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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: August 2015 ISBN: 9781504660808
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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, 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A superb exploration of the risk and the excitement of change…An exceptional portrait both of a romantic partnership and of the collaboration between Nelson’s mind and heart.”

    New Yorker

  • “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

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

    Vanity Fair

  • “A magnificent achievement of thought, care, and art.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “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

  • “Nelson’s writing is fluid—to read her story is to drift dreamily among her thoughts…She masterfully analyzes the way we talk about sex and gender.”

    Huffington Post

  • “Part portrait of a happy family, part critical meditation on queerness, Nelson’s hybrid book suggests a new path for the memoir. There’s no need for falls from grace or stirring redemptions when you can look at life and death, as Nelson does, with a refined critical eye. It doesn’t hurt that she speaks with the voice of a poet either.”

    Vulture.com, A Best Book of 2015 So Far

  • “Like all of Nelson’s work, The Argonauts brings together the formally inventive with the emotionally resonant. Here, she’s exploring questions of family, mortality, and gender, and finding inspiration in both the personal and the artistic along the way.”

    Vol1Brooklyn.com, Best Nonfiction Books of 2015 So Far

  • “One of the most intelligent, generous, and moving books of the year.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “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

  • A Paste Magazine Pick for 30 Best Nonfiction Books of 2015
  • Winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism
  • An Our Shared Shelf Book Club Pick for May 2016 
  • A Bust Magazine Pick from Carrie Brownstein's Reading List
  • A 2017 Folio Prize Nominee
  • The New Yorker’s Best Books of 2015 Selection
  • A Portland Mercury Pick for Required Reading of 2015
  • A BuzzFeed Books Pick for Best Nonfiction of 2015
  • A Flavorwire Pick for Best Nonfiction of 2015
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2015
  • A 2015 GoodReads Readers’ Choice Best Memoir & Autobiography Book Award nominee
  • A Flavorwire Pick for 50 Best Independent Press Books of 2015
  • A 2015 New York Times Book Review Notable Book
  • A Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015 for Nonfiction
  • A NPR’s Great Reads Selection of 2015
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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.