Four Men Shaking : Searching For Sanity with Samuel Beckett, Norman Mailer, and My Perfect Zen Teacher

“Shainberg has done the impossible: taken three entirely different lives and woven them together so they form a fourth—an honest, wide-eyed but sage narrator who can both thumb-wrestle and meditate. The book combines humor and wisdom in an original and totally engaging narrative.”

—John Skoyles, author of A Moveable Famine and Secret Frequencies: A New York Education


Four Men Shaking: Searching For Sanity with Samuel Beckett, Norman Mailer, and My Perfect Zen Teacher

Interviews and details of Book Tour

Illustration by  Barry Blitt

Illustration by Barry Blitt

Circling Emptiness

Recalling his friendships with Norman Mailer and Samuel Beckett, a Zen student and writer grapples with a central Buddhist teaching.

Not a few critical opinions had been mustered over the years concerning Beckett’s debt to Buddhism, Taoism, Zen, the Noh theater— all of it received with curiosity, appreciation, and absolute denial by the man it presumed to explain.
— Four Men Shaking

Author of three novels and a memoir: One on OneMemories of Amnesia and Crust -- and the non-fiction books, Brain Surgeon: An Intimate View of His World, Ambivalent Zen, and the recently released memoir, Four Men Shaking: Searching For Sanity With Samuel Beckett, Norman Mailer, And My Perfect Zen Teacher

Fiction and journalism have appeared in Esquire, Harpers, Tricycle and The New York Times Magazine. Recipient of a Pushcart Prize for a monograph on Samuel Beckett, published in the Paris Review. 

Exorcising Beckett - Paris Review

Finding 'The Zone' -  New York Times

The violence of 'just sitting' -   New York Times