UW Today

March 13, 2017

New from author David Shields: ‘Other People: Takes & Mistakes’

News and Information

"Other People: Takes & Mistakes," by UW English professor David Shields, was published by Knopf in February.

“Other People: Takes & Mistakes,” by UW English professor David Shields, was published by Knopf in February.

University of Washington English professor and New York Times best-selling author David Shields has a new book out and — perhaps unsurprisingly — it’s getting excellent reviews. “Other People: Takes & Mistakes” was published in February by Knopf.

Shields, who is the Milliman Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the UW, is on a multi-city book tour and has two Seattle-area author events scheduled in coming weeks. He will read from and discuss the book from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. March 15 at the Seward Park location of Third Place Books, 5041 Wilson Ave. S. He will also speak at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 26, at Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave.

In a review of the book in the New York Times Book Review, writer Clancy Martin says Shields “is fearless about making himself vulnerable to the reader; so fearless he is willing to say, over and over in this triumphantly humane book, that he is a coward … He’s our elusive, humorous ironist, something like a 21st-century Socrates. Shields is a master stylist — and has been for a long time, on the evidence of these pieces from throughout his career. The book’s collective tone is … strikingly generous. amiable and above all unpretentious. It almost reads like a conversation with a highly intelligent friend who, after two beers but before three, decides to chat away about genuinely interesting subjects he’s really thought about.

“All good writers make us feel less alone,” Martin adds. “But Shields makes us feel better. He takes some of the bad of our everyday life and our culture and the whole inescapable mess of being human and sends it back to us as good.”

Booklist called the book “wise, surprising, and relentless.” The Buffalo News called the book “brilliant and joyously readable,” adding that Shields is “one of America’s most accomplished and best writers.”