Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Spy of the First Person

Spy of the First Person by Sam Shepard  82 pp.

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and actor, Sam Shepard died in July of 2017 due to complications of ALS. He began working on this book a year earlier, first writing by hand and then recording his words for his family to transcribe. Before he died his friend, Patti Smith, helped him with editing. It was published posthumously. The book is a collection of vignettes and short chapters that comprise memoir, commentary on his condition, and observations of "the man in the rocker on the porch". The man Shepard describes is actually himself dealing with the gradual physical deterioration caused by his disease. The memoir parts are random and interspersed in the observations of the "porch man". This is a touching, if somewhat confusing effort of a talented man at the end of his life. (Note: the cover photo is not of Sam Shepard.)

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