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If you’ve ever laughed your way through David Sedaris’s cheerfully misanthropic stories, you might think you know what you’re getting with Calypso. You’d be wrong.
When he buys a beach house on the Carolina coast, Sedaris envisions long, relaxing vacations spent playing board games and lounging in the sun with those he loves most. And life at the Sea Section, as he names the vacation home, is exactly as idyllic as he imagined, except for one tiny, vexing realization: it’s impossible to take a vacation from yourself.
With Calypso, Sedaris sets his formidable powers of observation toward middle age and mortality. Make no mistake: these stories are very, very funny–it’s a book that can make you laugh ’til you snort, the way only family can. Sedaris’s powers of observation have never been sharper, and his ability to shock readers into laughter unparalleled. But much of the comedy here is born out of that vertiginous moment when your own body betrays you and you realize that the story of your life is made up of more past than future.
This is beach reading for people who detest beaches, required reading for those who loathe small talk and love a good tumor joke. Calypso is simultaneously Sedaris’s darkest and warmest book yet–and it just might be his very best.
Though there’s an industry built on telling you otherwise, there are few real joys to middle age. The only perk I can see is that, with luck, you’ll acquire a guest room. Some people get one by default when their kids leave home, and others, like me, eventually trade up and land a bigger house. “Follow me,” I now say. The room I lead our visitors to has not been hastily rearranged to accommodate them. It does not double as an office or weaving nook but exists for only one purpose. I have furnished it with a bed rather than a fold-out sofa, and against one wall, just like in a hotel, I’ve placed a luggage rack. The best feature, though, is its private bathroom.
“If you prefer a shower to a tub, I can put you upstairs in the second guest room,” I say. “There’s a luggage rack up there as well.” I hear these words coming from my puppet-lined mouth and shiver with middle-aged satisfaction. Yes, my hair is gray and thinning. Yes, the washer on my penis has worn out, leaving me to dribble urine long after I’ve zipped my trousers back up. But I have two guest rooms.
The consequence is that if you live in Europe, they attract guests—lots of them. People spend a fortune on their plane tickets from the United States. By the time they arrive they’re broke and tired and would probably sleep in our car if we offered it. In Normandy, where we used to have a country place, any visitors were put up in the attic, which doubled as Hugh’s studio and smelled of oil paint and decaying mice. It had a rustic cathedral ceiling but no heat, meaning it was usually either too cold or too hot. That house had only one bathroom, wedged between the kitchen and our bedroom. Guests were denied the privacy a person sometimes needs on the toilet, so twice a day I’d take Hugh to the front door and shout behind us, as if this were normal behavior, “We’re going out for exactly twenty minutes. Does anyone need anything from the side of the road?”
That was another problem with Normandy: there was nothing for our company to do except sit around. Our village had no businesses in it and the walk to the nearest village that did was not terribly pleasant. This is not to say that our visitors didn’t enjoy themselves—just that it took a certain kind of person, outdoorsy and self-motivating. In West Sussex, where we currently live, having company is a bit easier. Within a ten-mile radius of our house, there’s a quaint little town with a castle in it and an equally charming one with thirty-seven antique stores. There are chalk-speckled hills one can hike up, and bike trails. It’s a fifteen-minute drive to the beach and an easy walk to the nearest pub.
Guests usually take the train from London, and before we pick them up at the station I remind Hugh that, for the duration of their visit, he and I will be playing the role of a perfect couple. This means no bickering and no contradicting each other. If I am seated at the kitchen table and he is standing behind me, he is to place a hand on my shoulder, right on the spot where a parrot would perch if I were a pirate instead of the ideal boyfriend. When I tell a story he has heard so often he could lip-synch it, he is to pretend to be hearing it for the first time and to be appreciating it as much as or more than our guests are. I’m to do the same, and to feign delight when he serves something I hate, like fish with little bones in it. I really blew this a few years back when his friend Sue came for the night and he poached what might as well have been a hairbrush. Blew it to such an extent that after she left I considered having her killed. “She knows too much,” I said to Hugh. “The woman’s a liability now and we need to contain her.”
His friend Jane saw some ugliness as well, and though I like both her and Sue and have known them for going on twenty years, they fall under the category of “Hugh’s guests.” This means that though I play my role, it is not my responsibility to entertain them. Yes, I offer the occasional drink. I show up for meals but can otherwise come and go at my leisure, exiting, sometimes, as someone is in the middle of a sentence. My father has done this all his life. You’ll be talking to him and he’ll walk away—not angry but just sort of finished with you. I was probably six years old the first time I noticed this. You’d think I’d have found it hurtful, but instead I looked at his retreating back, thinking, We can get away with that? Really? Yippee!
