Humorist David Sedaris manages to fill in the animal characters in his latest collection of short stories with more color and facets than many fiction writers devote to their human characters.
Despite being a series of short stories being told by animals, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk is actually pretty much what you’ve come to expect from Sedaris, via his New Yorker essays, NPR stories and collection of autobiographical writings. Filled with plenty of snark, some self-deprecating humor and brilliantly sharp satire, this latest book is further proof that Sedaris is one of the best things going in contemporary non-fiction (or, fiction in this case).
The title story tells of the doomed-from-the-start romantic relationship between a squirrel and a chipmunk, the Romeo and Juliet of the animal kingdom, while other stories deal with the budding relationship between an owl and hippo and the leeches that live inside the hippo’s anus, or the rabbit that begins to take on the personality of a modern-day member of the Minute Men militia when he is put in charge of erecting a fence to keep out undesirables in the forest.
To complete these delightfully dark misanthropic fairytales for adults, Sedaris has managed to get children’s author Ian Falconer, best known for the wildly popular Olivia series, to animate each story. Simply brilliant!
Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris/Little, Brown and Company/2010/Hardcover/176 pages