Features the brand new essay, "Why I Call Myself a Socialist"
"I've written plays and a few screenplays, in each one a person who isn't me speaks, and then another who isn't me replies, and then a third one enters or the first one speaks again. . . . 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 fantasyland, and I go off to the place called Reality for a brief vacation."
—Wallace Shawn, from Essays
"Lovely, hilarious, and seriously thought-provoking."
"Full of what you might call conversation starters: tricky propositions about morality, politics, and art as a force for change (or not). . . . It's a treat to hear [Shawn] speak his curious mind."
"As an actor and playwright, Shawn's eccentric style is like no one else's. And in his collection of Essays . . . that inimitable inquiring voice can be heard loud and clear."
—Los Angeles Times
—GQ, Best Books of 2009
With his distinctive brand of humor and insight, acclaimed playwright and actor Wallace Shawn takes readers on a revelatory journey through high art, war, culture, politics, and privilege that includes his thoughts as both an artist and a political thinker. Also available as an unabridged audiobook, read by the author.
You can also watch Wallace Shawn's reading at Barnes and Nobel in New York City on C-SPAN Book TV: http://www.booktv.org/Watch/10817/Essays.aspx
From Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC
“In Shawn’s elegant volume, Essays, the stage’s greatest moral philosopher discusses belief, craft, and comprehension in prose that’s suffused with the intelligent light of a true believer—in language.”
—Hilton Als, the New Yorker
“Shawn’s language, his unmistakable, original voice, felicitous, is unadorned, elegant, immediate, true. He’s also a brilliant interviewer, as everyone who’s seen My Dinner with Andre (which is just about everyone) knows. And, of course, he’s very funny.”
“Shawn is a bracing antidote to the op-ed dreariness of political and artistic journalism in the West. He takes you back to the days when intellectuals had the wit and concentration to formulate great questions—and to make the reader want to answer them.”
“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.”