Sam Shepard Biography | Author of True West

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Sam Shepard was born Samuel Shepard Rogers, Jr., in Fort Sheridan, Illinois, on November 5, 1943. Because his father was in the military, Shepard's family moved frequently during his childhood (including one move to the South Pacific island of Guam) before settling in Southern California. As he related in an interview in Theatre Quarterly, Shepard's adult perception of his early life, especially "that particular sort of temporary society that you find in Southern California," has led in many of his plays to investigations of the feeling "that you don't belong to any particular culture." This sense of rootlessness has led Shepard to explore (and often fuse) two facets of the American experience: the mythical West and the American family.

Noted for his bleak portrayal of American family life, Shepard's own upbringing was complicated by a very strict alcoholic father. Shepard left home while still a teenager, eventually arriving in New...

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This section contains 588 words
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Buy the True West Study Guide
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Drama for Students
True West from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.