Sam Shepard - Life Stories, Books, and Links
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Picture of Sam Shepard and Patti Smith
Sam Shepard   (1943 - )
Category:  American Literature
Born: 1943
Fort Sheridan, Illinois, United States
Related authors:
Arthur Miller, Edward Albee, Eugene O'Neill, Harold Pinter
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Sam Shepard - LIFE STORIES
11/5/1943     Early Sam Shepard
On this day in 1943 Sam Shepard was born. Shepard's father was an air force pilot, and years of moving base to base made an impression, if not a theme for the early plays: "I feel like I've never had a home, you know? I feel related to the country, to this country, and yet I don't know exactly where I fit in.... There's always this kind of nostalgia for a place, a place where you can reckon with yourself."
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Cruising Paradise: Tales
short stories
Hawk Moon: A Book of Short Stories, Poems and Monologues
fiction, poetry, drama
Joseph Chaikin & Sam Shepard: Letters and Texts, 1972-1984
by Barry Daniels (Editor), Joseph Chiakin, Sam Shepard
Motel Chronicles
Seven Plays (Buried Child, Curse of the Starving Class, The Tooth of Crime, La Turista, Tongues, Savage Love, True West)
anthology, drama
The Right Stuff (Two-Disc Special Edition)
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A Body Across the Map: The Father-Son Plays of Sam Shepard (Artists and Issues in the Theatre, Vol. 11)
by Michael Taav
literary analysis
A Reconstruction-Analysis of "Buried Child" by Playwright Sam Shepard
by Frederick J. Perry
literary analysis
American Dreams: The Imagination of Sam Shepard
by Bonnie Marranca (Editor)
Sam Shepard
by Don Shewey
Sam Shepard and the American Theatre
by Leslie A. Wade
analysis and criticism
Sam Shepard: Between the Margins and the Centre, Part I
by Johan Callens (Editor)
analysis and criticism
Sam Shepard: Theme, Image and the Director (American University Studies. Series Xxvi, Theater Arts, Vol 19)
by Laura J. Graham
literary analysis
The Cambridge Companion to Sam Shepard
by Matthew Roudané (Editor)
The Theatre of Sam Shepard: States of Crisis
by Stephen J. Bottoms
analysis and criticism
True Lies: The Architecture of the Fantastic in the Plays of Sam Shepard
by Jim McGhee
literary analysis
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Patti Smith Babelogue
A small website offers resources about Patti Smith, including details about her short but intense relationship with Shepard. Features a a description of the affair, and a poem Smith wrote for Shepard.

"At each stage of her life Smith managed to align herself with a man whose interests reflected her own. Now that she was attempting to combine music and writing, Shepard was an ideal partner, for not only did he dream of being a rock and roll star himself, he also approached his plays almost as improvisational jazz; he was less interested in plot and characterization than in convulsive bursts of imagery.. He encouraged Smith to do lyrics for his play The Mad Dog Blues, while she urged him to write the prose poems that later appeared in Hawk Moon, which he dedicated to her. 'Sam loved my writing more than anyone I ever knew,' Smith explained. 'He wasn't so supportive of some of the other things I was doing, like my singing and stuff, but he made me value myself as a writer.'"
-- from Mapplethorpe: A Biography, by Patricia Morrisroe (1995)
PBS Online
Find quicktime videos from the PBS series Sam Shepard: Stalking Himself. Also offers biographical information, literary analysis and criticism, and recommended online resources.

"In his first-ever television interview, Shepard acknowledges his fear of airplanes, reads from and discusses his works, and shares candid memories from his childhood and career. The documentary also interviews those who know Shepard well, including actors Ed Harris, Lois Smith, Gary Sinise, and Ethan Hawke. The result is a revealing and sensitive portrayal of one of the most articulate voices of our time."
Portrait of the Artist: Sam Shepard and the Anxiety of Identity
Read a lengthy biography examines Shepard's career, works including Three Stories, Cowboy Mouth, True West, and Fool for Love, and the influence of Hollywood westerns, Rock and Roll, and Patti Smith on his life and work.

"In the Autumn of 1975, Shepard was invited to tour with Bob Dylan and his Rolling Thunder Revue, a large band and entourage that included Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Allen Ginsberg, and William Burroughs, among many others. Shepard's appointed role was to write scenes and dialogue for a film to be made along the way, though the film was never produced. The opportunity provided Shepard, a long-time fan and student of the cult of Dylan, the rare, even bizarre, experience of writing fictional scenes in which the charismatic Dylan was to act. The tour proved to be far too chaotic for the methodical production of a film, but Shepard published, in 1987, a collection of splintered impressions of the experience. This book, titled Rolling Thunder Logbook, gives us a clear indication of Shepard's fascination with the rock star and self-made myth of Bob Dylan...."
Review: "States of Shock"
Read an essay about the Shepard play about the 1991 America-Iraq conflict:

"... a play written in the style of the Viet Nam era as a wake-up call to the Viet Nam generation which seemed so appallingly silent during the invasion of Iraq. But States of Shock is more than an angry political tract; it is a fluid, dreamlike event of hypnotic, archetypal images, as full of visual poetry as it is of current politics. Reminiscent of Shepard's hallucinatory plays from the late 1960s, States of Shock is more concerned with expressing a highly personalized state of traumatized consciousness--what Shepard calls a 'shock state'--than with telling a story. And the 'shock state' Shepard chooses to express in States of Shock ties it even more closely to the Viet Nam generation and to the legacy of the post-Viet Nam era in America."
The Sam Shepard Web Site
Find an extended bibliography with production notes, an index of films Shepard wrote, directed, or acted in, information about the music featured in his plays, and links.
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February 21, 2018
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