Reality Hunger by David Shields
A Manifesto

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Synopsis

With this landmark book, David Shields fast-forwards the discussion of the central artistic issues of our time. Who owns ideas? How clear is the distinction between fiction and nonfiction? Has the velocity of digital culture rendered traditional modes obsolete? Exploring these and related questions, Shields orchestrates a chorus of voices, past and present, to reframe debates about the veracity of memoir and the relevance of the novel. He argues that our culture is obsessed with “reality,” precisely because we experience hardly any, and urgently calls for new forms that embody and convey the fractured nature of contemporary experience.




From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About David Shields

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DAVID SHIELDS is the author of thirteen previous 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), Black Planet (National Book Critics Circle Award finalist), and Remote (winner of the PEN/Revson Award). He has published essays and stories in dozens of periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine, Harper's,The Village Voice, The Yale Review, Salon, Slate, McSweeney's, and The Believer. His work has been translated into fifteen languages.





















Author Residence: Seattle
 
Published February 19, 2010 by Vintage. 242 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Arts & Photography, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Reality Hunger

The New York Times

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being true to reality involves a certain amount of wavering between real and unreal.

Mar 12 2010 | Read Full Review of Reality Hunger: A Manifesto

The Guardian

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David Shields is bored by the novel.

Feb 27 2010 | Read Full Review of Reality Hunger: A Manifesto

The Guardian

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And at best the novel has always been ­hybrid, Shields says, with autobiography, history and topography part of the mix – hence his admiration for VS Naipaul and WG Sebald, and their "necessary post-modernist return to the roots of the novel as an essentially creole form".

Feb 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Reality Hunger: A Manifesto

The Guardian

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David Shields is bored by the novel.

Feb 28 2010 | Read Full Review of Reality Hunger: A Manifesto

Publishers Weekly

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Shields's latest reinvents the ""how to"" while explaining how the hazy line between truth and lie undermines all forms of modern communication, an understanding that requires accepting the inherent imperfections and idiosyncrasies of a single writer's memory, intent, desire, and point of view.

| Read Full Review of Reality Hunger: A Manifesto

The Wall Street Journal

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And while he also shows a playful awareness of John Barth and other forerunner advocates of experimental fiction, Mr. Shields's proposed forms are best likened to the collages of Robert Rauschenberg (duly quoted in "Reality Hunger"), which mix self-portraiture, pages torn from books, defaced phot...

Feb 22 2010 | Read Full Review of Reality Hunger: A Manifesto

The Globe and Mail

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David Shields argues for a 'new' literature made up of others' words. It may not be that new after all

Feb 26 2010 | Read Full Review of Reality Hunger: A Manifesto

AV Club

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(Source purists will appreciate the index at the back of the book, although Shields indicates that he included it under pressure from lawyers, and instructs readers to tear it out.) In attempting to construct his thesis out of parts of others’ arguments, Shields is bold but unconvincing.

Mar 04 2010 | Read Full Review of Reality Hunger: A Manifesto

The Telegraph

Some of the utterances are cryptic: “It is my ambition to say in 10 sentences what everyone else says in a whole book – what everyone else does not say in a whole book.” He has a habit of making such contradictions masquerade as wisdom – I can’t help thinking of Yoda or those lines about...

Feb 23 2010 | Read Full Review of Reality Hunger: A Manifesto

San Francisco Chronicle

Shields might hope we believe that's by design - the new movement he wants to embody, he writes, will be notable for its "deliberate unartiness" - but that sounds like a pre-emptive salvo meant to fend off criticism.

Mar 26 2010 | Read Full Review of Reality Hunger: A Manifesto

Oregon Live

In his latest book, "Reality Hunger: A Manifesto," Shields, author of three books of fiction and six books of nonfiction, waxes aplenty on the traditional novel's demise ("unbelievably predictable, tired, contrived and essentially purposeless") while making clear his disappointment over nonfictio...

Feb 27 2010 | Read Full Review of Reality Hunger: A Manifesto

Review (Barnes & Noble)

The reality it offers is one fit for the Internet age: fragmented and frenetic, always questioning the line between fact and fiction, as comfortable with mediation as a second skin, happy to glorify the feeling of reality above reality itself.

Mar 16 2010 | Read Full Review of Reality Hunger: A Manifesto

New York Magazine

“My intent,” Shields states, “is to write the ars poetica for a burgeoning group of interrelated (but unconnected) artists in a multitude of forms and media (lyric essay, prose poem, collage novel, visual art, film, television, radio, performance art, rap, stand-up comedy, graffiti) who are break...

Mar 07 2010 | Read Full Review of Reality Hunger: A Manifesto

http://flavorwire.com

But we do ourselves a disservice, as readers and as writers, by settling for mediocrity, and if Reality Hunger convinces even one person to be more adventurous, more playful, and more ambitious, it will have lived up both to advance hype and its own ferocious fictive objectives.

Feb 25 2010 | Read Full Review of Reality Hunger: A Manifesto

Reader Rating for Reality Hunger
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