Publishing a book on November 3 was a bold move that only a select few could get away with. David Sedaris, longtime New Yorker writer and author of many books (Me Talk Pretty One Day, Calypso), is one of the few, and with a collection of old and new stories and essays called The Best of Me, he brings levity and wit at just the right moment. Here, Sedaris, who flew to North Carolina from his home in England in order to vote in person, speaks with Michael Hainey about manners, snobs, and a few peculiar ideas.

Michael Hainey: Do you feel we’ve lost a sense of kindness in America?