David Shields has talked extensively about Reality Hunger over the past year. This February the paperback will be released. Also forthcoming this month, The Inevitable: Contemporary Writers Confront Death, edited by David Shields and Bradford Morrow, with essays from Geoff Dyer, Jonathan Safran Zoer, and Joyce Carol Oates, among others. But what else, besides death and reality, does David Shields think about?  David confided over dinner at Seattle icon, Restaurant Zoe, that Tracy Morgan’s recent comment about Sarah Palin being great “masturbation material” provided the chuckle of the week. He was obviously distracted and transfixed by the culinary displays…the small plates, the olive tapenade amuse-bouche, and the root of celery crème fraîche, and who wouldn’t be? But I wanted to probe deeper. Using questions often directed at jocks, specifically Charles Barkley, we did a quick Q&A. I substituted “work of art” for “basketball team”, “Jonathan Franzen” for “Lebron James”, and “literary game” for “the NBA game”.    




Caleb Powell: In February of 2010 Reality Hunger came out.

David Shields: True.

Powell: You spent the last year talking endlessly about the book. Lots of interviews. Is that enough?

Shields: I think it is.

Powell: Okay. I’m going to ask you completely different questions.

Shields: That sounds good. I’m weary of the sound of my own voice.

Powell: Packers or Steelers?

Shields: Packers. All the way.

Powell: Packers. I hate the Steelers. Have you ever played golf?

Shields: Never 18-hole golf.

Powell: Never played golf? Ever?

Shields: I’ve hit the ball with my dad a few times. That’s about it.

Powell: Angelina Jolie or Catherine Zeta-Jones?

Shields: Uhhhh…Angelina Jolie or hmmm…I would say Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Powell: Beyoncé or Britney?

Shields: Uh…I must admit…Britney.

Powell: Okay. Interesting. If you think a work of art stinks, you aren’t afraid to say it stinks?

Shields: Obviously not.

Powell: You’ve been criticizing Jonathan Franzen quite a bit. Have you reached out to him since Freedom. (Reviewed at The Stranger)

Shields: Yeah, we’ve become best friends. He actually is moving to Seattle just so we can develop our own literary magazine.

Powell: Do you think you’re literary game has gotten stale?

Shields: It’s just getting started, my friend.

Powell: What do you think for the future? Do you want to do more Reality Hunger interviews?

Shields: Never again.

Powell: Okay. End.

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CALEB POWELL's argument with David Shields about art and life, I Think You're Totally Wrong, is forthcoming from Knopf in 2015. He blogs at Arguments Worth Having and Notes of a Sexist Stay-at-home Father.

One response to “The Two Minute Interview with 
David Shields”

  1. […] pasted from my interview with David […]

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