cruising paradise
Photo: Stuart Tyson/Studio D
PAGE 3
Cruising Paradise
By Sam Shepard

Background:
Shepard gets a lot of credit for being one of the greatest playwrights of his generation, but, like Chekhov's, his short stories are just as vibrant and illuminating as his plays—sometimes more so. He writes about a part of America that lives in all our heads. It's an America you see in an old Coke bottle.

Why he chose it:
Like all great short-story writers, he cuts to the essence of the thing. Some of his stories are ten pages long, and some are two pages. They all penetrate. There's a great line in "Gary Cooper, or The Landscape": A woman asks the narrator whether he avoids highways to take the more authentic roads. And he says, "They're all authentic." That line really struck a chord with me.

"He turned his blindness into an enlightening experience"

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