Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments

By Saidiya V. Hartman

£10.99

What was the fate of the first generations of black women born after abolition in America? Struggle: to create autonomous and beautiful lives, to escape new forms of servitude, and to live as if they really were free. This book recreates the radical imagination and wayward practices of these young women by describing the world through their eyes. Recreating their fragmentary life stories using a combination of archival research and virtuosic literary imagination, a very different vision of the 20th century emerges, one that offers an intimate chronicle of black radicalism. Here is an aesthetical and riotous history – a revolution in tastes and mores that set the stage for the Jazz Age and the social upheavels. The decades between 1890 and 1935 were decisive in determining the shape of 20th century modernity, and young black women were the unacknowledged agents of that transformation.

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SKU: 9781788163248 Category: Tag:

Description

WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARDSHORTLISTED FOR THE JAMES TAIT BLACK PRIZE 2020At the dawn of the twentieth century, black women in the US were carving out new ways of living. The first generations born after emancipation, their struggle was to live as if they really were free. These women refused to labour like slaves. Wrestling with the question of freedom, they invented forms of love and solidarity outside convention and law. These were the pioneers of free love, common-law and transient marriages, queer identities, and single motherhood – all deemed scandalous, even pathological, at the dawn of the twentieth century, though they set the pattern for the world to come.In Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments, Saidiya Hartman deploys both radical scholarship and profound literary intelligence to examine the transformation of intimate life that they instigated. With visionary intensity, she conjures their worlds, their dilemmas, their defiant brilliance.

Additional information

Weight 0.345 kg
Dimensions 19.8 × 12.9 × 2.5 cm
Author

Publisher

Imprint

Cover

Paperback

Pages

xxi, 390

Language

English

Edition
Dewey

305.48896073 (edition:23)

Readership

General – Trade / Code: K

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Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments

£10.99

In stock