Everybody: A Book about Freedom


Product Details

$26.95  $25.06
W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date
5.8 X 8.6 X 1.3 inches | 1.16 pounds

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About the Author

Olivia Laing is a writer and critic. Her first book, To the River, was published by Canongate to wide acclaim and shortlisted for the Ondaatje Prize and the Dolman Travel Book of the Year. She has been the deputy books editor of the Observer, and writes for The Guardian, New Statesman, and The Times Literary Supplement, among other publications. She is a MacDowell Fellow, and has received grants from the Arts Council and the Authors' Foundation. She lives in Cambridge, England.


A freewheeling and joyful exploration of the works and lives of a range of artists and thinkers who brought libidinal and creative energy together with spectacular results. Laing's particular gift lies in her unique ability to line up unlikely juxtapositions--of artists, ideas, and works--and then draw clear and illuminating insights from such constellations. What her earlier work did for loneliness, this book does for liberation--Jack Halberstam, author of Gaga Feminism
This is an astonishing project, written with equal parts stirring passion and capable intellect. Laing puts into words experiences I had never before seen in print, and the world is better for it. I love this book.--Esmé Weijun Wang, author of The Collected Schizophrenias
Everybody is a riveting and fascinating innovative historiography of twentieth century Euro-American radical thought...Brainy, open-hearted, and bold.--Sarah Schulman, author of Conflict Is Not Abuse and Let the Record Show
Reading Everybody felt like hanging out with my absolute smartest friend having, somehow, the precise conversation I need to have in this historical moment. Olivia Laing's mind is a thrill to watch, and the connections she draws between the body, sex, art, and freedom made the world around me buzz with new depth and possibility, connections revealed and illuminated. Rare is the book that makes you feel more alive just in reading it, but Everybody does just that.--Alex Marzano-Lesnevich, author of The Fact of a Body
A provocative inquiry into the body's power and vulnerability, Everybody combines deep research, historical gossip, unsung queer lives, and deliciously readable prose. Laing reckons with her own gender and embodiment alongside major and minor theorists, artists, and activists, casting fresh light on the unending struggles for freedom and autonomy--Jenn Shapland, author of National Book Award finalist My Autobiography of Carson McCullers
Laing's Everybody animates flesh with the incandescent force of histories both individual and collective. Through her incisive lens, the body--that knot of mind, matter, culture, and society that we dwell inescapably within--becomes almost impossibly fascinating.--Alexandra Kleeman, author of You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine
Laing's finely crafted blend of incisive memoir and biography vitalize this unique chronicle of the endless struggle 'to be free of oppression based on the kind of body' one inhabits, a work of fresh and dynamic analysis and revelation.-- "Booklist (starred review)"
Laing creates a penetrating examination of the political and cultural meanings ascribed to bodies as well as the relationships of bodies to power and freedom... Intellectually vigorous and emotionally stirring.-- "Kirkus Reviews (starred review)"
Impassioned and provocative... This lucid foray into some of life's deepest questions astonishes.-- "Publishers Weekly (starred review)"
[Laing] masterfully shares stories of fascinating artists and historical figures... Her net, in short, is breathtakingly, ambitiously wide... Everybody is a nonpareil study that delights the intellect.-- "BookPage"