Sarah Vowell understands the importance of mix tapes in one’s life.
They are artifacts of a romanticism that is sometimes short-lived but always sentimental. And although they may never get heard, the tapes are a sign of pure affection. The mix tape figures so prominently in Vowell’s oeuvre that an entire section of her second book, Take the Cannoli: Stories From the New World, is called “Mix Tapes” and features essays dedicated to their pursuit and pleasures. The creation of a mix tape is more than just words and music, and she notes that the crafting of one is more than just a few hours spent in front of a record collection. “Making a mix tape,” she writes, in an essay called “Thanks for the Memorex,” “isn’t like writing a letter, it’s like having a job.” It is thoughtful and intensely personal, much like Vowell’s writing, a trait she shares with This American Life cohort David Sedaris (pictured). Sedaris is known for a hysterical and sarcastic narrative style that is showcased on that radio show and in books such as Me Talk Pretty One Day. Both writers also have sisters named Amy who feature prominently in their works.
And though Sarah’s twin may not have had her own television show, David’s Amy is the brilliant auteur responsible for the canceled Strangers With Candy, formerly not seen in the District on Comedy Central. Both will most likely be covered in tonight’s talk by the authors, which begins at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium, 730 21st St. NW. $20-$25. (301) 808-6900. (Tina Plottel)