Conjunctions: 51, The Death Issueby David Shields (Editor), Walter Abish (Editor), Chinua Achebe (Editor)
As Cormac McCarthy wrote, "Death is the major issue in the world. For you, for me, for all of us. It just is. To not be able to talk about it is very odd." For the Fall 2008 issue of Conjunctions, editor Bradford Morrow invited award-winning writer David Shields, author of the 2008 New York Times bestseller The Thing About Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead, to gather work from a diverse cross-section of contemporary authors to address the theme of death. The subject prompted responses ranging from the profound to the jocular, from philosophy to consciousness, fear, doom, irony and even humor. The Death Issue features innovative essays and meditations by Dave Eggers, Joyce Carol Oates, Tom Robbins, Dr. Pauline W. Chen, David Gates, Mark Doty, Robin Hemley, Albert Goldbarth, Joe Wenderoth, Daphne Merkin, Dr. Lauren Slater, Greg Bottoms, Susan Daitch, John D'Agata, Richard Stern, Mary Ruefle and Christopher Sorrentino, among others.
David Shields is the author of eight previous books, including Black Planet (a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award), Remote (winner of the PEN/Revson Award) and Dead Languages (winner of the PEN Syndicated Fiction Award). His essays and stories have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Harper's, Yale Review, Village Voice, Utne Reader, Salon, Slate, McSweeney's and The Believer. The Chairman of the 2007 National Book Awards nonfiction panel, he is a recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, among many other awards.
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