The complete last essays of acclaimed writer Peter Schjeldahl, the great New Yorker art critic and Pulitzer Prize finalist.
Foreword by Steve Martin
Introduction by Jarrett Earnest
When the New Yorker art critic Peter Schjeldahl published his widely read autobiographical essay “The Art of Dying” in December 2019, he reported that he had lung cancer and his oncologist had given him six months to live, but his experimental treatment was showing some improvement. “These extra months,” he wrote, “are a luxury that I hope to have put to good use.” And he did. The Art of Dying: Writings, 2019-2022 begins with that essay and collects all 46 pieces that he wrote for the magazine before his death in October 2022.
These last works express Schjeldahl’s hard-won reflections on art and life, against the backdrop of an intensely anxious period in America, spanning the pandemic, the George Floyd protests, the 2020 presidential election, and the war in Ukraine. Schjeldahl, who was the leading art writer of his generation, wrote with generosity and openness about the art world during these tempestuous three years.