David Sedaris Writes Speeches for High Schoolers?

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As strange as it might sound, according to an article in The Atlantic, American humorist David Sedaris included several vignettes in his new book Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls: Essays, Etc. that he specifically wrote for high school speech competitions called “forensics.”

Sedaris states:

Students take published short stories and essays, edit them down to a predetermined length, and recite them competitively. To that end, as part of the ‘Etc.’ in this book’s subtitle, I have written six brief monologues that young people might deliver before a panel of judges. I believe these stories should be self-evident. They’re the pieces in which I am a woman, a father, and a sixteen-year-old girl with a fake British accent.

It makes sense high schoolers would adopt Sedaris’ work for these competitions, considering his essays are often brief, poignant, and his humor and quirkiness makes him endearing to people of many ages.


Pat Johnson is currently working on his master’s in Fiction Writing at San Francisco State University, and is the owner and editor of the satirical news website The New Porker. When Pat’s not reading or writing he’s likely squeezing a lime into a Tecate and headed to the dance floor. He also creates short films, documentaries, and sketch comedies. Pat is completing his first novel, The Virgin and Marilyn Monroe, and writing a book of Creative Non-Fiction short stories. More from this author →