Three of my sisters visited us in Sussex the Christmas of 2012, so Gretchen and Amy took a guest room each. Hugh and I gave Lisa the master bedroom and moved next door to the converted stable I use as my office. One of the things he noted during their stay was that, with the exception of Amy and me, no one in my family ever says goodnight. Rather, they just leave the room—sometimes halfway through dinner—and reappear the following morning. My sisters were considered my guests, but because there was a group of them and they could easily entertain one another, I was more or less free to go about my business. Not that I didn’t spend time with them. In various pairings we went on walks and bike rides, but otherwise they sat in the living room talking, or gathered in the kitchen to study Hugh at the stove. I’d join them for a while and then explain that I had some work to do. This meant going next door to the stable, where I’d switch on my computer and turn to Google, thinking, I wonder what Russell Crowe is up to.
One of the reasons I’d invited these three over—had gone so far as to buy their tickets—was that this felt like a last hurrah. Except for Paul, who has no passport but tells me with great certainty that, according to an electrician he met on a job site, it is possible to buy one at the airport, we are all in our fifties now. Healthwise, we’ve been fortunate, but it’s just a matter of time before our luck runs out and one of us gets cancer. Then we’ll be picked off like figures at a shooting gallery, easy targets given the lives we’ve led.
I’d counted the days until my sisters’ arrival, so why wasn’t I next door, sitting with Hugh in our perfect-couple sixteenth-century kitchen with its stone floor and crackling fire? Perhaps I worried that if I didn’t wander off, my family would get on my nerves, or—far more likely—I would get on theirs, and that our week together wouldn’t be as ideal as I’d told myself it would be. As it was, I’d retreat to my office and spend some time doing nothing of consequence. Then I’d head back into the house and hear something that made me wish I’d never left. It was like walking into a theater an hour after the picture has started, thinking, How did that kangaroo get his hands on those nunchakus?
One of the stories I entered late concerned some pills my sister Gretchen had started taking a year and a half earlier. She didn’t say what they were prescribed for, but they were causing her to walk and eat in her sleep. I saw this happen the previous Thanksgiving, which we spent together in a rental house in Hawaii. Dinner was served at seven o’clock, and around midnight, an hour or so after she’d gone to bed, Gretchen drifted out of her room. Hugh and I looked up from our books and watched her enter the kitchen. There, she took the turkey out of the refrigerator and started twisting off meat with her fingers. “Why don’t you get a plate?” I asked, and she looked at me, not scornfully but blankly, as if it had been the wind talking. Then she reached into the carcass and yanked out some stuffing. This was picked at selectively, one crouton mysteriously favored over another, until she decided she’d had enough, at which point she returned to her room, leaving the mess behind her.
“What was that about?” I asked her the next morning.
Gretchen’s face adjusted itself for bad news. “What was what about?”
I told her what had happened, and she said, “Goddamn it. I wondered why I woke up with brown stains on my pillow.”
According to the story I walked in on late, Thanksgiving had been a relatively good night for Gretchen. One morning a few weeks after the turkey episode, she walked into her kitchen in North Carolina and found on the countertop an open jam jar with crumbs in it. At first she thought they were from a cookie. Then she saw the overturned box and realized she had eaten something intended for her painted turtles. It was a nutrition bar, maybe four inches long and made of dead flies, pressed together the way Duraflame logs are. “Not only that,” she said, “but when I was through, I ate all the petals off my poinsettia.” She shook her head. “I noticed it on the counter next to the turtle-food box, and it was just a naked stalk.”
I returned to my office more convinced than ever that this would be our last Christmas together. I mean, flies! If you’re going to eat your pets’ food in your sleep, why not think preventatively and exchange your turtles for a hamster or a rabbit, something safe and vegetarian? Get rid of the houseplants while you’re at it—starting with the cactus—and lock up your cleaning supplies.
Later that evening, I found the sisters stretched out like cats in front of the woodstove. “It used to be that whenever I passed a mirror, I’d look at my face,” Gretchen said, blowing out a mouthful of cigarette smoke. “Now I just check to see if my nipples line up.”
