Fakes: An Anthology of Pseudo-Interviews, Faux-Lectures, Quasi-Letters, “Found” Texts, and Other Fraudulent Artifacts

W. W. Norton & Company, 2012, coeditor with Matthew Vollmer


Life Story

First things first.

You’re only young once, but you can be immature forever. I may grow old, but I’ll never grow up. Too fast to love, too young to die. Life’s a beach.

Not all men are fools; some are single. 100% Single. I’m not playing hard to get; I am hard to get. I love being exactly who I am.

Heaven doesn’t want me and Hell’s afraid I’ll take over. I’m the person your mother warned you about. Ex-girlfriend in trunk. Don’t laugh; your girlfriend might be in here.

Girls wanted, all positions, will train. Playgirl on board. Party girl on board. Sexy blonde on board. Not all dumbs are blonde. Never underestimate the power of redheads. Yes, I am a movie star. 2QT4U. A4NQT. No ugly chicks. No fat chicks. I may be fat, but you’re ugly and I can diet. Nobody is ugly after 2 a.m.



“For those bored with the more stodgy ‘best of’ collections of literary fiction, this book is an entertaining escape into that absurd realm of writing where ‘fake’ can be a good thing.”
T. Rees Shapiro, Washington Post

“This anthology gathers not so much artifacts as artifices: nobody would mistake its fake letters, lists, and essays for real, but all of them hum with a finely burnished unreality.  The collection is just fun.”
Kate Tuttle, Boston Globe

“A compendium of fictional satires, parodies, and other attempts to transform commonplace forms into literary art. These stories suggest future directions for storytelling, and Shields and Vollmer convincingly press the necessity of the task; these pieces represent ‘our oft-repressed language staging a rebellion.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Cleverness abounds. The hits are very good indeed.”
Publishers Weekly

“Shields joins forces with writer Vollmer to prove that creative use of form can be a delightful way to tell stories. These imaginative short stories demonstrate how much plot, character, and feeling can be revealed in documents and ephemera we consider dull and routine.”
Sarah Hunter, Booklist

“Certifiably inauthentic, but in a good way.”
Seattle Times