David Shields

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For the American ice hockey defenseman, see David Shields (ice hockey). David Shields_sentence_0

David Shields_table_infobox_0

David ShieldsDavid Shields_header_cell_0_0_0
BornDavid Shields_header_cell_0_1_0 (1956-07-22) July 22, 1956 (age 64)

Los Angeles, CaliforniaDavid Shields_cell_0_1_1

OccupationDavid Shields_header_cell_0_2_0 Writer/filmmaker/professorDavid Shields_cell_0_2_1
NationalityDavid Shields_header_cell_0_3_0 AmericanDavid Shields_cell_0_3_1
EducationDavid Shields_header_cell_0_4_0 BA (English Literature), MFA (Fiction)David Shields_cell_0_4_1
Alma materDavid Shields_header_cell_0_5_0 Brown University, University of IowaDavid Shields_cell_0_5_1
PeriodDavid Shields_header_cell_0_6_0 1984–presentDavid Shields_cell_0_6_1
GenreDavid Shields_header_cell_0_7_0 Book-length essay, Documentary filmDavid Shields_cell_0_7_1
WebsiteDavid Shields_header_cell_0_8_0

David Shields (born July 22, 1956) is an American writer and filmmaker who uses collage to destabilize genre. David Shields_sentence_1

He is the author of twenty-two books, including Reality Hunger and The Thing About Life Is That One Day You’ll Be Dead and the director of Lynch: A History. David Shields_sentence_2

Shields’s fiction and nonfiction have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, Esquire, Yale Review, and dozens of other publications. David Shields_sentence_3

A Guggenheim Fellow, twice an NEA Fellow, a PEN Revson Award winner, a finalist for the National Book Critics’ Circle Award and the PEN USA Award, and a senior contributing editor of Conjunctions, Shields is a visiting professor in the Warren Wilson College Low-Residency MFA Program and in Vermont College of Fine Arts’s Low-Residency MFA Program. David Shields_sentence_4

Since 2010, he has been the Milliman Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the University of Washington. David Shields_sentence_5

Early life David Shields_section_0

Shields was born in Los Angeles in 1956 to a lower-middle-class Jewish family. David Shields_sentence_6

He has an older sister, a half-brother, and a half-sister. David Shields_sentence_7

Both of Shields’s parents were journalists. David Shields_sentence_8

His mother, the West Coast correspondent for the Nation for many years, was a political activist; his father worked as a speechwriter for progressive politicians. David Shields_sentence_9

In 1962, the family moved to San Francisco, where Shields’s parents were deeply involved in the local anti-war and civil rights community, frequently opening up their home to those in need of short- or long-term shelter. David Shields_sentence_10

In 1978, Shields graduated, Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude, from Brown University, with a Bachelor of Arts, with Honors, in British and American Literature. David Shields_sentence_11

In 1980, he received a Master of Fine Arts, with Honors in Fiction, from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. David Shields_sentence_12

Career David Shields_section_1

Shields’s debut novel, Heroes, about a Midwestern sportswriter’s fascination with a college basketball player, was published by Simon & Schuster in 1984. David Shields_sentence_13

From 1985-1988, he was a visiting assistant professor at St. David Shields_sentence_14 Lawrence University in Canton, NY. David Shields_sentence_15

In 1989, Knopf published Shields’s second novel, Dead Languages, a semi-autobiographical novel about a boy growing up with a severe stutter. David Shields_sentence_16

Dead Languages is a work of fiction, but it incorporates significantly larger shards of reality than Shields’s first book, marking the initial phase of Shields’s transition toward nonfiction, which would ultimately lead him to help usher in initiate the literary collage and ‘anti-novel’ forms for which he is most well-known. David Shields_sentence_17

In 1992, his novel-in-stories, Handbook for Drowning, was published by Knopf. David Shields_sentence_18

In 1996, Shields became a faculty member in the Warren Wilson College low-residency MFA Program for Writers, a position he still holds. David Shields_sentence_19

That same year, his fourth book, Remote: Reflections on Life in the Shadow of Celebrity, Shields’s first work of literary collage, was published by Knopf. David Shields_sentence_20

Between 1997 and 2009, Shields published five books: Black Planet: Facing Race during an NBA Season (Random House, 1999) a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and PEN USA award; Baseball Is Just Baseball: The Understated Ichiro (TNI books, 2001), which achieved bestseller status in Japan; Enough About You: Notes toward the New Autobiography (Simon & Schuster, 2002); Body Politic: The Great American Sports Machine (Simon & Schuster, 2004); and The Thing About Life Is That One Day You’ll Be Dead (Knopf, 2008), a New York Times bestseller. David Shields_sentence_21

In 2001, Shields became a visiting instructor at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and has taught there ever since. David Shields_sentence_22

In 2010, Shields’s tenth book, Reality Hunger: A Manifesto, was published by Knopf. David Shields_sentence_23

