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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 the artist Harry Dodge. This story, which includes Nelson'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 such as 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 child-rearing. Nelson's insistence on radical individual freedom and the value of caretaking becomes the rallying cry of this thoughtful, unabashed, uncompromising book.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By redhidari on 10-01-15
A relaxing meditation on identity, gender and art
A friend close to the author told me numerous times to read this book. Because I was in school, because I had no time to read, because I was busy raising hell, I put it off. After getting a punishing job that has left me no time for reading I decided to take his advice and buy the audiobook for my long LA commutes. I finally understood the parallels he saw and the radical voice of Maggie I feel is a commonality. I should have read the book but I would have missed out on the author's soothing voice. I would have missed the slight intonation she gave to certain subjects or the correct pronunciation of the names of theorists I had never known how to properly pronounce. This is a beautiful, meditative and at times painfully personal story. What a gift that Harry and Maggie allowed the world in. The ideas, the stories and her voice will stay with me for a very long time. Well done.
25 of 28 people found this review helpful
By Megan on 07-06-16
While Maggie Nelson was not my favorite narrator, the writing was captivating. The author offers such a mesmerizing take on all aspects of love and being human. I learned so much from such a short book.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful