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Theft by Finding

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Theft by Finding

Diaries (1977-2002)

With sardonic wit and incisive social critiques, David Sedaris has become one of America’s pre-eminent humor writers.


One of the most anticipated books of 2017: Boston Globe, New York Times Book Review, New York's "Vulture", The Week, Bustle, BookRiot

David Sedaris tells all in a book that is, literally, a lifetime in the making.

For forty years, David Sedaris has kept a diary in which he records everything that captures his attention-overheard comments, salacious gossip, soap opera plot twists, secrets confided by total strangers. These observations are the source code for his finest work, and through them he has honed his cunning, surprising sentences.

Now, Sedaris shares his private writings with the world. Theft by Finding, the first of two volumes, is the story of how a drug-abusing dropout with a weakness for the International House of Pancakes and a chronic inability to hold down a real job became one of the funniest people on the planet.

Written with a sharp eye and ear for the bizarre, the beautiful, and the uncomfortable, and with a generosity of spirit that even a misanthropic sense of humor can't fully disguise, Theft By Finding proves that Sedaris is one of our great modern observers. It's a potent reminder that when you're as perceptive and curious as Sedaris, there's no such thing as a boring day.

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“It's an astounding feat to stay funny-wildly, wickedly, ingeniously so-for more than 20 years. Yet David Sedaris has somehow pulled it off...with eviscerating wit and radiant humanity...Fans will no doubt delight in the entries that will turn into Sedaris's most beloved essays.”

O, The Oprah Magazine

“Theft by Finding is charming, refreshingly unpretentious, and flat-out addictive. Sedaris said in the intro that he meant for readers to dip in and out of this collection of diary entries (the first of two volumes!), but I couldn’t put it down. His pared-down observations are equal parts dark and darkly comedic, concealing and revealing. Theft by Finding surpassed my very high expectations, and I'm already feeling impatient for part two.”

Renee P, bookseller, Powell's Books



Half the people I know have dead animals in their freezers: reptiles, birds, mammals. Is that normal?
That's the thing with a diary, though. In order to record your life, you sort of need to live it. Not at your desk, but beyond it.
You haven't lived until you've sailed.

About the author

David Sedaris is the author of the books Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls , Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Holidays on Ice, Naked, and Barrel Fever. He is a regular contributor to The New Yorker and BBC Radio 4. He lives in England.


“Scintillating... Sedaris is a latter-day Charlie Chaplin: droll, put-upon but not innocent, and besieged by all sorts of obstreperous or menacing folks... Sedaris's storytelling, even in diary jottings, is so consistently well-crafted and hilarious that few will care whether it's embroidered.”

Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

“The new Sedaris is so fantastic. It's hard to describe the gift he has for turning what we see every day into entertaining reading and/or listening. I personally think he is meant to be listened to and then read afterward.”

Jessilynn Norcross, Owner, McLean & Eakin Booksellers

“If you were worried that this book would somehow not be quite as exciting as his long-form essays, put down the frown. Sedaris is just as laugh-out-loud-pee-your-pants-funny in a (mostly) unedited format. In this hefty volume (the second of which is hopefully forthcoming very soon), we get a clear look at the decades of odd encounters and strange characters (including family members) that led to many of the essays Sedaris fans know and love. The most delicious parts of these entries, however, are the moments that never made it past the pages of the diary into longer form (until now). It’s in these pieces that we find the most unfiltered Sedaris, recording his struggle with the world around him, in a way that doesn’t flinch from either the ordinary or the bizarre. ”

Kitty Darkness, bookseller at Papercuts J.P.

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