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Last night I introduced David Sedaris at Benaroya Hall. (You can read my introduction here.) Better than that, I got to hear David Sedaris read at Benaroya Hall after I introduced him.

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Sedaris, on the last night of a 35-day, 35-city tour, read three pieces from his upcoming book, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary. They're kind of like fables, Sedaris explained, but they don't have morals. The first story was about a vigilant rabbit who protects his forest by brutally murdering any woodland creature who tries to enter and hanging their rotting bodies on the gate. Then, one day, a unicorn approaches. The second story was about a purebred Irish setter and his unfaithful wife, and the third was about an overly religious stork who thinks that babies are delivered by mice. It's exciting to see Sedaris working with fiction again, after spending so much time on personal essays; the thing about writing memoir is that, sooner or later, you're going to run out of experiences to write about. He did read from his diary, and from a longer essay about air travel and American fashion, and both were hilarious. Sedaris's interpretation of a t-shirt announcing that its wearer was a "FREAKY MOTHAFOCKA" was a highlight of the evening.

Sedaris always recommends a book by another author at his readings, and this time he suggested Irish Girl, a collection of stories by Tim Johnston. He praised the stories for their darkness—a mute girl is raped in one story, a teacher sleeps with a student and is assaulted by her family in retaliation, making sure they break each one of his fingers—and said that the book was enough to make you lose your faith in humanity, and that the writing was beautiful enough to renew that faith again. "I want you to buy this book before you buy any of my books," Sedaris said, "It's so much better than any of my books." He pointed out that Johnston will be reading at Elliott Bay Book Company on Saturday, May 22nd, and he urged everyone to attend. Other authors he recommended during the Q&A at the end of the evening included George Saunders and Sam Lipsyte. Sedaris was adorable, and sweet, and funny. If he comes back to Seattle to read from his new book of stories, this fall, you must see him read.