For immediate release
Sept. 10, 1998

David Sedaris Returns To Morning Edition

Washington, DC - National Public RadioStarting on October 5, NPR's Morning Edition® will begin an eight-week series by commentator David Sedaris on life in New York City. The series will run each Monday through November 23 at 6:50 a.m. ET (also at 8:50 a.m. and 10:50 a.m. ET). [Check with local NPR stations for broadcast times.]

Sedaris will explore issues that he finds particularly humorous or strangely disturbing about New York such as housing, crime, and tourism. In one essay, he describes his disdain for the city's restaurants, saying, "I've never thought of myself as a finicky eater, but it's hard to be a good sport when each entree includes a paragraph long description listing no fewer than eighteen ingredients, one of which I'm bound to dislike. I'd order the skirt steak with a medley of suffocated peaches, but I'm put off by the aspirin sauce."

Sedaris made his national debut on Morning Edition in 1992, recounting his strange-but-true experiences as a Macy's elf clad in green tights. The sardonic humor and incisive social critique of the SantaLand Diaries made it one of public radio's most popular stories. Sedaris went on to do many essays for Morning Edition and eventually authored the best-selling Barrel Fever and Naked for Little, Brown. His SantaLand Diaries were also converted into a popular one-man show.

Morning Edition® with Bob Edwards draws public radio's largest audience with its in-depth roundup of national and international news. National Public Radio,®, a membership organization of 600 public radio stations across the country, also distributes the award-winning programs All Things Considered®, NPR's Performance Today®, Weekend Edition®, Talk of the Nation®, and Car Talk®.

Sample tapes will be available in September for review.

David Sedaris on New York City: "In New York, a two bedroom [apartment] is apt to be a studio with a large cardboard box parked somewhere between the refrigerator and the free standing shower stall."

"As a rule, I'm no great fan of eating out in New York restaurants. It's hard to love a place that's outlawed smoking, but finds it perfectly acceptable to smother a hamburger with braised chestnuts."

"Here in Manhattan, with the exception of one discount theater, the cost has jumped to nine dollars. That's nine dollars for the privilege of listening to your fellow audience members blather through a movie you can't hear because they're too busy talking."

"If you happen to live here, it's always refreshing to view Manhattan from afar. Up close the city constitutes an oppressive series of staircases but from a distance it inspires fantasies of wealth and power so primal that even...communists are temporarily rendered speechless."

"Wandering through the shops of today's New York, you'd be hard pressed to find a cashier whose fingernails aren't at least five inches long. These are women supposedly hired to handle money, yet their crippling talons have rendered them virtually handicapped."

"The summer before moving [to New York] I spent a month with my father in Raleigh, North Carolina. ...[H]e began buying The New York Times, scanning the papers for reports of brutal and freakish murders. I'd go to bed and wake to find a pile of clippings on my dresser - 'Two Killed by Hand Held Cannon' or 'Small Man Dies When Youths Toss Anchor Off Roof.'"

"This was followed by a brutal visit to Radio City Music Hall, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and the big Christmas tree at Rockefeller Plaza. ...Here were out of town visitors from Omaha and Chattanooga, outraged over the cost of their hot roasted chestnuts. They apologized whenever they stepped on someone's foot and never thought to complain when someone stupidly blocked their path. This was the New York most of us moved here in order to escape...a city I'd foolishly thought to call my own."