Synopses & Reviews
Sam Shepard is arguably America s finest working dramatist, as well as an accomplished screenwriter, actor, and director. Winner of a Pulitzer Prize, he has written more than forty-five plays, including True West, Fool for Love, and Buried Child. Shepard has also appeared in more than fifty films, beginning with Terrence Malick s Days of Heaven, and was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in The Right Stuff. Despite the publicity his work and life have attracted, however, Shepard remains a strongly private man who has said many times that he will never write a memoir. But he has written intensively about his inner life and creative work to his former father-in-law and housemate, Johnny Dark, who has been Shepard s closest friend, surrogate brother (they re nearly the same age), and even artistic muse for forty-five years and counting.
Two Prospectors gathers nearly forty years of correspondence and transcribed conversations between Shepard and Dark. In these gripping, sometimes gut-wrenching letters, the men open themselves to each other with amazing honesty. Shepard s letters give us the deepest look we may ever get into his personal philosophy and creative process, while in Dark s letters we discover insights into Shepard s character that only an intimate friend could provide. The writers also reflect on the books and authors that stimulate their thinking, their relationships with women (including Shepard s anguished decision to leave his wife and son Dark s stepdaughter and grandson for actress Jessica Lange), personal struggles, and accumulating years. Illustrated with Dark s candid, revealing photographs of Shepard and their mutual family across many years, as well as facsimiles of numerous letters, Two Prospectors is a compelling portrait of a complex friendship that has anchored both lives for decades, a friendship also poignantly captured in Treva Wurmfeld s film, Shepard & Dark.