New York Times bestselling author David Shields will discuss the contemporary novel in a social media age at the University of Richmond March 22, 7 p.m., in Weinstein Hall’s Brown-Alley Room.

His lecture, “Genre is a Minimum Security Prison,” is free and open to the public. He will focus on his latest book, “Reality Hunger: A Manifesto,” which takes a long, hard look at the contemporary novel. Shields argues that modern literature must catch up with 21st-century media, such as YouTube and Facebook, and that accusations of plagiarism only hinder creativity and progression.

Shields' earlier book, “The Thing about Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead,” was a New York Times bestseller. He is the author of eight previous books, including “Black Planet: Facing Race during an NBA Season,” a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; “Remote: Reflections on Life in the Shadow of Celebrity,” winner of the PEN/Revson Award; and “Dead Languages: A Novel,” winner of the PEN Syndicated Fiction Award.

Shields received Guggenheim and NEA fellowships and an Ingram Merrill Foundation Award. He teaches in the English department at the University of Washington.

For more information, call Emily Poore at 804-289-8287.