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David Shields

Author of Reality Hunger: A Manifesto

39+ Works 2,267 Members 79 Reviews

About the Author

David Shields was born in Los Angeles, California on July 22, 1956. He received a bachelor's degree in English literature from Brown University in 1978 and an MFA in fiction from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1980. He writes both fiction and nonfiction books. His first novel, Heroes, show more was published in 1984. His other works include Black Planet: Facing Race during an NBA Season, The Thing About Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead, Reality Hunger: A Manifesto, How Literature Saved My Life, and Other People: Takes & Mistakes. Remote: Reflections on Life in the Shadow of Celebrity won the PEN/Revson Award and Dead Languages won the PEN Syndicated Fiction Award. He is the Milliman Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the University of Washington. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Tom Collicott

Works by David Shields

Reality Hunger: A Manifesto (2010) 530 copies
Salinger (2013) 356 copies
How Literature Saved My Life (2013) 213 copies
Dead Languages (1989) 110 copies
Jeff, One Lonely Guy (2012) 25 copies
The Very Last Interview (2022) 14 copies
Heroes (1984) 10 copies
Hambre de realidad (2015) 2 copies
Salinger (2020) 1 copy

Associated Works

The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2012 (2012) — Contributor — 198 copies
McSweeney's Issue 34 (McSweeney's Quarterly Concern) (2010) — Contributor — 110 copies
McSweeney's Issue 3: Windfall Republic (1999) — Contributor — 95 copies
McSweeney's Issue 2: Blues/Jazz Odyssey (1999) — Contributor — 71 copies
The Office of Never Was (2017) — Narrator — 15 copies
Northwest Edge: Deviant Fictions (2000) — Contributor — 6 copies


Common Knowledge



Not a patch on Postman's "Amusing Ourselves to Death"
Parthurbook | 1 other review | Nov 6, 2023 |
What an interesting book! Salinger was not at all the man I imagined he would be. The approach of the two authors makes this a highly interesting, engaging and sometimes quite intense read. I would have given it 4 stats except that: 1) they did not describe their unique approach in the introduction (it's essentially paragraph quotes from all of their many sources, including themselves); 2) some of the quotes were repeated at length; and 3) there was hardly any analysis of Salinger's writing woven into the biogrqphy. Still, I would recommend it.… (more)
lschiff | 12 other reviews | Sep 24, 2023 |
While I find the idea and the conceit of Reality Hunger interesting, it failed to deliver on its promise. It is far too shallow and spends too much time expounding on the idea that all true art is built upon the work that came before . Anyone who would be a candidate to read this book would know that already. The second half is more compelling, but ultimately, I'm not convinced that Fiction is dead and that we crave reality. The discussions about the areas where fiction and non-fiction collide (collage, the lyrical essay, and memoir) was interesting, and I agree that these are currently the areas where a lot of the innovation is happening. But in the end, I don't think Shields made the case for the end of fiction.… (more)
dogboi | 18 other reviews | Sep 16, 2023 |
Chapter on "Nine Stories" ingeniously reads the collection as a series of stories about the trauma of war. The chapter on "Catcher in the Rye" was disappointing, quoting from movie stars like Edward Norton and Jake Gyllenhaal (who bizarrely calls Holden "the white Malcolm X"). The chapter on "Assassins" was interesting, but could have cut in half. All in all, I found this biography to be a real "page turner".
gtross | 12 other reviews | Jul 31, 2022 |



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Associated Authors

Matthew Vollmer Editor/Contributor
Arda Collins Contributor
Kevin Wilson Contributor
Kari Anne Roy Contributor
Charles Yu Contributor
Daniel Orozco Contributor
Charles McLeod Contributor
Wendy Brenner Contributor
Rachel B. Glaser Contributor
Joseph Salvatore Contributor
Matthew Williamson Contributor
Caron A. Levis Contributor
Laura Jayne Martin Contributor
Mieke Eerkens Contributor
Greg Burnham Contributor
Lucas Cooper Contributor
Stanley Crawford Contributor
Mark Halliday Contributor
Jack Pendarvis Contributor
J. G. Ballard Contributor
Paul Theroux Contributor
Donald Barthelme Contributor
Lorrie Moore Contributor
George Saunders Contributor
Rick Moody Contributor
Amy Hempel Contributor
Lydia Davis Contributor
J. Robert Lennon Contributor
Ron Carlson Contributor
Michael Martone Contributor
Chris Bachelder Contributor
Robin Hemley Contributor
David Means Contributor
Melanie Rae Thon Contributor
Joe Wenderoth Contributor
Rob Cohen Contributor
Samantha Hunt Contributor
Ichiro Suzuki Contributor
Bryan Ellingson Cover designer


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