Sam Shepard….his last book
- Author: Sam Shepard
- Title: Spy of the First Person
- Published: 2017
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- Final work from Pulitzer Prize winning writer S. Shepard.
- An unnamed narrator traces his memories of work
- adventure, travel, family and friends.
- This last work is a brilliant self-observation
- as Shepard struggles with his fatal disease.
- Sam Shepard started writing this in 2016 after diagnosis ALS.
- He wrote…
- …later when he was no longer able to hold a pen
- …he recorded and dictated the final editing just days before he died.
- Sam Shepard died on 27 July 2017.
What is it like to know the end is near
…and you write your last piece of prose?
- Shepard lets his mind roam where his body no longer can go.
- He frequently addresses his children to tell them some family history
- …and how he feels as a father.
What was the most moving part of the book for me? chapter 14
- “I’m not trying to prove that
- I was the father you believed me to be when you were very young.
- I’ve made some mistakes but
- I have no idea what they were.
- And I’ve never desired to start over again.
- I have no desire to eliminate parts of myself.
- I have no desire.”
- Shepard’s children decided to dedicate this book
- “In Memory of Sam”
- To understand the book I first studied the structure.
- The chapters alternate between 2 people.
- 26 chapters POV unnamed narrator (…very sick man, Shepard)
- 11 chapters POV unnamed neighbor from across the street
- …who ‘spys’ on the sick man. (…probably Shepard outside himself)
- Shephard is stepping away from himself for the last time
- ….and taking the long view.
- This book may not be for everybody but
- I am a Sam Shepard fan
- …and my heartbreaks reading his last words.
- It is a moving work of autobiographical fiction. (96 pages)
- It packs a punch.
- There are things Shepard wants to say
- …. and he knows it’s now or never.