This article focuses on the tensions between northern and southern U.S. regional identities in the autobiographical writings of David Sedaris. It begins with a consideration of Brad Watson’s short story “Eykelboom,” in which a young boy identified as a “Yankee” becomes an object of hostile fascination to a group of southern boys in a newly constructed suburban neighborhood, circa 1965-1980. It then turns to Sedaris, one of America’s most prominent culturally northern writers who hail from the South. After a brief biographical sketch, it considers a selection of his essays including “You Can’t Kill The Rooster,” “I Like Guys,” “Get Your Ya-Yas Out,” and “Memory Laps.” Ultimately, this article argues that the experience of southern Yankees does much to destabilize the hegemony of “northern” as uninflected, unremarkable “American.” Unable to fit the cultural expectations of either North or South, Sedaris shows us how fraught both of those categories always were.


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pp. 5-20
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