The Thing about Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead

By David Shields
(Vintage Books USA, Paperback, 9780307387967, 225pp.)

Publication Date: February 10, 2009

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Mesmerized and somewhat unnerved by his 97-year-old father's vitality and optimism, David Shields undertakes an original investigation of our flesh-and-blood existence, our mortal being.Weaving together personal anecdote, biological fact, philosophical doubt, cultural criticism, and the wisdom of an eclectic range of writers and thinkers—from Lucretius to Woody Allen—Shields expertly renders both a hilarious family portrait and a truly resonant meditation on mortality.The Thing About Life provokes us to contemplate the brevity and radiance of our own sojourn on earth and challenges us to rearrange our thinking in crucial and unexpected ways.

About the Author
David Shields is the author of eight other books, which have won numerous awards. He has published essays and stories in the New York Times Magazine, Harper's, and McSweeney's, among others. He lives in Seattle, Washington, with his wife and daughter.
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