talk through one hat

Me Talk Pretty One Day

Me Talk Pretty One Day, published in 2000, is a bestselling collection of essays by American humorist David Sedaris. The book is separated into two parts. The first consists of essays about Sedaris’ life before his move to Normandy, France including his upbringing in suburban Raleigh, North Carolina, his time working odd jobs in New York City, and a visit to New York from a lesbian childhood friend and her rather bumpkinish girlfriend. The second section, "Deux" tells of Sedaris’ move to Normandy with his lover Hugh, often drawing humor from his efforts to live in France without speaking the French language and his frustrated attempts to learn it. Prior to publication, several of the essays were read by the author on the Public Radio International program, This American Life.

In April 2001, Variety reported that Sedaris had sold the Me Talk Pretty One Day film rights to director Wayne Wang, who was adapting four stories from the book for Columbia Pictures with hopes of beginning shooting in late 2001. At the time, Sedaris commented, "[I]t's just one of those things I had never considered. Like, 'What if I de-clawed a kitten?' But I like Wayne Wang a lot." He recommended Jack Lemmon to play his father and Elaine Stritch for his mother. Wang had completed the script and begun casting when Sedaris asked to "g[e]t out of it," after a conversation with his sister aroused concerns as to how his family might be portrayed on screen. (He wrote about the conversation and its aftermath in the essay "Repeat After Me", published in Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim.) Sedaris recounted that Wang was "a real prince.... I didn't want him to be mad at me, but he was so grown up about it. I never saw how it could be turned into a movie anyway."



  1. Go Carolina
  2. Giant Dreams, Midget Abilities
  3. Genetic Engineering
  4. Twelve Moments in the Life of the Artist
  5. You Can't Kill the Rooster
  6. The Youth in Asia
  7. The Learning Curve
  8. Big Boy
  9. The Great Leap Forward
  10. Today's Special
  11. City of Angels
  12. A Shiner Like a Diamond


  1. See You Again Yesterday
  2. Me Talk Pretty One Day
  3. Jesus Shaves
  4. The Tapeworm Is In
  5. Make That a Double
  6. Remembering My Childhood on the Continent of Africa
  7. 21 Down
  8. The City of Light in the Dark
  9. I Pledge Allegiance to the Bag
  10. Picka Pocketoni
  11. I Almost Saw This Girl Get Killed
  12. Smart Guy
  13. The Late Show
  14. I'll Eat What He's Wearing


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