Oh my God, I thought. When did that start happening? The last time we were all together for Christmas was 1994. We were at Gretchen’s house in Raleigh, and she started the day by feeding her bullfrog, who was around the same size as her iron and was named Pappy. He was kept in a murky, heated thirty-gallon aquarium on her living room floor, next to three Japanese newts who lived in a meatloaf pan. It was a far cry from a normal Christmas, but what with our mother recently dead, it seemed better to break with tradition and try something completely different: thus my sister’s place, with its feel of a swamp rather than the house we had grown up in, which now felt freighted with too much history. Gretchen’s waist-length hair has gone silver since that Christmas, and when she walks in her sleep, she limps a little. But then, we’re all getting older.
On our first day together in Sussex, we piled into the Volvo and rode to the town with the thirty-seven antique stores. Hugh drove, and I crawled into the way-back, thinking happily, Here we are again, me and my sisters in a station wagon, just like when we were young. Who would have imagined in 1966 that we’d one day be riding through southern England, none of us having realized the futures we’d predicted for ourselves? Amy was not the policewoman she’d so hoped to become. Lisa was not a nurse. No one had a houseful of servants or a trained proboscis monkey, yet we’d turned out OK, hadn’t we?
In one of the antique stores we visited that afternoon, we saw a barrister’s wig. It was foul, all the colors of dirty underpants, but that didn’t stop Amy, and then Gretchen, from trying it on.
“That’s OK,” Lisa said when it was handed to her. “I don’t want to get y’all’s germs on my head.”
Their germs, I thought.
The sun set at around four that afternoon, and it was dark by the time we headed home. I fell asleep in the way-back for a few minutes, and when I awoke, Lisa was discussing her uterus, specifically her fear that its lining may have grown too thick.
“What on earth gives you that idea?” Amy asked.
Lisa then mentioned a friend of hers, saying that if it could happen to Cynthia, it could just as easily happen to her. “Or to any of us,” she said.
“And what if it does?” Gretchen asked.
“Then we’ll have to get them scraped out,” Lisa reported.
I lifted my head over the backseat. “What’s a uterus lined with, anyway?” I imagined something sweet and viscous. “Like whatever it is that grapes are made of.”
“That would be grape,” Amy said. “Grapes are made of grape.”
“Actually, it’s a good question,” Lisa said. “What is a uterus lined with? Blood vessels? Nerves?”
“Your family,” Hugh said. “I can’t believe the things you talk about when you’re together.”
I later reminded him of the time his sister, Ann, visited us in Normandy. I walked into the living room after returning from a bike ride one afternoon and heard her saying to her mother, Joan, who was also staying with us, “Don’t you just love the feel of an iguana?”
Who are you people? I remember thinking. That same night, after my bath, I overheard her asking, “Well, can’t you make it with camel butter?”
“You can,” Mrs. Hamrick said, “but I wouldn’t recommend it.”
I thought of asking for details—“Make what with camel butter?”—but decided I preferred the mystery. That often happens with company. I’ll forever wonder what a guest from Paris meant when I walked into the yard one evening and heard her saying, “Mini goats might be nice.” Or, odder still, when Hugh’s father, Sam, came to visit with an old friend he’d known from the State Department. The two had been discussing the time they’d spent in Cameroon in the late sixties, and I entered the kitchen to hear Mr. Hamrick say, “Now was that guy a Pygmy, or just a false Pygmy?”
I turned around and headed to my office, thinking, I’ll ask later. Then Hugh’s father died, as did his old friend from the State Department. I suppose I could Google “false Pygmy,” but it wouldn’t be the same. I had my chance to find out what one was, and I blew it.
One of Hugh’s greatest regrets is that his father never saw the house in Sussex. It’s the kind of place that was right up Sam’s alley: a ruin transformed in such a way that it still looks pretty beat-up. The main difference is that now the wiring is safe, and there’s heat. Mrs. Hamrick visits, though, and sometimes she and Hugh will sit in the kitchen and talk about Sam. It’s not the snippets of conversation that betray him as the subject but rather their voices, which, almost a decade after his death, are still brittle and reverential, full of loss and longing. It’s how my sisters and I used to be when talking about our mother. Now, though, after twenty-seven years, almost every discussion of her ends with the line “And can you believe she was so young?” Soon we’ll be the age she was when she got cancer and was killed by it. Then we’ll be even older, which just seems wrong, against nature somehow.
