So What Are You Reading?

Reviews of Books.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Naked

Naked by David Sedaris

Naked is a series of 17 essays written by David Sedaris and published in 1997. Sedaris includes a note to say that the events depicted are real but names and identifying characteristics have been changed except for those of his family. The author grew up in Raleigh, and I met him in 1979 when I moved to Raleigh and he worked as a waiter at the Breakfast House restaurant on Hillsborough Street.
The essays in Naked focus on David's life growing up in Raleigh, his college years, early work experiences, and his relationship with his family members. The 40 page title essay Naked relates his week-long first visit to a nudist club and his adjustment to a clothes-free environment and the nudists he met.
As a 1990s retrospective look back on the 19760s and 70s, this book may not be for everyone. I enjoyed it as a tribute to a Raleigh that was much smaller and in many ways than the city we know today, as the gifted writings of a gay man growing up in a intolerant world, and as a long-lost letter from a person I met many years ago who made me feel welcome in a strange city.

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