The Argonauts (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

According to Webster's, an argonaut is an adventurer engaged in a quest of sorts. It is with enthusiastic respect for Nelson's strength as a writer and her quest to break the status quo that I recommend The Argonauts. If you appreciate the artfulness of writing, this book is for you. If you crave modern, fierce, and rejuvenating perspectives on identity, love, and language, this book is also for you. Nelson explores the binary world we live in and tactfully, yet radically, advocates for a level of personal freedom that is both innovative and liberating. —Emma

— From Emma's Picks


An intrepid voyage out to the frontiers of the latest thinking about love, language, and family

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, offers a firsthand account 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.

About the Author

Maggie Nelson is a poet, critic, and nonfiction author of books such as The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning, Bluets, and Jane: A Murder. She teaches in the School of Critical Studies at CalArts and lives in Los Angeles, California.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781555977351
ISBN-10: 1555977359
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Publication Date: January 26th, 2016
Pages: 160
Language: English