The Argonauts

Title:
The Argonauts
Maggie Nelson
Price$15.00
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Winner of the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism

“So much writing about motherhood makes the world seem smaller after the child arrives, more circumscribed . . . Nelson’s book does the opposite.”The New York Times Book Review

About the Book

“Maggie Nelson is one of the most electrifying writers at work in America today.”—Olivia Laing, The Guardian
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 artist Harry Dodge. This story, which includes the author’s account of falling in love with Dodge, who is fluidly gendered, as well as her journey to and through a pregnancy, is an intimate portrayal of the complexities and joys of (queer) family making.
 
Writing in the spirit of public intellectuals like 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 childrearing. Nelson’s insistence on radical individual freedom and the value of caretaking becomes the rallying cry for this thoughtful, unabashed, uncompromising book.
 
“A fiercely provocative and intellectually audacious memoir. . . . The author turns the whole process and concept of motherhood inside out, exploring every possible perspective, blurring the distinctions among the political, philosophical, aesthetic and personal. . . . A book that will challenge readers as much as the author has challenged herself.”—Kirkus (starred review)

Additional Reviews

The Argonauts is a moving exploration of family and love, but it’s also a meditation on the seductions, contradictions, limitations, and beauties of being normal, as a person and as an artist.”The New Yorker

“Nelson’s vibrant, probing and, most of all, outstanding book is also a philosophical look at motherhood, transitioning, partnership, parenting, and family.”—NPR

“Nelson’s book is a beautiful, passionate and shatteringly intelligent meditation on what it means not to accept binaries but to improvise an individual life that says . . . yesand.”Chicago Tribune