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David Shields in Conversation


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David Shields has been hailed as a writing revolutionary. His wildly inventive ‘manifesto’ Reality Hunger, a broadside against the contemporary novel, has been welcomed with open arms by novelists such as Jonathan Lethem (‘intoxicated’) and Zadie Smith (‘thrilling to read’).

Shields argues that the novel is outdated and boring; that contemporary readers crave reality. But that reality can (and should) be blurred, he says, creating a new-millennium hybrid of fiction and non-fiction.

In Reality Hunger, he draws on ideas from across genres, countries and centuries, using artists as diverse as The Beastie Boys and Ezra Pound to make his points (and defending James Frey along the way).

David Shields will be in conversation with Sally Heath.

The Bedell NonfictioNow Conference is presented in partnership with Iowa University and has been made possible by the support of the Copyright Agency Limited.


Sally Heath

Sally Heath is editor of Meanjin and a former Fairfax journalist.

David Shields

David Shields is the author of 12 books, including Reality Hunger: A Manifesto, which was named one of the best books of 2010 by more than 30 publications. His other books include The Thing About Life is That One Day You’ll Be Dead, a New York Times bestseller, Black Planet: Facing Race during an ... Read more


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