a French clinic sends Sedaris into a patients' lounge sans pants, and Keeping Up, a sweet love note for his partner.

For a sneak peek, read this New Yorker pieceby Sedaris that became the story Crybaby.

P.S. His sister, Amy Sedaris, is also a sick genius.