...is pretty much the last way I'd picture author David Sedaris.
Naked was published in 1997, and is typical David Sedaris. Stories about his family and his life, warts and all, I read them, my mind saying the words in his voice.
The title story is about time he spent in a nudist camp. I'd always pictured Sedaris a a pretty buttoned-up guy, which he was when he arrived there. In his time there, he slowly became comfortable with public nudity, rendering it pretty much as boring as any vacation spent in a trailer park with a cross-section of humanity. The nudity seems to add no fillip of excitement. And so, I think my speculations about what a nude beach or nude club vacation have been quashed for eternity.
The stories about his mother, father, sisters and brother are my favorites. I particularly like his mother, a dry wit (with drink and cigarette), who had her kids' number and managed them with humor and aplomb.
He talks about the jobs he held growing up, including as a paint stripper and a migrant worker; he appears to have been quite adventurous, surprising again in view of the buttoned-up image I'd had of him. Some of his tales have an O. Henriesque irony to them. He talks about his homosexuality, and growing up with the dawning realization of his sexuality. No mention of Hugh, who must have come later. He also grew up with a number of obsessive-compulsive traits, which, while poignant, are so hilariously described that it maked me laugh until tears came.
Reading Naked was like taking a vacation, a much-needed break from my own reality.