The Tunnel at the End of the Light by Jim Shepard
Essays on Movies and Politics

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Shepard’s ruminations occasionally get caught up in knots, but he finds new relevance in every movie he endeavors to explore.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

The first book of nonfiction from one of our great fiction writers.



Publishers Weekly Best Essay Collection of Fall


Given that most Americans proudly consider themselves non-political, where do our notions of collective responsibility come from? Which self-deceptions, when considering ourselves as actors on the world stage, do we cling to most tenaciously? Why do we so stubbornly believe, for example, that our country always means well when intervening abroad?  



The Tunnel at the End of the Light argues that some of our most persistent and destructive assumptions, in that regard, might come from the movies. In these ten essays Jim Shepard weaves close readings of film with cultural criticism to explore the ways in which movies work so ubiquitously to reflect how Americans think and act. Whether assessing the “high-spirited glee of American ruthlessness” captured in GoodFellas, or finding in Lawrence of Arabia a “portrait of the lunatic serenity of our leaders’ conviction in the face of all evidence and their own lack of knowledge,” he explores how we enter into conversations with specific genres and films—Chinatown, The Third Man, and Badlands among others—in order to construct and refine our most cherished illusions about ourselves. 

 

About Jim Shepard

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Jim Shepard is the author of six novels and three previous story collections. His stories are published regularly in such magazines as The New Yorker, The Atlantic, McSweeney's, Tin House, Zoetrope: All-Story, Playboy, and Vice, among others. "The Netherlands Lives with Water," from this collection, appears in The Best American Short Stories 2010. "Your Fate Hurtles Down at You," also from this collection, appears in PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2011. He lives with his wife and their three children in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
 
Published September 12, 2017 by Tin House Books. 275 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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Kirkus

Above average
on May 21 2017

Shepard’s ruminations occasionally get caught up in knots, but he finds new relevance in every movie he endeavors to explore.

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