Maggie Nelson and Jack Halberstam

In conversation about her new book, On Freedom
Maggie Nelson Point Reyes Books On Freedom Graywolf Press
Thursday, September 9, 2021 - 7:00pm
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Award-winning poet, critic, and author Maggie Nelson joins us to discuss her latest book, On Freedom: Four Songs of Care and Constraint (Graywolf Press). Conversation partner TBD.

“[Maggie Nelson] traces the limits of liberty and the call to care in this expansive and sharp-eyed study. . . . Nelson turns each thought until it is finely honed and avoids binaries and bromides. While the literary theorizing is rich, 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.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

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About On Freedom

An expansive, exhilarating work of criticism by one of the most significant writers of our day

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.

About Maggie Nelson and Jack Halberstam

Maggie Nelson is a poet, critic, and award-winning author of The Argonauts, Bluets, The Art of Cruelty, Jane: A Murder and The Red Parts. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

Jack Halberstam is Professor of Gender Studies and English at Columbia University. Halberstam is the author of seven books including: Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters (Duke UP, 1995), Female Masculinity (Duke UP, 1998), In A Queer Time and Place (NYU Press, 2005), The Queer Art of Failure (Duke UP, 2011), Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal (Beacon Press, 2012) and, a short book titled Trans*: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variance (University of California Press).  Halberstam’s latest book, 2020 from Duke UP is titled Wild Things: The Disorder of Desire. Places Journal awarded Halberstam its Arcus/Places Prize in 2018 for innovative public scholarship on the relationship between gender, sexuality and the built environment. Halberstam  is now finishing a second volume on wildness titled: The Wild Beyond: Music, Architecture and Anarchy.

Staff Pick Badge
On Freedom: Four Songs of Care and Constraint Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781644450628
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - September 7th, 2021

Bluets Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781933517407
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Wave Books - October 1st, 2009

The Argonauts Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9781555977351
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - January 26th, 2016

The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780393343144
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - August 13th, 2012

The Red Parts: Autobiography of a Trial Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555977368
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - April 5th, 2016

Jane: A Murder Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781593766580
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Soft Skull - September 13th, 2016