In Vanity Fair, Elissa Schappell called Reality Hunger an “arousing call to arms for all artists to reject the laws governing appropriation, obliterate the boundaries between fiction and nonfiction, and give rise to a new modern form for a new century.” Reality Hunger was recently named one of the decade’s 100 most important books by LitHub. David Shields_sentence_24

The following year, Norton published The Inevitable: Contemporary Writers Confront Death, an anthology Shields co-edited with Brad Morrow. David Shields_sentence_25

In 2012, New Harvest published Jeff, One Lonely Guy, a collage co-written by Shields, Jeff Ragsdale, and Michael Logan. David Shields_sentence_26

Later that year, an anthology co-edited by Shields and Matthew Vollmer, Fakes: An Anthology of Pseudo-Interviews, Faux-Lectures, Quasi-Letters, “Found” Texts, and Other Fraudulent Artifacts, was published by Norton. David Shields_sentence_27

In 2013, Knopf published How Literature Saved My Life, a blend of confessional criticism and cultural autobiography. David Shields_sentence_28

Also in 2013, Simon & Schuster published Salinger, an “oral biography” of J.D. David Shields_sentence_29 Salinger by Shields and Shane Salerno. David Shields_sentence_30

Salinger was a New York Times bestseller and has been translated into more than a dozen languages. David Shields_sentence_31

In 2015, Hawthorne Books published Life Is Short — Art is Shorter: In Praise of Brevity, which Shields co-edited with Elizabeth Cooperman. David Shields_sentence_32

In 2015, Shields also published That Thing You Do With Your Mouth: The Sexual Autobiography of Samantha Matthews as told to David Shields (McSweeney’s); I Think You’re Totally Wrong: A Quarrel, co-written with Caleb Powell; and War Is Beautiful: The New York Times Pictorial Guide to the Glamour of Armed Conflict (powerHouse) a deconstruction of that newspaper’s front-page war photography. David Shields_sentence_33

Other People: Takes & Mistakes was published by Knopf in 2017. David Shields_sentence_34

That same year, First Pond Entertainment released the film adaptation of I Think You’re Totally Wrong: A Quarrel, written by Shields and Powell, starring Shields and Powell and James Franco, and directed by Franco. David Shields_sentence_35

The trio debate the value of life versus art; art wins, barely. David Shields_sentence_36

The film is available now on Amazon Prime, iTunes/Apple TV, Vudu, Vimeo, Kanopy, and Google Play. David Shields_sentence_37

In 2018, Shields’s book Nobody Hates Trump More Than Trump: An Intervention was published by Thought Catalog Books. David Shields_sentence_38

In 2019, The Trouble With Men: Reflections on Sex, Love, Marriage, Porn, and Power was published by Mad Creek Books. David Shields_sentence_39

Later the same year, Shields’s debut documentary, Lynch: A History, an ode to Marshawn Lynch’s use of silence, echo, and mimicry as key tools of resistance, premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival. David Shields_sentence_40

The film, which Shields wrote, produced, and directed, was named one of the five best films at the International Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam and has won numerous awards, including the Golden SunBreak Award for Best Documentary and the End of Cinema Award for Best Nonfiction Film. David Shields_sentence_41

The film is now available on First Look Media, Sundance TV, AMC, Amazon Prime, and iTunes/ AppleTV. David Shields_sentence_42

Critical reception David Shields_section_2

Shields’s early fiction was noted for its use of neorealism. David Shields_sentence_43

In 1989, writing in the Virginia Quarterly Review, Lance Olsen included Shields as part of the “Next Generation of Fiction.” With the 1996 publication of Remote, which A.O. David Shields_sentence_44 Scott described in Newsday as “one of the definitive texts of the 1990s—a trim, elegant nonfiction answer to Infinite Jest,” Shields began to build his is reputation as a pioneer of collage. David Shields_sentence_45

Reality Hunger was highly controversial when it was published in 2010. David Shields_sentence_46

In The New York Times Book Review, Luc Sante wrote that the book “urgently and succinctly addresses matters that have been in the air, have relentlessly gathered momentum, and have just been waiting for someone to link them together… [Shields's] book probably heralds what will be the dominant modes in years and decades to come.” Reality Hunger has, in fact, proven extremely influential on 21 century nonfiction, “autofiction,” and documentary film. David Shields_sentence_47

In the New Yorker, James Wood called the book “highly problematic” in its “unexamined promotion of what [Shields] insists on calling ‘reality’ over narrative,” although Wood did acknowledge that Shields’s “arguments about the tediousness and terminality of current fictional convention are well-taken.” David Shields_sentence_48

In the decade since Reality Hunger, Shields has published a dozen books, many of which are collaborative and nearly all of which attempt to embody the ars poetica theorized in Reality Hunger. David Shields_sentence_49

The first of these collaborations, Salinger, a 2013 oral biography that subtly defied the conventions of nonfiction through its piecing together of an abundance of primary material, was praised by John Walsh in the Sunday Times (London): “A stupendous work . David Shields_sentence_50

