Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Sam Shepard  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: 1943 in Fort Sheridan, Illinois

Died: July 27, 2017 in Kentucky

-- Website --
-- Sam Shepard on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Shepard was born in Fort Sheridan as Samuel Shepard Rogers III. He was named after his father.

Biographical and Professional Information

Sam Shepard was a Playwright, Author, Actor, Screenwriter and Director. He was the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of more than fifty-five plays and several story collections. As an actor, he appeared in more than sixty films, and received an Oscar nomination in 1984 for ''The Right Stuff''. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, received the Gold Medal for Drama from the Academy, and has been inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.

Published Works

  • Hawk Moon, PAJ Publications, 1973
  • Rolling Thunder Logbook, DeCapo Press, 1977
  • Motel Chronicles, City Lights, 1982
  • Sam Shepard: Seven Plays, Dial, 1984
  • Cruising Paradise , Random House, 1997
  • Great Dream of Heaven: Stories, Vintage, 2002
  • Day out of Days: Stories, Knopf, 2010
  • Two Prospectors: The Letters of Sam Shepard and Johnny Dark, University of Texas Press, 2013
  • The One Inside, Knopf, 2017

Selected Titles At Your Library

Hawk moon :
ISBN: 0933826230. OCLC Number:

Performing Arts Journal Publications,. New York :. ©1981.

In this collection of more than fifty monologues, short stories and poems Shepard's first one of America's most acclaimed writers and actors reflects on growing up in America, rock and roll, the sex of fishes, and other topics. Shepard displays his virtuosic sense of the rhythms of the American landscape. --

The Rolling Thunder logbook /
ISBN: 0306813718. OCLC Number:

Da Capo Press,. Cambridge, MA :. 2004.

"In the autumn of 1975, when New England was festering with Bicentennial madness, Bob Dylan and his Rolling Thunder Revue - a rag-tag variety show that Dylan envisioned as a traveling gypsy circus - toured twenty-two cities across the Northeast. Swept up in the motley crew, which included Joni Mitchell, T-Bone Burnett, Allen Ginsberg, Mick Ronson, Joan Baez, Arlo Guthrie, and Ramblin' Jack Elliott, was playwright Sam Shepard, ostensibly hired to write, on the spot, the script for a Fellini-esque, surreal movie that would come out of the tour. The script never materialized, but throughout the many moods and moments of his travels with Dylan and the troupe, Shepard kept an impressionistic Rolling Thunder Logbook of life on the road. Illuminated by forty candid photographs by official tour photographer Ken Regan - many never-before published - Shepard's mental snapshots capture the camaraderie, isolation, head games, and pill-popping mayhem of the tour, providing a window into Dylan's singular talent, enigmatic charisma, and vision of America."--Jacket.

Motel chronicles /
ISBN: 0872861430. OCLC Number:

City Lights Books,. San Francisco :. ©1982.

"Motel Chronicles reveals the fast-moving and sometimes surprising world of the man behind the plays that have made Sam Shepard a live legend in the theater. Shepard chronicles his own life--birth in Illinois, childhood memories of Guam, Pasadena and rural Southern California, adventures as ranch hand, waiter, rock musician, dramatist, and film actor. Scenes from the book form the basis of his play Superstitions, and of the recent film Paris-Texas"--Cover.

Seven plays /
ISBN: 0553346113. OCLC Number:

Bantam Books,. Toronto ;. 1984.

Presents seven dark works by American playwright Sam Shepard, which span 1968-1981 and deal with such themes as family disturbances and the loss of American myths.

Great dream of heaven :
ISBN: 0375704523. OCLC Number:

Vintage Books,. New York :. 2003, ©2002.

"In these eighteen stories, Sam Shepard taps the same wellsprings that have made him one of our most acclaimed - and distinctly American - playwrights: sex and regret, the yearning for a frontier that has been subdivided out of existence, the comic gulf of misapprehension between men and women, and the even deeper gulf that separates men from their true selves." "A fascinated boy watches the grim contest between a "remedy man" - a fixer of bad horses - and a spectacularly bad-tempered stallion, a contest that mirrors the boy's own struggle with his father. A suburban husband starts his afternoon shopping for basil for a party and ends it holding one of the guests at gunpoint in the basement. Two old men, who have lived together companionably since their wives died or left them and their children scattered to "silicon computer hell," are brought to grief by a waitress at the local Denny's."--BOOK JACKET.

Day out of days :
ISBN: 0307265404. OCLC Number:

Alfred A. Knopf,. New York :. ©2010.

In a series of tales set mainly in the West, a man is trapped inside a restaurant where an endless loop of Shania Twain songs is playing, an actor recounts his teenage debaucheries with an old friend, and a squabbling family remains oblivious to their Yucatán vacation.

2 prospectors :
ISBN: 0292761961. OCLC Number:

. .

"Pulitzer Prize-winning author of plays such as True West, Fool For Love, and Buried Child, and Academy Award-nominated actor in many films, including The Right Stuff, Sam Shepard is arguably America's finest working dramatist. He 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. This book gathers nearly 40 years of their correspondence, which provides the most honest and complete record of Shepard's professional and personal lives that he is ever likely to publish. The book is illustrated with Dark's candid, revealing photographs of Shepard and their mutual family across many years, as well as facsimiles of numerous letters. It makes a perfect companion to Treva Wurmfeld's recent film, Shepard & Dark"--

The one inside /
ISBN: 045149458X. OCLC Number:

. .

Shepard's novel "opens with a man in his house at dawn, surrounded by aspens, coyotes cackling in the distance as he quietly navigates the distance between present and past. More and more, memory is overtaking him: in his mind he sees himself in a movie-set trailer, his young face staring back at him in a mirror surrounded by light bulbs. In his dreams and in visions he sees his late father--sometimes in miniature, sometimes flying planes, sometimes at war. By turns, he sees the bygone America of his childhood: the farmland and the feedlots, the rail yards and the diners--and, most hauntingly, his father's young girlfriend, with whom he also became involved, setting into motion a tragedy that has stayed with him"--


Great Dream of Heaven

  • Finalist, W. H. Smith Literary Award