Authors David Sedaris and Dorothy Allison each have backgrounds that include many of life’s difficulties and travesties. Once you understand where they came from, you get a sense that their writing styles, act as therapeutic defense mechanisms to overcome their demons. It is in writing these stories that they appear to release these demons, and gain the strength needed, to lead a productive life and cope on a daily basis. While they share many similarities, in many ways, they could not be more different. David Sedaris was born in 1956, and spent part of his formative years living in upstate New York - the homosexual son of a disapproving father. His father was an IBM engineer, and in the early 1960s, his family eventually moved down south to North Carolina. This exposed the fledgling author to the bustle of city life. By his own accounts, his tenure in New York was spent in an exceedingly rural location, which contrasted sharply with his new setting in North Carolina. To complicate matters, Sedaris suffered from a compulsion to lick light switches throughout his adolescence. The good news is, he did eventually grow out of it; unfortunately he then became a crystal meth addict (Preston). David Sedaris always dreamed of growing up to be a famous writer. The unconventional wit and humor (Burroughs) that he displays in his writings more than likely descended, in part, from his unusual career path. In the late 1970s, Sedaris abandoned his studies at Kent State University to take a series of odd jobs, while hitchhiking about the country and began “writing a diary on placemats in diners” (Moredock). This proved to be the perfect way for Sedaris to refine his humorous narrative style while developing commentary about the mundane events of life. As Sedaris’ writings gained in popularity, he eventually relocated to New York City, and his career took off. Sedaris’ writing style has earned him a reputable place amongst the greats of American Literature. He is...
Citations: Burroughs, Augusten. “Book Review Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim”. www.ew.com. 2004. Web. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,643148,00.html
http://www.reviewsofbooks.com/dress_your_family_in_corduroy_and_denim/review/ Moredock, Janet.
“David Sedaris”. Encyclopedia Britannica. 2007. Web. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1089895/David-Sedaris Sedaris, David. “Us and Them”. www.npr.org. 2004. Web.
Dorothy Allison’s website Accessed November 28, 2014. Includes photos & extensive timeline of publications & speaking events, etc.
Dorothy Allison. (2014, November 27). Retrieved from FemBio: http://www.fembio.org/english/biography.php/woman/biography/dorothy-allison/
Wilkinson, Kathleen, “Dorothy Allison: The Value of Redemption.” Curve Magazine, September 7, 2001.
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