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Reviews

  • With insight and intellectual rigour Nelson wrestles the concept of "freedom" away from its contemporary political misuses and explores what it means in the context of art, sex, drugs and climate.

    Katy Guest, Guardian
  • Part of what makes [Nelson's] writing so compelling is a comfort with uncertainty... It is a delight to spend time with Nelson's erudite mind.

    Mia Levitin, Times Literary Supplement
  • Nelson is such a friend to her reader, such brilliant company. Her book is a nuanced, exhilarating rallying cry for all those who are tired of the drab norms of our tech-topia and who long for another conversation

    Literary Review
  • [Nelson's] books vary between an academic or lyrical register, but all revel in the recognition that feeling and thought aren't fixed... They encourage a slowing down, an absorbing... [and a] willingness for intellectual and linguistic exploration.

    Rebecca Watson, Financial Times
  • What makes this book so exciting is precisely the balancing act that enables Nelson to tear everything up at the same time as she retains faith in the values (desire, artistic freedom, difficulty) that shaped her. Reading it, I had a visceral experience of seeing how this can be done in good faith, how we can think as Nelson does about sex and art while also believing in the necessity for a new order.

    Lara Feigel, Guardian
  • This account soars in its ability to find nuance in considering questions of enormous importance... Once again, Nelson proves herself a masterful thinker and an unparalleled prose stylist.

    Starred Publishers Weekly Review
  • Maggie Nelson is an expert at distilling whatever topic she tackles into crystalline prose. She is the queen of the effortless jumping off point, catapulting her readers into the far reaches of Big Questions.

    Lit Hub, 'Most Anticipated Books of 2021'
  • Maggie Nelson needs no genre. Reading her books... tends to make classification of any kind feel destructive, like it would slice through her writing's vital connective tissue... Reading Nelson is like watching a prima ballerina deliver the performance of a lifetime: athletic, graceful, and awe-inspiring.

    Vulture
  • A top cultural critic plucks the concept of freedom away from right-wing sloganeers and explores its operation in current artistic and political conversations. . . . The subtlety of Nelson's analysis and energy of her prose refresh the mind and spirit.

    Kirkus Review
  • Profound . . . wide-ranging essays analyzing freedom as it relates to the arts, sexuality, addiction, and, perhaps surprisingly, climate change. . . . A heady mix of erudite analysis and personal revelation. . . . Nelson brings a critically nuanced appreciation of individual and societal freedom to her mapping of the minefields involved in simultaneously embracing liberty and jettisoning habits of control and paranoia that threaten liberation.

    Booklist

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