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 the Author
DAVID SHIELDS is the NYT best-selling author of 16 books, including Reality Hunger; The Thing About Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead; How Literature Saved My Life; and Salinger (co-written by Shane Salerno). He lives with his wife and daughter in Seattle, where he is the Milliman Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the University of Washington.His work has been translated into twenty languages.
CALEB POWELL, who grew up in the Pacific Northwest, has played bass in a band, worked construction, and spent ten years teaching ESL and studying foreign languages on six continents. Now a stay-at-home father in Seattle,he's published stories and essays in descant, Post Road, and ZYZZYVA.