Haymarket Books will publish Shawn's 175-page "Essays" Sept. 1.
Shawn, according to press notes, "takes [readers] on a revelatory journey through high art, war, culture, politics, and privilege. With his distinctive humor and insight, Shawn invites us to look at the world with new eyes, the better to understand and change it."
In a statement the author and actor said, "I've written plays and a few screenplays, in each one of which a person who isn't me speaks, and then another person who isn't me replies, and then a third one enters or the first one speaks again, and so it goes until the end of the piece. I've even worked as a professional actor, speaking out loud as if I were someone not myself.
"Every once in a while, though, I like to take a break from fantasy land, and I go off to the place called Reality for a brief vacation. It's happened a dozen or so times in the course of my life. I've looked at the world from my own point of view, and I've written these essays. I've written essays about reality, the world, and I've even written a few essays about the dream-world of art‚ in which I normally dwell. In a bold mood I've brooded once or twice on the question, Where do the dreams go, and what do they do, in the world of the real?"
To celebrate the new tome, Shawn has scheduled the following events: Sept. 1: Barnes and Noble-Lincoln Triangle, New York, NY
Oct. 7: MacNally Jackson, New York, NY
Oct. 14: Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA
Oct. 15: City Arts and Lectures, San Francisco, CA
Oct. 17: New Yorker Festival, New York, NY
"Essays" has a list price of $18.95.
Releasing simultaneously is an unabridged audiobook format, read by Shawn; the CD is priced $36.