Writer and actor Wallace Shawn's probing, honest, and self-critical take on civilization and its discontents.
Although he is guided and inspired by the people he respects, and despite the insufficiency of his knowledge and experience - an insufficiency shared by most (or all) other humans, Wallace Shawn can’t see any real alternative to trying to figure out his own answers to the most essential questions about the world he lives in.
Having recently passed the age of 70, before which he found it difficult to piece together more than a few fragments of understanding, Shawn would like to pass on anything he's learned before death or dementia close down the brief window available to him, but he may not be ready yet.
"Acerbic yet compassionate, Shawn's writing epitomizes qualities he admires - curiosity, thoughtfulness, sharp logic, deep emotion - and sees society turning away from.” (Publishers Weekly, Best Books of 2017)
"[P]erceptive and forcefully argued.” (Kirkus Reviews)
"A compelling diagnosis of the world's injustice but also a very personal response to that injustice." (San Francisco Chronicle)
"Shawn has a way of pulling the reader into conversation, making the experience of Night Thoughts feel like more than moving through an extended essay by an important American playwright and actor. Somewhere, as one reads it, the feeling of friendship appears, as if Shawn has known you for years, and now, late in his life, he's decided to tell you what it's all about.” (Shelf Awareness)