A Handbook for Drowning: Stories

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Alfred A. Knopf, 1991 - Short stories, American - 177 pages
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In connected stories, Shields gives us a portrait of a young man growing up fixated on his parents' idealism and his own mortality. These stories go beyond easy expectations and reach for the reality of human experience in all its disorder and mystery.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Uneven but often alluring stories, though many of them read like outtakes from Dead Languages, Shields's ambitious 1989 novel of a son's growing up under the stressful nurturing of eccentric parents ... Read full review

A handbook for drowning: stories

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Similar in theme to his most recent novel, Dead Languages ( LJ 4/1/89), these linked stories sensitively probe the psychic wounds inflicted by families. They paint a composite portrait of Walt Jaffe ... Read full review


The Imaginary Dead Baby Sea Gull
The War on Poverty
The Gun in the Grass at Your Feet

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About the author (1991)

David Shields was born in Los Angeles, California on July 22, 1956. He received a bachelor's degree in English literature from Brown University in 1978 and an MFA in fiction from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1980. He writes both fiction and nonfiction books. His first novel, Heroes, was published in 1984. His other works include Black Planet: Facing Race during an NBA Season, The Thing About Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead, Reality Hunger: A Manifesto, and How Literature Saved My Life. Remote: Reflections on Life in the Shadow of Celebrity won the PEN/Revson Award and Dead Languages won the PEN Syndicated Fiction Award. He is the Milliman Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the University of Washington.

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