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Extended Audio Sample The Argonauts Audiobook, by Maggie Nelson Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Maggie Nelson Narrator: Maggie Nelson Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2016 ISBN: 9781504768153
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A timely and genre-bending memoir that offers fresh and fierce reflections on motherhood, desire, identity and feminism

At the centre of The Argonauts is the love story between Maggie Nelson and the artist Harry Dodge, who is fluidly gendered. As Nelson undergoes the transformations of pregnancy, she explores the challenges and complexities of mothering and queer family making.

Writing in the tradition of public intellectuals like Susan Sontag, Nelson uses arresting prose even as she questions the limits of language. The Argonauts is an intrepid voyage out to the frontiers of love, language and family.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “So much writing about motherhood makes the world seem smaller after the child arrives, more circumscribed, as if in tacit fealty to the larger cultural assumptions about moms and domesticity; Nelson’s book does the opposite”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “[Nelson’s] book—part memoir, part critical inquiry touching on desire, love, and family—is a superb exploration of the risk and the excitement of change. Thinking and feeling are, for Nelson, mutually necessary processes; the result is an exceptional portrait both of a romantic partnership and of the collaboration between Nelson’s mind and heart.”

    New Yorker

  • “Maggie Nelson slays entrenched notions of gender, marriage, and sexuality with lyricism, intellectual brass, and soul-ringing honesty in The Argonauts.

    Vanity Fair

  • “A loose yet intricate tapestry of memoir, art criticism, and gently polemic…It’s a book about using the writings of smart, even difficult, writers to help us find clarity and precision in our intimate lives, and it’s a book about the no less intimate pleasures of the life of the mind…The Argonauts is a magnificent achievement of thought, care and art.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “In a culture still too quick to ask people to pick a side-to be male or female, to be an assimilationist or a revolutionary, to be totally straight or totally gay, totally hetero—or totally homo-normative—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, without fear, ‘yes, and.‘”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Reading Maggie Nelson is like watching a high-wire act. Her books are inspiring…Because of her dazzling sentences, I will read whatever the daredevil writes. She cozies up to ideas unlike any other American writer.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Maggie Nelson is one of the most electrifying writers at work in America today, among the sharpest and most supple thinkers of her generation.”


  • “Nelson writes in fine, fragmented exhalations, inserting quotes from numerous theorists as she goes…Her narrative is an honest, joyous affirmation of one happily unconventional family finding itself.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “A fiercely provocative and intellectually audacious memoir that focuses on motherhood, love, and gender fluidity…A book that will challenge readers as much as the author has challenged herself.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “[An] incredibly rich autobiographical meditation…Nelson blends philosophical inquiry, memoir, and gender criticism in a form she has dubbed ‘autotheory.’ Like her writing, Nelson’s theory blurs, eradicates, even breaks the margins of binary thinking and of the prevailing normative notion that we should each live a life that is ‘all one thing.’”

    Library Journal

  • “Maggie Nelson cuts through our culture’s prefabricated structures of thought and feeling with an intelligence whose ferocity is ultimately in the service of love. No piety is safe, no orthodoxy, no easy irony. The scare quotes burn off like fog.”

    Ben Lerner, award-winning author of Leaving the Atocha Station

  • “What a dazzlingly generous, gloriously unpredictable book! Maggie Nelson shows us what it means to be real, offering a way of thinking that is as challenging as it is liberating. She invites us to ‘pay homage to the transitive’ and enjoy ‘a becoming in which one never becomes.’ Reading The Argonauts made me happier and freer.”

    Eula Biss, author of Notes from Nowhere

  • “Once again, Maggie Nelson has created awe-inspiring work, one that smartly calls bullshit on the places culture—radical subcultures included—stigmatize and misunderstand both maternity and queer family-making. With a fiercely vulnerable intelligence, Nelson leaves no area un-investigated, including her own heart. I know of no other book like this, and I know how crucially the culture needs it.”

    Michelle Tea, author of Valencia

  • Winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism
  • A Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books
  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • A 2017 Folio Prize Nominee
  • A Bust Magazine Pick from Carrie Brownstein's Reading List
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About the Author

Maggie Nelson is a poet, art 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.