“infobox Book “
name Naked
author David Sedaris
country United States
language English
publisher Back Bay Books; Reprint edition (June 1, 1998)
release_date 1998
media_type Paperback
pages 224
isbn 0316777730

This memoir may not prove that fact is stranger than fiction, but it does make an argument for the truth being funnier. The book contains 17 entries from the life of author David Sedaris, beginning with his childhood struggles with obsessive compulsive disorder, and ending with his awkward visit to a nudist colony as a young adult. Sedaris is a sharp critic of character and seems to be able to find and expose the idiot in nearly everyone he meets, and does not spare himself the same harsh critiquing. Cross country hitch-hiking with a wheel chair bound traveling partner, white trash christmas meltdowns, and coming to grips with your sexuality at a Greek summer camp are interesting enough in and of themselves, but when spiced with Sedaris’ cynicism and wit they become unbelievably hilarious. NPR listeners have certainly heard readings from the author, but there is no substitute for reading this book.


Chipped Beef

The first essay of Naked. This essay is about the narrator’s (David Sedaris) early life, and his hopes to one day be rich and famous. Later in this essay, the reader discovers that David Sedaris’ family is basically middle class

A Plague of Tics

This essay describes David Sedaris’ obsessive-compulsive and Tourettic tendencies as a child. The tendencies included the likes of licking light switches and kissing newspapers. He frequently gets into trouble with teachers as a result. He later gives up these tendencies when he takes up smoking in college.

Get Your Ya-Ya’s Out!

This essay is an account of David Sedaris’ elderly (and slightly senile.) grandmother, known as Ya-Ya. Ya-Ya is injured and forced to live with his family, resulting in painful experience for all. Eventually Ya-Ya is put into a low grade nursing home. And when she dies only his father seems to mourn.

Next of Kin

This essay is about a literary pornography book David Sedaris finds when he is a child. He and his siblings each pass it down to one another. The book is eventually confiscated by his mother, who in turn reads it.


This essay is named after a boy named “Cyclops” whom David Sedaris’ father allegedly accidentally blinded in one eye. This essay centers on cautionary tales passed down among family members.

The Women’s Open

This essay is an account of David Sedaris’ sister’s first menstruation, which takes place at a golf championship.

True Detective

This essay is about David Sedaris’ interest in detective shows such as The Fugitive. He also describes his exploits as an amateur detective.

Dix Hill

This essay is a recollection of David Sedaris’ first job at a mental institution named Dix Hill. The residents at Dix Hill range from violent to submissive.

I Like Guys

This essay is based on the author’s discovery of his homosexual nature. He discovers that he is gay when at a summer camp in Greece in his teens, where he develops a crush on another young male there.

The Drama Bug

After an actor’s classroom visit introduces him to Shakespeare, Sedaris attempts acting. He finds that the florid Elizabethan language appeals to him, and uses it in regular conversation.

Dinah, the Christmas Whore

Sedaris details his job at a cafeteria. One night, a strange phone call sends David and his sister Lisa on a mission to extract Lisa’s coworker from a domestic disturbance.

Planet of the Apes

Sedaris recalls his experiences of hitchhiking, beginning with his first time after seeing the film Planet of the Apes.

The Incomplete Quad

This essay is a recount of the author taking a job living in a college dormitory for handicapped students. He befriends a quadriplegic female student. The two go on a cross-country trip, conning their way as a newlywed husband and wife in need of medical treatment.


In this chapter, Sedaris–after much hitch hiking–lands a job cutting stone into clocks shaped like the state of Oregon. The two travel and (unsuccessfully) sell their stones at local craft fairs. The man David works with introduces himself as a “C.O.G.” (Child of God) and is somewhat of a missionary with a split personality.

Something for Everyone

No description currently available


This essay is a dual account about the marriage of the author’s sister and the impending death of his mother from cancer.


The final essay of the book. It describes the author’s visit to a nudist colony.

External Links