I made up my mind eons ago that I would not let that happen, that I would also die at sixty-two. Then I hit my midfifties and started thinking that perhaps I’m being a bit harsh. Now that I’ve scored a couple of decent guest rooms, it seems silly not to get a little more use out of them.
When visitors leave, I feel like an actor watching the audience file out of the theater, and it was no different with my sisters. The show over, Hugh and I returned to lesser versions of ourselves. We’re not a horrible couple, but we have our share of fights, the type that can start with a misplaced sock and suddenly be about everything. “I haven’t liked you since 2002,” he hissed during a recent argument over which airport security line was moving the fastest.
This didn’t hurt me so much as confuse me. “What happened in 2002?” I asked.
On the plane, he apologized, and a few weeks later, when I brought it up over dinner, he claimed to have no memory of it. That’s one of Hugh’s many outstanding qualities: he doesn’t hold on to things. Another is that he’s very good to old people, a group that in the not-too-distant future will include me. It’s just this damned middle-aged period I have to get through.
The secret, of course, is to stay busy. So when the company leaves, I clean their bathrooms and strip their beds. If the guests were mine—my sisters, for example—I’ll sit on the edge of the mattress and hold their sheets to my chest, hugging them a moment and breathing in their smell before standing back up and making my rickety way to that laundry room I always wanted.
Now We Are Five
In late May 2013, a few weeks shy of her fiftieth birthday, my youngest sister, Tiffany, committed suicide. She was living in a room in a beat-up house on the hard end of Somerville, Massachusetts, and had been dead, the coroner guessed, for at least five days before her door was battered down. I was given the news over a white courtesy phone while at the Dallas airport. Then, because my plane to Baton Rouge was boarding and I wasn’t sure what else to do, I got on it. The following morning, I boarded another plane, this one to Atlanta, and the day after that I flew to Nashville, thinking all the while about my ever-shrinking family. A person expects his parents to die. But a sibling? I felt I’d lost the identity I’d enjoyed since 1968, when my brother was born.
“Six kids!” people would say. “How do your poor folks manage?”
There were a lot of big families in the neighborhood I grew up in. Every other house was a fiefdom, so I never gave it much thought until I became an adult and my friends started having children. One or two seemed reasonable, but anything beyond that struck me as outrageous. A couple Hugh and I knew in Normandy would occasionally come to dinner with their wrecking crew of three, and when they’d leave several hours later every last part of me would feel violated.
Take those kids, double them, and subtract the cable TV: that’s what my parents had to deal with. Now, though, there weren’t six, only five. “And you can’t really say, ‘There used to be six,’” I told my sister Lisa. “It just makes people uncomfortable.”
I recalled a father and son I’d met in California a few years back. “So are there other children?” I asked.
“There are,” the man said. “Three who are living and a daughter, Chloe, who died before she was born, eighteen years ago.”
That’s not fair, I remember thinking. Because, I mean, what’s a person supposed to do with that?
Compared to most forty-nine-year-olds, or even most forty-nine-month-olds, Tiffany didn’t have much. She did leave a will, though. In it, she decreed that we, her family, could not have her body or attend her memorial service.
“So put that in your pipe and smoke it,” our mother would have said.
A few days after getting the news, my sister Amy drove to Somerville with a friend and collected two boxes of things from Tiffany’s room: family photos, many of which had been ripped into pieces; comment cards from a neighborhood grocery store; notebooks; receipts. The bed, a mattress on the floor, had been taken away and a large industrial fan had been set up. Amy snapped some pictures while she was there and, individually and in groups, those of us left studied them for clues: a paper plate on a dresser that had several drawers missing, a phone number written on a wall, a collection of mop handles, each one a different color, arranged like cattails in a barrel painted green.
Six months before our sister killed herself, I had made plans for us all to gather at a beach house on Emerald Isle, off the coast of North Carolina. My family used to vacation there every summer, but after my mother died we stopped going, not because we lost interest but because it was she who always made the arrangements and, more important, paid for it. The place I found with the help of my sister-in-law, Kathy, had six bedrooms and a small swimming pool. Our weeklong rental period began on Saturday, June 8, and we arrived to find a deliverywoman standing in the driveway with seven pounds of seafood, a sympathy gift sent by friends. “They’s slaw in there too,” she said, handing over the bags.
