Pop culture: David Sedaris’ “Santaland Diaries”

If your priority list is anything like mine, reading tends to linger towards the bottom, right next to pairing that pile of mismatched socks. It’s not that I don’t love books—it’s just hard to find a good, quick read. Or at least that was the case before a friend recommended I read something by David Sedaris.  I started with “Me Talk Pretty One Day”, a collection of hilarious (yet delightfully dark) short stories about his adolescent and adult life.  This was the first book that’s tugged at my heart and made me laugh before turning the page.

But Sedaris is perhaps best known for “Santaland Diaries,” a collection of stories chronicling his gig as Crumpet, a Christmas elf he played at Macy’s before he was an established author. He recounts his surreal experience of working as one of Santa’s helpers—adding that signature dash of cynical sarcasm. And not to sound like the Grinch here, but that type of undertone can be somewhat refreshing during such a holly-jolly season.

If you’ve never read anything by Sedaris, this is the prime time to start: The on-stage adaptation of “Santaland Diaries” opens this week at the Contemporary Theater of Dallas. Local actor Nye Cooper (who looks strikingly like Sedaris) will perform the monologue. If you want something a little different (and darker) than “A Christmas Carol” this year, give Sedaris a try.


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