Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments

Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments

9781788163248

WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD

SHORTLISTED FOR THE JAMES TAIT BLACK PRIZE 2020

Intimate Histories of Riotous Black Girls, Troublesome Women and Queer Radicals

At 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.

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Profile Books Ltd

2021

Adult Non Fiction

History and Politics and Race and Religion

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