An impassioned, funny, probing, fiercely inconclusive, nearly-to-the-death debate, about life and art-cocktails included.
Caleb Powell always wanted to become an artist, but he overcommitted to life (he's a stay-at-home dad to three young girls). David Shields always wanted to become a human being, but he has overcommitted to art. At antipodes since first meeting twenty-five years ago, they headed to a cabin in the Cascade Mountains and threw down. The focus? Life vs. Art. Over the next four days they played chess, shot hoops, hiked, relaxed in a hot tub, watched My Dinner with André, Sideways, The Trip, and talked about everything they could think of-genocide, marriage, sex, Toni Morrison, sports, porn, the death penalty, baldness, evil, James Wood, happiness, sports radio, George Bush, drugs, death, betrayal, alcohol, Rupert Murdoch, Judaism, bad book titles-in the name of exploring their central question. While confounding, as much as possible, the divisions between "reality" and "fiction" and between "life" and "art," their dialogue remains dazzlingly provocative and entertaining from start to finish.
About David Shields
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 bestseller), Black Planet (National Book Critics Circle Award finalist), and Remote (winner of the PEN/Revson Award). He has published essays and stories in numerous periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, Yale Review, The Village Voice, Salon, Slate, McSweeney’s, and The Believer. His work has been translated into fifteen languages.