Vivid, hunting, and deeply moving, Spy of the First Person takes us from the sculpted gardens of a renowned clinic in Arizona to a condemned building on New York City’s Avenue C.

It is an unflinching expression of the vulnerabilities that make us human – and an unbound celebration of family and life.

Shepard began working on Spy of the First Person in 2016. His first drafts were written by hand, as he was no longer to use a typewriter due to complications of ALS. When handwriting became impossible, he recorded segments of the book, which were then transcribed by his family. He dictated remaining pages when recording became too difficult. Sam’s longtime friend Patti Smith assisted him in editing the manuscript. He reviewed the book with his family and dictated his final edits a few days before he passed away on July 27, 2017.