Other People (Hardcover)
Takes & Mistakes
Knopf Publishing Group, 9780385351997, 384pp.
Publication Date: February 21, 2017
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. 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.
About the Author
David Shields is the author of twenty books, including Reality Hunger (named one of the best books of 2010 by more than thirty publications), The Thing About Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead (New York Times best seller), and Black Planet (finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award). The recipient of Guggenheim and NEA fellowships, Shields has published essays and stories in The New York Times Magazine, Harper's, Esquire, The Yale Review, Salon, Slate, McSweeney's, and The Believer. His work has been translated into twenty languages.