Books spotlighted by publishers as their key titles come with balls of hype trailing behind them. But it seems like we’ve been hearing about David Shields’ barely-200-page treatise Reality Hunger for ages, and it was only released this past Tuesday.
Maybe it’s because Zadie Smith used the book as a crutch for insecure introspection about her own writing. Maybe it’s because it’s already become required reading in university spheres, galleys passed from one student to the next like an illicit hit of crack cocaine. I know I’ve already had spirited discussions about Reality Hunger with friends and critical colleagues. It’s hard to resist the urge to argue with the text, especially when Shields states his intention “to write the ars poetica for a burgeoning group of interrelated (but unconnected) artists in a multitude of forms and media…who are breaking larger and larger chunks of ‘reality’ into their work” right there on page one. … Read More