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Wigfield: The Can-Do Metropolis That Just May Not


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Wigfield: The Can-Do Metropolis That Just May Not by Sedaris, Amy/ Dinello, Paul/ Colbert, Stephen/ Oldham, Todd (PHT)
Product Description
Now in paperback, a hilarious, satirical look at a small town on the verge of extinction, from the comedic team behind Strangers with Candy. In his desperate search for a small town dying in America, intrepid journalist Russell Hokes stumbles upon a quarter-mile stretch of concrete and gravel dotted with strip clubs and used auto parts shops. Welcome to Wigfield. Population: vague. Upon his arrival, Russell Hokes wanders the streets searching for the salt of the earth. Instead he finds a town in crisis. Why State Representative Bill Farber wants to tear down the Bulkwaller Dam, thereby flooding the town. Will Russell Hokes save the town? Is Wigfield merely posing as a town to collect federal disaster relief? Won't you please buy this book? Review
Wigfield is in peril. The Bulkwaller Dam, which towers over the tiny town, is scheduled to be destroyed which would in turn wipe out Wigfield. Journalist Russell Hokes travels there to profile the brave and honest citizens who are struggling to save their community. Well, sort of. Actually, Wigfield is not so much a town as a series of ramshackle strip clubs and used-auto-parts stores, lacking any kind of civic infrastructure whatsoever. And its people are not so much "brave and honest" as "brutal," "homicidal," and "lacking any redeeming virtue whatsoever." Similarly, to call Hokes, who narrates his own struggles to gather accumulate 50,000 words, a "journalist" is at best an exaggeration and at worst an abomination against the institution of journalism itself.

The world of Wigfield, as concocted by the brilliant Stephen Colbert, Paul Dinello, and Amy Sedaris (creators of the Comedy Central series Strangers with Candy), is somewhat reminiscent of the slice-of-life small-town humor of Christopher Guest's Waiting for Guffman. But instead of putting on a musical, as the Guffman folks did, the people of Wigfield busy themselves trying to acquire government handouts and stabbing each other to death. When the government rebuffs their efforts, based on the fact that they're not technically a town, they come up with a plan to get paid anyway. Wigfield's residents (as played by Colbert, Dinello, and Sedaris) are portrayed in a series of compellingly grotesque portraits by renowned designer and photographer Todd Oldham. The humor of the book--much like the town's mentality--is dense, as nearly every sentence contains one or several grimly hilarious references. Fans of feel-good whimsy are advised to navigate toward lighter fare but social pariahs, disgraced journalists, brooding malcontented sociopaths, and anyone who enjoys dark, twisted, and profoundly funny writing will find a home in Wigfield. --John Moe

Strangers with Bon-bons Poster 27x40 Amy Sedaris Greg Hollimon Paul Dinello
Strangers with Bon-bons Poster 27x40 Amy Sedaris Greg Hollimon Paul Dinello by Pop Culture Graphics

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Strangers with Candy reproduction poster print

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  • Sedaris

    U of Minnesota Press. 2017. ISBN: 9780816650842,0816650845. 257 pages.

    “When you're laughing aloud at David Sedaris's every ruling, it's easy to miss the more serious side of what he's up to. Fortunately, Kevin Kopelson has come along to guide readers through the work of the best and most revolutionary social satirist in America.” —Stephen McCauley, author of The Object of My Affection "Charting a course from Marcel Proust to Tony Danza, Kevin artfully captures the fine pleasure and pain of reading David Sedaris. A witty, thoughtful, intimate encounter." —David Hyde Pierce "If I were to read a paperback on David Sedaris it might be this one." —Paul Reubens David Sedaris is nothing less than a literary phenomenon. His readings and live performances sell out within hours, while his books—Barrel Fever, Holidays on Ice, Obvious, Me Talk Pretty One Day, and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim—have each been best-sellers. Sedaris became an almost overnight sensation in 1992 when he recounted his surreal experiences working as a Macy's hang on store elf named Crumpet on NPR's Morning Edition. The sardonic wit displayed in his “SantaLand Diaries” has since made him America's preeminent satirist—brutally unrestrained, often painfully sad, and above all, truly hilarious. In Sedaris, Kevin Kopelson engages with the most difficult, uncomfortable, and often most whimsical aspects of Sedaris's writing—shame and public humiliation, dysfunctional families and destructive relationships, misanthropy and self-loathing—to reveal what makes Sedaris such an functional and affecting satirist, and to show why so many readers and listeners identify with him. For Kopelson, the key to understanding Sedaris lies in recognizing the importance of relationships to his comedy. Sketch extensively on both his nonfiction essays and short stories, Kopelson maps out Sedaris's relationships in more or less chronological order—grandparents, parents, siblings, teachers, friends, coworkers, strangers, children, and lovers—and identifies the misunderstandings, betrayals, and cruelties that we all encounter, but which in Sedaris's voice are brilliantly and grotesquely magnified. Written for everyone who loves David Sedaris and has wondered why they find him so relevant to their own lives, Sedaris succeeds in irresistible seriously this sublimely caustic, riotously funny, and ultimately important writer. And for anyone unfamiliar with Sedaris, this book is the perfect introduction. Kevin Kopelson is professor of English at the University of Iowa. His prior to books include Neatness Counts: Essays on the Writer's Desk (Minnesota, 2004).


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