Mesmerized and somewhat unnerved by his 97-year-old father’s vitality and optimism, David Shields undertakes an original investigation of our flesh-and-blood existence, our mortal being.
Weaving together personal anecdote, biological fact, philosophical doubt, cultural criticism, and the wisdom of an eclectic range of writers and thinkers—from Lucretius to Woody Allen—Shields expertly renders both a hilarious family portrait and a truly resonant meditation on mortality.
The Thing About Life provokes us to contemplate the brevity and radiance of our own sojourn on earth and challenges us to rearrange our thinking in crucial and unexpected ways.
New York Times bestseller
Best Nonfiction Book of the Year, TimeOut Chicago
Chosen by Artforum as one of the 25 best books of the year
Best Reads of 2008, Salon
Chosen as one of the twenty best nonfiction books of 2008, Seattle Times
Chosen by Amazon as one of its Significant Seven for February 2008 and one of the 50 best books of the year
Powell’s Books New Favorite, Staff Pick
Finalist for the Washington State Book Award, 2009