In the past, when my family rented a cottage, my sisters and I would crowd the door like puppies around a food dish. Our father would unlock it, and we’d tear through the house claiming rooms. I always picked the biggest one facing the ocean, and just as I’d start to unpack, my parents would enter and tell me that this was theirs. “I mean, just who the hell do you think you are?” my father would ask. He and my mother would move in, and I would get booted to what was called “the maid’s room.” It was always on the ground level, a kind of dank shed next to where the car was parked. There was never an interior stairway leading to the upper floor. Instead, I had to take the outside steps and, more often than not, knock on the locked front door like a beggar hoping to be invited in.
“What do you want?” my sisters would ask.
“I want to come inside.”
“That’s funny,” Lisa, the eldest, would say to the others, who were gathered like disciples around her. “Did you hear something, a whining sound? What is it that makes a noise like that? A hermit crab? A little sea slug?” Normally there was a social divide between the three oldest and three youngest children in my family. Lisa, Gretchen, and I treated the others like servants and did very well for ourselves. At the beach, though, all bets were off, and it was just upstairs against downstairs, meaning everyone against me.
This time, because I was paying, I got to choose the best room. Amy moved in next door, and my brother, Paul; his wife; and their ten-year-old daughter, Maddy, took the spot next to her. That was it for oceanfront. The others arrived later and had to take the leftovers. Lisa’s room faced the street, as did my father’s. Gretchen’s faced the street and was intended for someone who was paralyzed. Hanging from the ceiling were electric pulleys designed to lift a harnessed body into and out of bed.
Unlike the cottages of our youth, this one did not have a maid’s room. It was too new and fancy for that, as were the homes that surrounded it. Traditionally, the island houses were on stilts, but more and more often now the ground floors are filled in. They all have beachy names and are painted beachy colors, but most of those built after Hurricane Fran hit the coast in 1996 are three stories tall and look almost suburban. This place was vast and airy. The kitchen table sat twelve, and there was not one but two dishwashers. The pictures were ocean-related: seascapes and lighthouses, all with the airborne Vs that are shorthand for seagull. A sampler on the living room wall read OLD SHELLERS NEVER DIE, THEY SIMPLY CONCH OUT. On the round clock beside it, the numbers lay in an indecipherable heap, as if they’d come unglued. Just above them were printed the words WHO CARES?
This was what we found ourselves saying whenever anyone asked the time.
The day before we arrived at the beach, Tiffany’s obituary ran in the Raleigh News & Observer. It was submitted by Gretchen, who stated that our sister had passed away peacefully at her home. This made it sound as if she were very old and had a house. But what else could you do? People were leaving responses on the paper’s website, and one fellow wrote that Tiffany used to come into the video store where he worked in Somerville. When his glasses broke, she offered him a pair she had found while foraging for art supplies in somebody’s trash can. He said she also gave him a Playboy magazine from the 1960s that included a photo spread titled “The Ass Menagerie.”
This was fascinating, as we didn’t really know our sister very well. All of us had pulled away from the family at some point in our lives—we’d had to in order to forge our own identities, to go from being a Sedaris to our own specific Sedaris. Tiffany, though, stayed away. She might promise to come home for Christmas, but at the last minute there’d always be some excuse: she missed her plane, she had to work. The same would happen with our summer vacations. “The rest of us managed to make it,” I’d say, aware of how old and guilt-trippy I sounded.
We’d all be disappointed by her absence, though for different reasons. Even if you weren’t getting along with Tiffany at the time, you couldn’t deny the show she put on—the dramatic entrances, the nonstop professional-grade insults, the chaos she’d inevitably leave in her wake. One day she’d throw a dish at you, and the next she’d create a mosaic made of the shards. When allegiances with one brother or sister flamed out, she’d take up with someone else. At no time did she get along with everybody, but there was always someone she was in contact with. Toward the end it was Lisa, but before that we’d all had our turn.
The last time she joined us on Emerald Isle was in 1986. “And, even then, she left after three days,” Gretchen reminded us.
As kids, we spent our beach time swimming. Then we became teenagers and devoted ourselves to tanning. There’s a certain kind of talk that takes place when you’re lying, dazed, in the sun, and I’ve always been partial to it. On the first afternoon of our most recent trip, we laid out one of the bedspreads we’d had as children and arranged ourselves side by side on it, trading stories about Tiffany.
“What about the Halloween she spent on that Army base?”
