Robert Greenfield discusses his new book
True West: Sam Shepard’s Life, Work, and Times
Published by Crown/Random House
This event is both live in-store and virtual. It is free to the public. To watch online you will need to register. While attending in-store, seating is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The wearing of protective masks is optional, but highly recommended.
A revelatory biography of the world-famous playwright and actor Sam Shepard, whose work was matched by his equally dramatic life, including collaborations with the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan as well as tumultuous relationships with Patti Smith, Joni Mitchell, and Jessica Lange
True West: Sam Shepard’s Life, Work, and Times is the story of an American icon, a lasting portrait of Sam Shepard as he really was, revealed by those who knew him best. This sweeping biography charts Shepard’s long and complicated journey from a small town in Southern California to become an internationally known playwright and movie star. The only son of an alcoholic father, Shepard crafted a public persona as an authentic American archetype: the loner, the cowboy, the drifter, the stranger in a strange land. Despite his great critical and financial success, he seemed, like so many of his characters, to remain perpetually dispossessed.
Much like Robert Greenfield’s biographies of Jerry Garcia and Timothy Leary, this book delves deeply into Shepard’s life as well as the ways in which his work illuminates it. True West takes readers through the world of downtown theater in Lower Manhattan in the early sixties; the jazz scene at New York’s Village Gate; fringe theater in London in the seventies; Bob Dylan’s legendary Rolling Thunder tour; the making of classic films like Zabriskie Point, Days of Heaven, and The Right Stuff; and Broadway productions of Buried Child, True West, and Fool for Love.
For this definitive biography, Greenfield interviewed dozens of people who knew Shepard well, many of whom had never before spoken on the record about him. While exploring his relationships with Patti Smith, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and Jessica Lange across the long arc of his brilliant career, Greenfield makes the case for Shepard as not just a great American writer but a unique figure who first brought the sensibility of rock ’n’ roll to theater.
Robert Greenfield is an award-winning novelist, screenwriter, playwright, and the author of Bill Graham Presents: My Life Inside Rock and Out. He lives in California.
This event is made possible by the City Ligths Foundation. To learn more visit: https://citylights.com/foundation/