Books by David Shields

SALINGER by David Shields
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 3, 2013

"Was Salinger the major artist he has been held up to be? This book helps defend the affirmative response and whets the appetite for the Salinger books to come."
Overstuffed, thoroughly revealing biography—from oral and written sources, and always episodic—of the legendary writer. Read full book review >
HOW LITERATURE SAVED MY LIFE by David Shields
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 8, 2013

"A work of contradictions, subversions, depression, humor and singular awareness; Shields is at his finest when culling the work of others to arrive at his own well-timed, often heartbreaking lines."
Essayist and fiction writer Shields (Reality Hunger: A Manifesto, 2010, etc.) turns quotation, memory, anecdotes and considerations of film, literature, love and death into a collage that enables introspection.  Read full book review >
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Oct. 15, 2012

"Some pieces rebel better than others, but there's ample inspiration for comic and serious fiction authors alike."
A compendium of fictional satires, parodies and other attempts to transform commonplace forms into literary art. Read full book review >
THE INEVITABLE by David Shields
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 21, 2011

"A wonderfully speculative patchwork quilt on the meaning of life and death."
Twenty writers discuss what the inevitability of death means to them. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 23, 2010

The subtitle of David Shields' Reality Hunger categorizes it as "a manifesto," which is a little like calling a nuclear bomb "a weapon." Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 6, 2008

"Lively skirmishes with a deathly topic, giving the loss of life its due."
A finely crafted exploration of aging from gimlet-eyed essayist Shields (Body Politic: The Great American Sports Machine, 2004, etc.). Read full book review >
BODY POLITIC by David Shields
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: May 1, 2004

"Pensive and shrewd."
A thinking person's collection of sports essays. Read full book review >
Released: May 2, 2002

"Gladdeningly inclusive, like a hug from Walt Whitman: declarative and fraught and good."
Novelist and cultural commentator Shields (the nonfictional Black Planet, 1999, etc.) explores "his own damned, doomed character" in this plum collection of vignettes. Read full book review >
REMOTE by David Shields
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

Poised at the intersection of cultural commentary and self-analysis, fiction writer Shields (A Handbook for Drowning, 1992, etc.) creates an idiosyncratic, droll, sporadically ravishing assemblage that both investigates and replicates the fragmented, irony-poisoned, celebrity-obsessed consciousness of fin-de-siäcle America. Shields announces his project in the prologue: ``I'm reading my life as if it were an allegory, an allegory about remoteness, and finding evidence wherever I can.'' In 52 chapters, Shields finds scraps of this ``evidence'' everywhere, from personal letters to quotations from sportscasters, all footnoted with knowingly absurd diligence. Read full book review >

A HANDBOOK FOR DROWNING by David Shields
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 15, 1992

Uneven but often alluring stories, though many of them read like outtakes from Dead Languages, Shields's ambitious 1989 novel of a son's growing up under the stressful nurturing of eccentric parents who were also passionately liberal intellectuals. The names here are changed, but the progressive parents reappear—the mother an unflaggingly committed journalist (who, again, will face death by cancer), the father a more rumpled kind of idealist who covers local sports for neighborhood papers and is undyingly fixated on the injustice of the Rosenberg case. Read full book review >

DEAD LANGUAGES by David Shields
Released: April 24, 1989

Second-novelist Shields (Heroes, 1984) takes on the hoary old coming-of-age (of a writer, no less) genre and manages to give it passion, Çlan, humor, and plenty of depth. Read full book review >