Remote : Reflections on Life in the Shadow of Celebrity

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In this truly one-of-a-kind book, the author/narrator - a representative, in extremis, of contemporary American obsession with beauty, celebrity, transmitted image - finds himself suspended, fascinated, in the remoteness of our wall-to-wall mediascape. It is a remoteness that both perplexes and enthralls him. Through dazzling sleight of hand in which the public becomes private and the private becomes public, the entire book - clicking from confession to family-album photograph to family chronicle to sexual fantasy to pseudo-scholarly footnote to reportage to personal essay to stand-up comedy to cultural criticism to literary criticism to film criticism to prose-poem to litany to outtake - becomes both an anatomy of American culture and a searing self-portrait. David Shields reads his own life - reads our life - as if it were an allegory about remoteness and finds persuasive, hilarious, heartbreaking evidence wherever he goes.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 180 pages
  • 140 x 212 x 12mm | 240.4g
  • University of Wisconsin Press
  • Wisconsin, United States
  • English
  • 57 b&w photographs
  • 0299193640
  • 9780299193645
  • 684,285

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Review quote

"In the current craze of personal and family memoirs, David Shields's "Remote" is unique. It's a mishmash, a potpourri; it's impersonal, it's embarrassingly revealing. It's very funny, and it tells us more than we want to know about American life." Carolyn See, "Washington Post""

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About David Shields

David Shields is the author of three other nonfiction books, Black Planet (a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award), Enough About You, and Baseball is Just Baseball; two novels, Dead Languages and Heroes; and a collection of connected stories, A Handbook for Drowning. His essays and stories have appeared in dozens of periodicals, including the New York Times Magazine, Harper's, Yale Review, Village Voice, Salon, Slate, McSweency's, and Utne Reader. He lives in Seattle, where he is professor of English at the University of Washington.

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