- When You Are Engulfed in Flames
name = When You Are Engulfed in Flames
image_caption = First edition cover
language = English
genre = Essay collection
Little, Brown and Company
June 3, 2008
media_type = Print (hardcover)
pages = 323 pp (first edition, hardcover)
isbn = ISBN 0-316-14347-2 (first edition, hardcover)
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Sedaris's sixth book assembles essays on trying to make coffee when the water is shut off, associations in the French countryside, buying drugs in a mobile home in rural North Carolina, having a lozenge fall from your mouth into the lap of a fellow passenger on a plane, armoring windows with LP covers to protect the house from neurotic songbirds, lancing a boil from his backside, and venturing to Japan in order to quit smoking.
Little, Brown and Companyissued a first-run hardcover release of 900,000 copies.
Sedaris was a guest on "
The Daily Show" on Comedy Centralon June 3, 2008. During the interview he recommended moving to Hiroshima, Japan for three months in order to stop smoking. This smoking cessation method, which cost the author $23,000, is the subject of the last essay of his book. He also described the genesis for the name of his book. It was the name of a chapter in a book he found in a hotel room in Hiroshima.
The first-edition cover was designed by
Chip Kidd. It features an early painting by Vincent van Gogh. Its title is "Skull of a Skeleton with Burning Cigarette", and the original is housed in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. [Mancoff, Debra N. " [http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/early-paintings-by-vincent-van-gogh.htm Early Paintings by Vincent van Gogh] ." 28 August 2007. HowStuffWorks.com.]
# It's Catching - A worm on Hugh and his mother
# Keeping Up - Sedaris trying to keep up with Hugh, who walks too fast.
# The Understudy - Memories of a bad babysitter.
# This Old House - David moves into a boarding house.
# Buddy, Can You Spare a Tie? - Sedaris's recollections on various "accessories"
# Road Trips - Being picked up by a driver that wants a blow job.
# What I Learned - Talking about Princeton.
# That's Amore - A rude neighbor named Helen.
# The Monster Mash - Sedaris's fascination with dead bodies.
# In the Waiting Room - Language barriers and the consequences.
# Solution to Saturday's Puzzle - David's throat lozenge falls on to a bitchy airplane seatmate.
# Adult Figures Charging Toward a Concrete Toadstool - His parents collecting art.
# Memento Mori - Buying a human skeleton for Hugh.
# All the Beauty You Will Ever Need - Making coffee without water and his relationship with Hugh.
# Town and Country - A cabdriver in New York who talks about his sex life.
# Aerial - Using album covers to scare away birds.
# The Man in the Hut - A neighbor in France who was sent to jail for molesting his wife's grandchildren.
# Of Mice and Men - About icebreaker conversations.
# April in Paris - About interacting with animals and Sedaris's recollections of a spider.
# Crybaby - Sedaris sits next to a grieving man in an airplane.
# Old Faithful - Hugh lances a boil off of Sedaris's backside.
# The Smoking Section - Sedaris tries to quit smoking in Japan.
* [http://authorsontourlive.com/?p=147 "David Sedaris reads from and discusses When You Are Engulfed in Flames"] - Live from the Tattered Cover bookstore in Denver, CO.
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