Books & Co.
David Shields

Original Airdate: June 12, 1996


About the Author

David Shields is an American writer whose work blurs generic boundaries. He is the author of ten books and a contributing editor for the literary journal, Conjunctions. His latest book, The Thing About Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead, was a New York Times bestseller.


About this Book

The author/narrator-a representative, in extremis, of contemporary American obsession with beauty, celebrity, transmitted image-finds himself suspended, fascinated, in the remoteness of our wall-to-wall mediascape. It is a remoteness that both perplexes and enthralls him.
Through dazzling sleight of hand in which the public becomes private and the private becomes public, the entire book-clicking from confession to family-album photograph to family chronicle to sexual fantasy to pseudo-scholarly footnote to reportage to personal essay to stand-up comedy to cultural criticism to literary criticism to film criticism to prose-poem to litany to outtake-becomes both an anatomy of American culture and a searing self-portrait.