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Act One: Wannabe

Writer David Sedaris remembers the days his mother and sister played armchair detective, and the odd crime wave that hit their own home. This story, titled "True Detective," appears in David's book Naked.

Act Three: Ashes

How writer (and frequent This American Life contributor) David Sedaris and his family reacted when Sedaris's mother—a lifelong, unrepentant smoker—developed lung cancer. After a lifetime of barbed, funny remarks, no one in the family is prepared to talk about their feelings.

Act Four: Now We Are Five

David Sedaris comes from a big family, who for many years growing up, took annual vacations to the same beach house. In this story, David tells us about losing a sister, and how her death prompted a family reunion back at the beach.

Prologue

How David Sedaris became a Christmas writer — and how he started writing stories about the holiday that are so dark that sometimes it seems that he's trying to single handedly destroy Christmas. We hear from members of David's own family, and from David, all of whom insist that David loves Christmas.

Act Five: Just Shoot Me

David Sedaris tells a story about his mother who hated home movies, and how his brothers and sisters came to appreciate them. David's the author of several books, including When You Are Engulfed in Flames.

Act One: Repeat After Me

A story by regular contributor David Sedaris involving his sister Lisa, a secret, and her very understanding parrot. David read this story live, and it's on his CD Live at Carnegie Hall. The story is also published in his book Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim.