Humorist and best-selling author David Sedaris will speak at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Meridian Ballroom on the campus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
SIUE English department chair Sharon McGee said bringing Sedaris to campus was somewhat of a coup.
"He is probably one of the best comedic essayist of our generation," McGee said.
Sedaris is best known for his humorous collections of essays. "Naked," "Me Talk Pretty One Day," "Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim," and "When You Are Engulfed in Flames" are all best sellers. He is also a regular contributor to the New Yorker and on NPR's "This American Life."
Christopher Muther, of the Boston Globe said, "Sedaris is a connoisseur of human nature at its worst." It is an apt description of Sedaris' treatment of the people who appear in his essays.
Whether discussing his family members, the pregnant lady on the bus punching her stomach and threatening her unborn fetus with a clothes hanger, his college roommate in a wheelchair or his best friends, Sedaris is able to find the worst in people, including himself, and make it hilarious.
Sedaris uses comedy to make points about social issues.
"Satire can be a very powerful motivator for people to view life in new ways," McGee said.
Sedaris is coming to SIUE as part of the Arts and Issues series. Grant Andree, director of Arts and Issues, said Sedaris will read from his books and take audience questions.
"I've heard him speak before," Andree said. "He is hilarious. He can take a mundane topic and turn it into something funny and thought provoking."
Sedaris stays after his shows to sign an autograph for everyone who asks, Andree said.
The first film based on Sedaris' work previewed at the Sundance Film Festival this year. "C.O.G." is based on an essay of the same name from "Naked."
The appearance is part of the SIUE Department of English Language and Literature's "The Year of the Book" initiative.
What: Humorist David Sedaris lecture
When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Meridian Ballroom, Morris University Center, Southern Illinois University
Admission: General admission, $35; Free to first 75 SIUE students; all other students, $15; SIUE staff, alumni, retirees and seniors, $30. general admission: $35
Ticket Info: http://www.siue.edu/artsandissues/2012OrderForm.shtml; Dunham Hall Fine Arts Box Office, 618-650-5774.