Sam Shepard’s ‘The One Inside’

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Sam Shepard always maintained he would not write a memoir. There would be no auto-biography. Considering the ‘Pulitzer Prize’ winning writer is such a private man; his writing is often based on his personal life and family background. ‘The One Inside’ is as much biographical as fictional. The book centres around an actor in his 70’s (like Shepard), who is recently split from a 30-year relationship (like Shepard) and is reflecting on his life and his complicated relationship with his farther (also like Shepard).

‘The One Inside’ is clearly influenced by one of the authors favourite writers ‘Samuel Beckett’. It doesn’t follow a linear time frame and is horrifically honest and personal at times. It’s an incredibly well written piece of work which has a poetic quality to it which, keeps you turning the pages. It’s reminiscent of Shepard’s short story collections rather than a standard novel. ‘The One Inside’ looks set to be Sam’s penultimate published piece of work with ‘Spy of the First Person’ being released this December.

There is also a brilliant forward by Shepard’s long-time friend Patti Smith.

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