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David Sedaris' move to Paris from New York inspired these hilarious pieces, including the title essay, about his attempts to learn French from a sadistic teacher who declares that "every day spent with you is like having a caesarean section". His family is another inspiration. "You Can't Kill the Rooster" is a portrait of his brother, who talks incessant hip-hop slang to his bewildered father. And no one hones a finer fury in response to such modern annoyances as restaurant meals presented in ludicrous towers of food and cashiers with six-inch fingernails.
David Sedaris recently moved from New York to Paris. Raised in North Carolina, he has worked as a housecleaner and most famously, as a part-time elf for Macy's. Several of his plays have been produced, and his essays are featured regularly on BBC radio and in THE NEW YORKER and ESQUIRE.