Book Review: Naked

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As a creative writing major, I’m always fascinated with how authors compose their books and hone their craft. Recently I’ve been going through a phase where all I want to read is creative non-fiction, and this summer I picked up a gem by David Sedaris.

 

In Naked, Sedaris uses his own personal experiences growing up to illustrate how complex human nature can be. Structured as a series of essays and not in chronological order, Naked makes the reader think and fill in the spaces of time with their own imaginings of what life must have been like for him.

 

The essays range from talking about his parents and his own hardships, like his mother who happened to be perfect at mimicking his childhood lisp, to his escapades hitchhiking and running away from where he grew up just out of spite, to wandering around a nudist park in his middle-age, wondering whether or not people are staring at his ass.

 

Written in hilarious and honest prose, there are times when you question just how accurate these events are, but he achieves the truth of his story–what the tales and hyperboles are supposed to get at–despite the outrageous nature of his existence he describes. What’s important in the piece of writing is not whether the events are true, though they are even if they are embellished, but whether or not they reveal something to you–either about yourself, or about the people around you.

 

For me, reading it made me realize that a sense of wandering is not a bad thing, but neither is having a place to come home to; that, and seek adventure at every turn, even if it makes you uncomfortable.

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Alyssa graduated from New England College in May of 2017. She was the Editor in Chief of the NewEnglander for two years,since her sophomore year. She enjoys reading, writing, and practically anything that involves the arts, including (and especially) the art of cuisine. When she's not slaving away at the computer for her various newspaper responsibilities, she loves to be outside, enjoying the (mostly) beautiful New Hampshire weather. She will complete her MFA at Vermont College of Fine Arts.
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