Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things.
Who ponders the sock? This common object is something people tug on and take off daily with hardly a thought. Unraveling the garment's history, construction, and use, Kim Adrian's Sock reintroduces us to our own bodies- vulnerable, bipedal, and flawed.
Sock reminds us that extraordinary secrets live in mundane material realities, and shows how this floppy, often smelly, sometimes holey piece of clothing, whether machine-made or hand-knit, can also serve as an anatomy lesson, a physics primer, a love letter, a weapon, a fetish, and a fashion statement.
Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic.
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About the Author
"Kim Adrian's Sock is the darndest thing. Witty and sly, written with the highest tactile precision, it is at the same time stacked with erudite asides and unexpected perspectives. Adrian reminds us where the ground lies and how we move upon it--and what miraculous things we have encasing our feet as we do so." -- Sven Birkerts, author of Changing the Subject: Art and Attention in the Internet Age
"Fun, focused, and footloose!" -- Nicholson Baker, author of The Way the World Works: Essays
"Through a discussion of the footwear's material, social and cultural evolution, Sock reflects on the brilliance present in the minutiae of our lives. With piercing wit, idiosyncratic humor and sharply insightful moments of personal examination, Adrian uses the most domestic of items as a lens through which to view the inelegance and wondrousness of humanity. Encompassing the utility of protecting an essentially vulnerable, uncomfortable body and the bonds mothers form with the objects that cover the delicate toes of their babies, Adrian's warm, insightful investigation will give this common object new prominence in any reader's mind. Sock delivers a detailed exploration of human nature through whimsically astute commentary on a common, closely held object." - Shelf Awareness
"An utterly engaging investigation -- not so much of [the sock], per se, as of human evolution, anatomy, physics, sexuality, fashion, painting, consumerism, manufacturing, and motherhood ... illuminating, erudite, deeply intelligent." - Los Angeles Review of Books
"If a book called Sock makes you think, 'Twenty-five-thousand words on socks? Uh, no, ' then you're unclear on the concept. You're also missing out on a thoroughly delightful discussion." - Washington Independent Review of Books
"A remarkable read, a perfectly satisfying balance of fact and quirk and charm." - Knitty