David Shields / Other People: Takes and Mistakes
Join us as we welcome David Shields for his new essay collection Other People: Takes and Mistakes.
Can one person know another person? How do we live through other people? Is it possible to fill the gap between people? If not, can art fill that gap? Grappling with these questions, David Shields gives us a book that is something of a revelation: seventy-plus essays, written over the last thirty-five years, reconceived and recombined to form neither a miscellany nor a memoir but a sustained meditation on otherness. The book is divided into five sections: Men, Women, Athletes, Performers, Alter Egos. Whether he is writing about sexual desire or information sickness, George W. Bush or Kurt Cobain, women's eyeglasses or Greek tragedy, Howard Cosell or Bill Murray, the comedy of high school journalism or the agony of first love, Shields's sustained, piercing focus is on the multiplicity of perspectives informing any situation, on the irreducible log jam of human information, and on the possibilities, and impossibilities, for human connection.
An intellectually thrilling and emotionally wrenching investigation of otherness: the need for one person to understand another person completely, the impossibility of any such absolute knowing, and the erotics of this separation.
"Other People aims to change how people think about the act of reading; in my case, it has already succeeded, beyond all measure." – Annie Dillard
"One would guess from a title like Other People that it would be about how hellish humans are, but it surprisingly turns out to be the opposite: a book about expressing love. There are whole passages that seem lifted from previous Shields books, dunked in molten earth, and allowed to erupt again; the way they come out here, polished, glittering, makes me think this was the ideal context for them all along." – Christopher Frizzelle, The Stranger
"David Shields takes the stories we tell about ourselves and others and turns them into a story about all of us." – Sallie Tisdale
David Shields is the internationally best-selling author of twenty books, including The Thing About Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead, Reality Hunger, Black Planet, Remote, and War Is Beautiful. He and his wife live in Seattle, where he is the Milliman Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the University of Washington. His work has been translated into twenty languages.
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