Me Talk Pretty One Day, by David Sedaris

Group Members:
Caitlin Crawford*
Jocelyn Davies
Matthew Hodgkin
Shenaugh Tripp
Erica Klein

Discussion Location: Ms. Klein's room 609

external image Book_Me_Talk_Pretty_One_Day.jpg

Book Discussion Agenda :


• All members introduce themselves
• Why did you pick to read this book? (Interest)
• Share overview of favorite essay/story and why
• Did you like this book?


~ Plot - Based and Analysis
• How do you feel about the question State or Carolina? (The teacher's first question to David)
• Do you like how the novel is written? Only certain memories, rather than a whole life narration
• To what extent does David go to avoid certain words?
• What is David's obsession with movies in France?
• What does David find so interesting about the broken carnival ride and the vachette show?
• How do you think David's drug-induced passion for art impacted his life?
• Do you think David compares himself with his siblings and other family members?
• What do you think of this quote? - "from speaking like an evil baby to speaking like a hillbilly. 'Is thems the thoughts of cows?' I'd ask the butcher, pointing to the calves' brains displayed in the front window."

~ Character/Narration
• What is your reaction to Mr. Sedaris habits on collecting/eating rotten food?
• What is your reaction to the obsession with their pet great dane?
• What do you think about David's sister care-free appearance? Would you ever dress/act like she did?
• Did you like the way David compared his real life situations to movies, events, and stereotypes?
• Do you think David was aware of his sexuality at a young age?
• Who do you think is the most important person in the book to David?
• Do you think David's speech impediment/sexuality effected his social life as a kid?
• Did David's seclusion due to the language barrier in France contribute to his writing?
• We never hear about David's mother - what do you think happened to her?
• What is your reaction to David's father in the aspect that "fathered six children who shared absolutely none of his interests"? Is that unusual

~ Setting
Normandy, France - helping fix a house with his current boyfriend. Does that sound fun? Would you go?

~ Big Ideas
• Do you find Mr. Sedaris' relationship with David similar or dissimilar to your relationship with your father?
• Would you move to a foreign country for someone that you loved?
• How were the family dynamics different after their mother died?
• Why do you think not all of his family members are in this book?

~ Style of Writing
• What do you like or dislike about Sedaris' style of writing?
• Do you think Sedaris is funny? Why or why not?
• What do you think makes his writing different than other authors?
• How does Sedaris use certain words to make his stories funnier? ("the youth in Asia")
• How does Sedaris describe people?
• Do you think the constant use of humor in the essays took away from the seriousness of certain events? Is this good or bad?

~ Conflict
• Do you think there are conflicts in this book? (between family members, or learning within himself)

~ Themes and Motifs
• What are repeated themes in many of the essays?
• If you take french, have you found learning and communicating with the language to be difficult? Any blunders with the french language that you find amusing.

Outside Information

Youtube video: BBC French Oral Exam
Another Youtube video: Friends - Joey Learning French
Youtube "book trailer": Quotes from Me Talk Pretty One Day
David's sister Amy on The Late Show: Amy Sedaris with David Letterman