How Literature Saved My Life
By David Shields
(Vintage Books, Paperback, 9780345802729, 207pp.)
Publication Date: November 5, 2013
List Price: $15.95*
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Blending confessional criticism and cultural autobiography, David Shields explores the power of literature to make life survivable, maybe even endurable. Evoking his deeply divided personality, his character flaws, his woes, his serious despair, he wants "literature to assuage human loneliness, but nothing can assuage human loneliness. Literature doesn't lie about this—which is what makes it essential." This is a captivating, thought-provoking, utterly original book about the essential acts of reading and writing.