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David Shields: How Literature Saved My Life

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book.jpgThe title of David Shields' recent essay collection, How Literature Saved My Life (Knopf), makes an extraordinary claim. He elaborates here, telling not only how reading rescued him, but along the way tackling contestable writerly questions, like the merits of realism versus imagination. Shields dislikes books that "bubble-wrap" reality, and explains why his favorite kind of literature exposes its author.

Read an excerpt from How Literature Saved My Life.