"Full of what you might call conversation starters: tricky propositions about morality... politics, privilege, runaway nationalist fantasies, collective guilt, and art as a force for change (or not)... It's a treat to hear him speak his curious mind."--O The Oprah Magazine
"Wallace Shawn's essays are both powerful and riveting. How rare to encounter someone willing to question the assumptions of class and the disparity of wealth that grows wider every year in this country. To have such a gentle and incisive soul willing to say what others may be afraid to is considerably refreshing."--Michael Moore
"Wallace Shawn's career as a playwright has been uncompromisingly devoted to proving that theater is an ideal medium for exploring difficult matters of great consequence. The qualities that make his dramatic work so challenging, sensual, mind-and-soul expanding, so indispensible, are equally in evidence in the marvelous political and theatrical essays collected here."--Tony Kushner
"Wallace Shawn writes in a style which is deceptively simple, profoundly thoughtful, fiercely honest. His vocabulary is pungent, his wit delightful, his ideas provocative."--Howard Zinn
WITH A BOLD and broad-ranging set of essays, Wallace Shawn takes us on a revelatory journey through high art, war, culture, politics, and privilege. With his distinctive humor and insight, Shawn invites us to look at the world with new eyes, the better to understand and change it.
WALLACE SHAWN is an Obie Award-winning playwright and a noted stage and screen actor. His plays The Designated Mourner and The Fever have recently been produced as films, and his translation of Threepenny Opera was recently performed on Broadway. He is co-author of My Dinner with Andre and the author of The Fever and Aunt Dan and Lemon, among other works. His friends call him Wally.
"I've written plays and a few screenplays, in each one of which a person who isn't me speaks, and then another person who isn't me replies, and then a third one enters or the first one speaks again, and so it goes until the end of the piece. I've even worked as a professional actor, speaking out loud as if I were someone not myself.
Every once in a while, though, I like to take a break from fantasy land, and I go off to the place called Reality for a brief vacation. It's happened a dozen or so times in the course of my life. I've looked at the world from my own point of view, and I've written these essays. I've written essays about reality, the world, and I've even written a few essays about the dream-world of 'art' in which I normally dwell. In a bold mood I've brooded once or twice on the question, Where do the dreams go, and what do they do, in the world of the real?"--From Essays by Wallace Shawn
You can preview the book at Harper's, where an excerpt, "Is Sex Interesting?," of Essays has been published.
Wallace Shawn will be available for select interviews with national media September-October. To request an interview or review copy of Essays, please contact Sarah Macaraeg firstname.lastname@example.org, 773-583-7884 (office), or 312-315-8476 (cell). Select Advance Reader's copies