Spy of the First Person (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

For over fifty years, in plays and prose, the late Sam Shepard wrote of life and passion with a visceral energy that had few peers. In this exquisite, haunting last work of fiction, written by hand and dictated by voice as his body was limited by the ravages of ALS, Shepard writes from different perspectives on the body’s loss of strength. Even so, the power of beauty, the pull of landscapes of the heart—and of actual land—are as intense and keen as ever. There is loss, but not loss, fragility and strength, self and others, absence but presence, here, then not. -Rick

— From Winter Gazette 2017


The final work from the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, actor, and musician, drawn from his transformative last days

In searing, beautiful prose, Sam Shepard's extraordinary narrative leaps off the page with its immediacy and power. It tells in a brilliant braid of voices the story of an unnamed narrator who traces, before our rapt eyes, his memories of work, adventure, and travel as he undergoes medical tests and treatments for a condition that is rendering him more and more dependent on the loved ones who are caring for him. The narrator's memories and preoccupations often echo those of our current moment--for here are stories of immigration and community, inclusion and exclusion, suspicion and trust. But at the book's core, and his, is family--his relationships with those he loved, and with the natural world around him. Vivid, haunting, and deeply moving, Spy of the First Person takes us from the sculpted gardens of a renowned clinic in Arizona to the blue waters surrounding Alcatraz, from a New Mexico border town to a condemned building on New York City's Avenue C. It is an unflinching expression of the vulnerabilities that make us human--and an unbound celebration of family and life.

About the Author

SAM SHEPARD was the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of more than fifty-five plays and three story collections. As an actor, he appeared in more than sixty films, and received an Oscar nomination in 1984 for The Right Stuff. He was a finalist for the W. H. Smith Literary Award for his story collection Great Dream of Heaven. In 2012 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Trinity College, Dublin. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, received the Gold Medal for Drama from the Academy, and was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. He died in 2017.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780525521563
ISBN-10: 0525521569
Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
Publication Date: December 5th, 2017
Pages: 96
Language: English