WMU News

Essayist to share non-fiction work during reading

Nov. 12, 1999

KALAMAZOO -- David Shields, the non-fiction writer who explores the "obsessive mind of the sports addict" in the recently published "Black Planet: Facing Race During an NBA Season," will make an appearance at Western Michigan University Monday, Nov. 22.

Shields will read from his work at 8:30 p.m. in Room 3512 of Knauss Hall. A reception will follow the reading on the 10th floor of Sprau Tower.

The reading, sponsored by the WMU Department of English, is free and open to the public.

In "Black Planet," Shields examines the nature of racism via a basketball team and a basketball season. He explores how white fans in a predominantly black sport think and talk about black heroes.

According to reviewer Charles Johnson, Shields uses himself as "a test subject to peel away layers of personal need, sexual longing, cultural sedimentation, alienation and blatant prejudice that make even a season of the Seattle Supersonics a disturbing microcosm of America's 300-year-old race war."

Shields, who resides in Seattle, Wash., takes readers of "Black Planet" into what non-fiction writer Philip Lopate describes as the shames, glories, over-identifications, repetitions, rationalizations, wonderment and stoical detachments of a devoted sports fan.

For more information about Shields' visit, contact Julie Stotz-Ghosh at (616) 373-9212.

Media contact: Pauline Oo, 616 387-8400, pauline.oo@wmich.edu

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