Me Talk Pretty One Day is a great collection of essays written by David Sedaris, one of the most popular American humorists and authors. In his twenty-seven hilarious essays, he shares parts of his life stories, from his childhood to his forties, in his straightforward and spontaneously humorous manner.
In the first part of his memoir, he gives us glimpses of the funniest and most bizarre moments he experienced during his upbringing in North Carolina. In “Go Carolina” he describes his sessions with a speech therapist who he thought at first was an agent taking him to the unknown, but then had to meet her every week during fifth grade because of his lisp. Having a father as a music enthusiast, David and his sisters were enrolled in different music classes and guitar was believed by his father to be the instrument that suited him, when in fact David had no passion for music whatsoever. This story is one of my favorites along with the one that he devoted to his brother, the so-called ‘Rooster’. The latter, being the only one born and bred in North Carolina is totally different from his other siblings. His vulgar language and boldness show his deep Southern characteristics and spoiled upbringing. Then David tells another story about his mixed up interest in art, when after his enrollment in different art classes and several disastrous shows, he ended up discovering that art was not his thing.
After failing as a writing teacher in Chicago and moving to New York, our narrator meets Hugh, who becomes his longtime boyfriend. Then, another series of comic events and situations unfold when he moves with Hugh to Paris while completing the construction of a home Hugh owned in Normandy. Being foreign to the country, David had to take classes to learn the language. But his teacher seemed to insult him and his classmates more than she taught them, which he found offensive but his inability to speak French prevented him from getting revenge. In this second part of the book, the title “Me Talk Pretty One Day” is an example of moments in his French class discussions about religious holidays and other subjects, when mistranslation results in awkward phrases. Finally, the author finishes his book with other stories about his visits to local French festivals and embarrassing moments on the Paris Metro.
Honestly, this is the one of the few books I have ever truly enjoyed. David Sedaris has really succeeded in getting me totally and personally attached to his memoir and I am ready like never before to read all his other books. This is why I recommend this book to all who enjoy reading genuine but hilarious life stories.