- "This book allows us to observe not just the nimble-mouthed elf of Sedaris's previous work, but a man in his seventh decade expunging his darker secrets and contemplating mortality...The brilliance of David Sedaris's writing is that his very essence, his aura, seeps through the pages of his books like an intoxicating cloud, mesmerizing us so that his logic becomes ours...The geeks really do inherit the earth."—Alan Cumming, New York Times Book Review
- "The king of the humorous essay returns with a brand-new collection -- his first in five years. Sedaris fans will find plenty of familiar delights: His misanthropic charms and wry wit are as delightful as ever, even if some of the subject matter has changed. From his new vacation home on the coast of North Carolina, he writes about the concerns of health and aging, treating us to a story about the persnickety doctor who refused to let him keep a noncancerous tumor that he'd planned to feed to a snapping turtle once removed. We can only assume that the audiobook version of Calypso will be the perfect travel companion during road trips and getaways this spring and beyond."—Maris Kreizman, New York Magazine
- "Age and family occupy beloved humorist Sedaris's latest collection of essays. His observations feel sharper and often darker than in previous collections, as he ponders the inevitable breakdown of the human body, the shame attendant with illness and age, the nature of addiction, and the eccentricities of his family. Though middle age may have made his shades of gray blacker, the wit and incisiveness that make Sedaris much-adored remain."—Lauren Hubbard, Harper's Bazaar
- "Honest, reflective, and even tender...Eloquent and silly, Sedaris' collection could probably find unshakable life even in the dust kitties under the bed...He gets you laughing even as he gently turns you toward the darkness we all must face."—Caroline Leavitt, San Francisco Chronicle
- "David Sedaris's new essay collection is the sharpest retort to anyone who thinks they know what our favorite curmudgeonly humorist will be up to next. His charming observational humor is still the engine, but there's nothing frivolous about it. In the wake of his sister's suicide, Sedaris grapples poignantly and satisfyingly (and yes, often hilariously) with death, the aging body, and just how far the bonds of family can stretch."—Alex Postman, Conde Nast Traveler
- "David Sedaris's biggest strength as an essayist and a humorist lies in his remarkable power of observation, of detecting the humor and pathos is the everyday conversations most of us don't register. His attention and wit are as incisive as ever, but Sedaris brings a stronger sense of self to the pages of Calypso...It's both warmer and bleaker than any Sedaris that's come before."—Laura Adamczyk and Caitlin Penzeymoog, AV Club
- "If there's one thing you can count on in life, it's Sedaris to leave you giggling on the beach in both humor and horror. His latest collection of stories is a bit more serious than his previous, but even when the Sedaris clan is at its worst, the humorist reveals their antics with his characteristic wit in a way that manages to both soften and sharpen the dark truths behind the stories he tells."—Allison McNearney, Daily Beast
- "Sedaris is widely considered is widely considered America's leading humorist, and his new book Calypso does nothing but burnish that reputation."—Nic Brown, Garden & Gun
- "Laugh-out-loud funny, true and introspective."—Holly Silva, St Louis Post-Dispatch
- "With this tenth book, Sedaris demonstrates yet again what makes him the best American humorist writing today: a remarkable ability to combine the personal with the political, the mundane with the profane, slime with sublime, and hilarity with heart."—Heller McAlpin, NPR
- "The beauty of David Sedaris's personality---and what keeps his readers coming back for best-selling book after best-selling book---is his unwavering dedication to a helter-skelter train of thought...Calypso is his most personal and open book yet, shedding light on his late sister's struggle with mental health, his mother's addiction, and his own experiences with the legalization of gay marriage, but it still finds plenty of room for laughs."—Seija Rankin, Entertainment Weekly
- "Calypso is the most family-centered of his books yet and, although much of it is very funny, it's also his most melancholy as it addresses aging and loss...it ranges across a number of other subjects as well, often with Sedaris's trademark off-center, self-deprecating humor."—Colette Bancroft, Tampa Bay Times
- "If you're ever stuck in an elevator or airport, just pray for David Sedaris to appear. Time passes quickly with this national treasure of a storyteller. Reading Calypso is like settling into a glorious beach vacation with the author, whose parents, siblings and longtime boyfriend, Hugh, feel like old friends to faithful readers...While Sedaris is laugh-out-loud funny in his brilliant, meandering way, it's his personal reflections that will stay with you."—Alice Cary, Bookpage
- On Sale
- Jun 4, 2019
- Page Count
- 272 pages
- Back Bay Books