On Freedom: Four Songs of Care and Constraint

On Freedom: Four Songs of Care and Constraint

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Named a Most Anticipated/Best Book of the Month by: NPR * USA Today * Time * Washington Post * Vulture * Women's Wear Daily * Bustle * LitHub * The Millions * Vogue * Nylon * Shondaland * Chicago Review of Books * The Guardian * Los Angeles Times * Kirkus * Publishers Weekly

So often deployed as a jingoistic, even menacing rallying cry, or limited by a focus on passing moments of liberation, the rhetoric of freedom both rouses and repels. Does it remain key to our autonomy, justice, and well-being, or is freedom's long star turn coming to a close? Does a continued obsession with the term enliven and emancipate, or reflect a deepening nihilism (or both)? On Freedom examines such questions by tracing the concept's complexities in four distinct realms: art, sex, drugs, and climate.

Drawing on a vast range of material, from critical theory to pop culture to the intimacies and plain exchanges of daily life, Maggie Nelson explores how we might think, experience, or talk about freedom in ways responsive to the conditions of our day. Her abiding interest lies in ongoing "practices of freedom" by which we negotiate our interrelation with--indeed, our inseparability from--others, with all the care and constraint that entails, while accepting difference and conflict as integral to our communion.

For Nelson, thinking publicly through the knots in our culture--from recent art-world debates to the turbulent legacies of sexual liberation, from the painful paradoxes of addiction to the lure of despair in the face of the climate crisis--is itself a practice of freedom, a means of forging fortitude, courage, and company. On Freedom is an invigorating, essential book for challenging times.

Author: Maggie Nelson
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Published: 09/07/2021
Pages: 288
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 1.30lbs
Size: 9.10h x 6.20w x 1.10d
ISBN: 9781644450628

Review Citation(s):
Kirkus Reviews 05/15/2021
Publishers Weekly 06/21/2021
Booklist 09/15/2021 pg. 8

About the Author
Maggie Nelson is the author of several books of poetry and prose, most recently the New York Times bestseller and National Book Critics Circle Award winner The Argonauts. She teaches at the University of Southern California and lives in Los Angeles.