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Sedaris, David. BARREL FEVER: STORIES AND ESSAYS. Boston, MA: Little, Brown & Company, 1994. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 196 pages. Fine/Fine.

The author's debut collection of short stories and essays. Now considered a contemporary classic. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published to enormous critical acclaim, it made David Sedaris an overnight cult figure and the book is now rare as a First Edition. He did not achieve breakthrough mainstream status until his fourth collection, "Me Talk Pretty One Day", but with this collection, he earned the grateful admiration of some of the most erudite readers of "humor", a genre that includes such canonical figures as James Thurber and Woody Allen, and yet remains something of a sub-genre for many readers (and collectors), who consider it "light entertainment". There is a light touch in Sedaris' acerbic, "spot-on", and "laugh-out-loud" pieces about America, but they say so much more about the real America as seen by Sedaris through his completely dysfunctional Greek-immigrant family as well as through his singular perspective as the funniest gay man in America (some would say the funniest man in America). An important point: Most of the devoted followers of his books, live appearances, and recordings are heterosexual. He now writes almost exclusively for The New Yorker Magazine, and has been criticized by militant gays for making fun of the gay American subculture, sparing no one, especially himself. Life, as always, has come full circle. Sedaris' mainstream success has made him an American cultural phenomenon, making his sexual orientation irrelevant (only he can make it relevant again). "Sedaris' touch is so assured that the final impression is not comedy but pathos" (Dale Peck). A brilliant debut, this is a "must-have" title for David Sedaris collectors. This copy is very prominently, hilariously, and beautifully signed and inscribed in black pen on the title page by the author: "Women. They'll suck the fucking paper off a joint, but when old Papa Bear needs a little BJ action...David Sedaris". There is no recipient named. Sedaris is a genuine rarity among superstar-writers: He spends time with every single person who has taken the trouble of going to his reading and waiting patiently in line (which are "circle-around-the-block" long) to get his or her book signed. He writes lengthy, personalized inscriptions to those who want them and has been known to sign into the wee hours of the morning. We do not know of another American writer who sincerely bonds with (rather than keeps his distance from) his readers as Sedaris does. This title has been out-of-print as a hardcover for a very long time even though it went into multiple subsequent printings. This is the best signed and inscribed copy of the First Hardcover Edition we have ever found and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a beauty. A rare, one-of-a-kind signed copy thus. One of the finest living American writers. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER DAVID SEDARIS TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0316779407. $500.00

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