Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts is a genre-bending memoir, a work of “autotheory” offering fresh, fierce, and timely thinking about desire, identity, and the limitations and possibilities of love and language. At its center is a romance: the story of the author’s relationship with artist Harry Dodge. This story, which includes the author’s account of falling in love with Dodge, who is fluidly-gendered, as well as her journey to and through a pregnancy, offers a first-hand account of the complexities and joys of (queer) family-making. Writing in the spirit of public intellectuals like Susan Sontag and Roland Barthes, Nelson binds her personal experience to a rigorous exploration of what iconic theorists have said about sexuality, gender, and the vexed institutions of marriage and childrearing. Nelson’s insistence on radical forms of freedom and the value of caretaking becomes the rallying cry for this thoughtful, unabashed, uncompromising book.Books for sale by Skylight Books
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Maggie Nelson is the author of five books of nonfiction, including The Argonauts (Graywolf Press, 2015), a landmark work of cultural, art, and literary criticism titled The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning (Norton, 2011; named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; the cult classic Bluets (Wave Books, 2009; named by Bookforum as one of the top 10 best books of the past two decades); a memoir about media spectacle and sexual violence titled The Red Parts (Free Press, 2007; reprint forthcoming from Graywolf in 2016); and a critical study of painting and poetry titled Women, the New York School, and Other True Abstractions (University of Iowa, 2007; winner, the Susanne M. Glassock Award for Interdisciplinary Scholarship). Her books of poetry include Something Bright, Then Holes (Soft Skull Press, 2007) and Jane: A Murder (Soft Skull, 2005; finalist, the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for the Art of the Memoir). She has been the recipient of a 2012 Creative Capital Literature Fellowship, a 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship in Nonfiction, an NEA Fellowship in Poetry, and an Andy Warhol Foundation/Creative Capital Arts Writers Grant. She currently teaches in the School of Critical Studies at CalArts and lives in Los Angeles.
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