. David Shields_sentence_51

. David Shields_sentence_52

I predict with the utmost confidence that, after this, the world will not need another Salinger biography.” Shields continued to transform and remix genre in War Is Beautiful, which Heather Baysa in the Village Voice called a “disturbingly graphic book [that] follows the New York Times's war reporting for more than a decade, exposing the institution's tendency to glamorize armed combat to the point of manipulation." David Shields_sentence_53

I Think You’re Totally Wrong: A Quarrel, a collaboration between Shields and Caleb Powell, was praised for its erasure of the boundary between mask and self, a frequent theme in Shields’s work. David Shields_sentence_54

In the Atlantic, Leslie Jamison wrote that the book’s “goal isn’t sympathy or forgiveness. David Shields_sentence_55

Life is not personal. David Shields_sentence_56

Life is evidence. David Shields_sentence_57

It’s fodder for argument. David Shields_sentence_58

To put the ‘I’ to work this way invites a different intimacy—not voyeuristic communion but collaborative inquiry, author and reader facing the same questions from inside their inevitably messy lives.” David Shields_sentence_59

Lynch: A History, whose montage approach builds off of the collage style of Shields’s books, marks the next major shift in Shields’s career: documentary film. David Shields_sentence_60

In the New Yorker, Hua Hsu wrote, “Lynch feels like the culmination of Shields’s career. David Shields_sentence_61

The film’s relentless rhythm overwhelms and overpowers you. David Shields_sentence_62

Random acts of terror, across time and space, reveal themselves as a pattern. David Shields_sentence_63

It’s a gradient of American carnage.” David Shields_sentence_64

Books David Shields_section_3

David Shields_unordered_list_0

  • The Trouble With Men: Reflections on Sex, Love, Marriage, Porn, and Power, Mad Creek Books, 2019David Shields_item_0_0
  • Nobody Hates Trump More than Trump: An Intervention, Thought Catalog, 2018David Shields_item_0_1
  • Other People: Takes & Mistakes, Knopf, 2017David Shields_item_0_2
  • War is Beautiful: The New York Times Pictorial Guide to the Glamour of Armed Conflict, powerHouse Books, 2015David Shields_item_0_3
  • That Thing You Do With Your Mouth: The Sexual Autobiography of Samantha Matthews, as told to David Shields, McSweeney's, 2015David Shields_item_0_4
  • Life Is Short—Art Is Shorter: In Praise of Brevity, co-edited with Elizabeth Cooperman, Hawthorne Books, 2015David Shields_item_0_5
  • I Think You're Totally Wrong: A Quarrel, co-written with Caleb Powell, Knopf, 2015David Shields_item_0_6
  • Salinger, co-written with Shane Salerno, Simon & Schuster, 2013David Shields_item_0_7
  • How Literature Saved My Life, Knopf, 2013David Shields_item_0_8
  • Fakes: An Anthology of Pseudo-Interviews, Faux-Lectures, Quasi-Letters, "Found" Texts, and Other Fraudulent Artifacts, co-edited with Matthew Vollmer, W.W. Norton, 2012David Shields_item_0_9
  • Jeff: One Lonely Guy, co-written with Jeff Ragsdale and Michael Logan, New Harvest, 2012David Shields_item_0_10
  • The Inevitable: Contemporary Writers Confront Death, co-edited with Bradford Morrow, W.W. Norton, 2011David Shields_item_0_11
  • Reality Hunger: A Manifesto, Knopf, 2010David Shields_item_0_12
  • The Thing About Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead, Knopf, 2008David Shields_item_0_13
  • Body Politic: The Great American Sports Machine, Simon & Schuster, 2004David Shields_item_0_14
  • Enough About You: Notes Toward the New Autobiography, Simon & Schuster, 2002David Shields_item_0_15
  • Baseball Is Just Baseball" The Understated Ichiro, TNI Books, 2001David Shields_item_0_16
  • Black Planet: Facing Race during an NBA Season, Crown, 1999David Shields_item_0_17
  • Remote: Reflections on Life in the Shadow of Celebrity, Knopf, 1996David Shields_item_0_18
  • Handbook for Drowning: A Novel in Stories, Knopf 1992David Shields_item_0_19
  • Dead Languages: A Novel, Knopf 1989David Shields_item_0_20
  • Heroes: A Novel, Simon & Schuster, 1984David Shields_item_0_21

Films David Shields_section_4

David Shields_table_general_1

YearDavid Shields_header_cell_1_0_0 TitleDavid Shields_header_cell_1_0_1 RoleDavid Shields_header_cell_1_0_2
2019David Shields_cell_1_1_0 Lynch: A HistoryDavid Shields_cell_1_1_1 writer, director, producerDavid Shields_cell_1_1_2
2017David Shields_cell_1_2_0 I Think You're Totally Wrong: A QuarrelDavid Shields_cell_1_2_1 co-writer, co-starDavid Shields_cell_1_2_2

Awards David Shields_section_5

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David Shields.