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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
  • In discussion after discussion, Nelson shows the same alertness to context, intellectual modesty and the conviction that ethical goodness is never all on one side. She doesn't aim to provide a positive account of the meaning of freedom. But if we understand freedom, above all, through our opposition to bondage, we can learn a great deal, as her book shows, from carefully cataloging and challenging the many ways of being unfree.

    Kwame Anthony Appiah, New York Times Book Review
  • 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'
  • As ever, Nelson's probing inquiry sits on equal footing with her effortlessly fluid prose, which moves between first-person, anecdotal stories and intense critical examination with the utmost readability. Ultimately Nelson's approach is one that seeks liberation and transcendence, whether sexual, narcotic, or purely biological-something that radiates palpably from her writing, even when she delves into some of the darkest corners of the human psyche.

    Vogue, 'Best Books to Read This Fall'
  • 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

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