Books

Early word on Sedaris' ''Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim''

David Sedaris had intended to name his fifth essay collection after his favorite piece in it, ''Repeat After Me,'' the tale of two rare birds: his paranoid sister's parrot and his potty-mouthed brother, known to the Sedaris faithful as the Rooster. ''People always ask, 'What does your family think when you write about them?', so I sort of wrote that story in response.'' But Repeat After Me sounded rather like 2000's best-seller Me Talk Pretty One Day, and, besides, his boyfriend had a dream: ''He saw a man reading a book called Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. I don't know -- I just heard it and I thought that would be a great book title.'' On the one hand, the name points to Sedaris' inimitable sense of humor, his mixture of the dry and the bizarre. On the other...''I'm looking at it now and thinking 'Okay, what exactly does that have to do with the book?' So I've got a couple weeks to figure that out.'' (June 1)

Originally posted Jan 23, 2004 Published in issue #747-748 Jan 23, 2004 Order article reprints