The Argonauts (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Poet and critic Maggie Nelson, who has written with uncommon verve and perception in such books as BluetsJane: A Murder, and The Art of Cruelty, goes into the deepest, most acute level of things with this memoir of love in various forms and dimensions—romantic, maternal, familial. What it is to be with another person, to give birth to another person, to do so in shifting contexts and definitions, is taken on with open eyes, heart, and searing intelligence. You will see everyone and everything in your life with different eyes after reading this intense, reflective, most rewarding book. –Rick


An intrepid voyage out to the frontiers of the latest thinking about love, language, and family

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 the artist Harry Dodge. This story, which includes Nelson's account of falling in love with Dodge, who is fluidly gendered, as well as her journey to and through a pregnancy, offers a firsthand account of the complexities and joys of (queer) family-making.
Writing in the spirit of public intellectuals such as 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 child-rearing. Nelson's insistence on radical individual freedom and the value of caretaking becomes the rallying cry of this thoughtful, unabashed, uncompromising book.

About the Author

Maggie Nelson is a poet, critic, and nonfiction author of books such as The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning, Bluets, and Jane: A Murder. She teaches in the School of Critical Studies at CalArts and lives in Los Angeles, California.

Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9781555977078
ISBN-10: 1555977073
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Publication Date: May 5th, 2015
Pages: 160
Language: English