Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library has temporarily displayed a draft of the “Santaland Diaries,” — alongside Macy’s official guide to proper elf behavior.
Yale recently purchased David Sedaris’ archive, which includes everything from early drafts of his writing, to reading comprehension homework from elementary school.
So far, the archive contains material from Sedaris’ pre-fame years, though more may be added in the coming years. And despite telling the New York Times that he cringes as he thinks about people reading these things, he also sees an upside.
“There’s no way I could have ever gotten into a place like Yale,” he told the paper. “So it thrills me that horrible first drafts of stories I wrote when I was stoned got into an Ivy League school.”
Timothy Young, the Beinecke’s curator for modern books and manuscripts, brought in David Rakoff’s archive shortly before the writer’s death. He knew he wanted Sedaris’ papers next.
“I knew that there was this really interesting, deeper story about his development,” Young said, “his decades-long development for overnight success.”