When You Are Engulfed in Flames
|Publisher||Little, Brown and Company|
|June 3, 2008|
|Media type||Print (hardcover), audiobook|
|Pages||323 pp (first edition, hardcover)|
|ISBN||0-316-14347-2 (first edition, hardcover)|
|LC Class||PS3569.E314 W48 2008|
|Preceded by||Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim|
|Followed by||Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary|
Sedaris's sixth book assembles essays on various situations such as trying to make coffee when the water is shut off, associations in the French countryside, buying drugs in a mobile home in rural North Carolina, having a lozenge fall from your mouth into the lap of a fellow passenger on a plane, armoring windows with LP covers to protect the house from neurotic songbirds, lancing a boil from another's backside, and venturing to Japan to quit smoking. Little, Brown and Company issued a first-run hardcover release of 100,000 copies.
Sedaris was a guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central on June 3, 2008. During the interview he recommended moving to Hiroshima, Japan for three months to stop smoking. This smoking cessation method, which cost the author $23,000, is the subject of the last essay of his book. He also described the genesis for the name of his book. It was the name of a chapter in a book he found in a hotel room in Hiroshima, Japan. He also appeared on The Late Show on CBS, with David Letterman.
- It's Catching – A work on Sedaris' partner Hugh and his mom
- Keeping Up – David trying to keep up with Hugh, who walks too fast
- The Understudy – Memories of a bad white trash babysitter.
- This Old House – David moves into a boarding house.
- Buddy, Can You Spare a Tie? – David's recollections on various bad clothes and "accessories"
- Road Trips – Being picked up by a driver who wants a blow job.
- What I Learned – Talking about Princeton
- That's Amore – A rude neighbor named Helen
- The Monster Mash – David's fascination with corpses.
- In the Waiting Room – Language barriers and the consequences
- Solution to Saturday's Puzzle – David's throat lozenge falls onto a bitchy airplane seatmate
- Adult Figures Charging Toward a Concrete Toadstool – His parents collecting art
- Memento Mori – Buying a skeleton for Hugh
- All the Beauty You Will Ever Need – Making coffee without water and his relationship with Hugh
- Town and Country – A cabbie in New York who talks about his sex life
- Aerial – Using album covers to scare away birds
- The Man in the Hut – A neighbor in France who was sent to prison for molesting his wife's grandchildren
- Of Mice and Men – About icebreaker conversations
- April in Paris – About interacting with animals and David's recollections of a spider
- Crybaby – David sits next to a grieving man on a plane.
- Old Faithful – Hugh lances a boil on David's backside
- The Smoking Section – David tries to stop smoking in Japan
- "Early Paintings by Vincent van Gogh". HowStuffWorks. 28 August 2007.