In How Literature Saved My Life (Knopf, February 8), David Shields, UW professor and author of the critically acclaimed Reality Hunger, spins a book-length essay questioning our definition of literature. Along the way we meet the works and artists—some from right here—who’ve shaped him most.

 

Doug Martsch, Built to Spill
“Doug Martsch manipulates the thin, hollow body inside his electric guitar toward both extinction and monument, marking our inability to hold the dual concepts completely in mind.” 

 

Jonathan Raban, British expat writer living in Seattle
For Love and Money, which he calls ‘only half a good book,’ is one of my favorite books ever…. He’s exhaustive and disputatious, never settling for received wisdom or quasi insight.” 

 

Dave Mahler, Sportsradio KJR host 
“I want the University of Washington football team to win so that I can hear the preposterous joy in [his] voice, his projection into the future of kingdom come. After the team loses, though, I can hardly wait to get downstairs to my ‘office,’ pretend to work, and listen to him take calls until one or two in the morning. He never gets over it.”

 

Published: February 2013