Magazine February 19, 2018, Issue

A Wrong Turn for Drama

Actor and playwright Sam Shepard, January 9, 2014. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)
Spy of the First Person, by Sam Shepard (Knopf, 96 pp., $18)

These are the nine steps to achieving fame as an author if you have no discernible talent.

One. Make it common knowledge that you are sleeping with someone famous and beautiful (or at least offer the world reports that you engage in unusual sexual practices).

Two. Whenever possible, avoid intelligible plots in your stories; have a preference for inscrutability and pretension.

Three. Focus in your tales upon the problems of violent, psychopathic men and present them as the victims of a brutish, indelicate world. Suggest that underneath it all they are actually more sensitive than typical doctors, lawyers, et al.

Four. Denounce capitalism.

Five. If

In This Issue

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Letters

Letters

Popularity Contest In “Hearing the People” (January 22), a generally spot-on assessment of how Republicans should react to populism, Henry Olsen writes: “The combined might of the five core groups of ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ “And here to speak for the party of diversity, inclusion, women, people of color, and a bold embrace of the future is . . . some guy named ‘Kennedy.’” ‐ ...
Poetry

Poetry

THIS MILKY WAY This Milky Way, our galaxy, contains A massive hole of blackness at its core, Where any photon striking it remains In unreflected absence evermore, While we perch on a speck upon a ...