The acclaimed author of ‘Negroland’, Margo Jefferson boldly and brilliantly fuses cultural analysis and memoir in her new book, ‘Constructing a Nervous System’, and probes race, class, family and art.
Ranging from the 1950’s and 1960’s black music, which Jefferson loved, to conflicts over what the black female body could or should be, reframing artists from Harriet Beecher Stowe and Willa Cather to Josephine Baker and Kara Walker, this breathtakingly eloquent account is both critique and vindication of the constructed self.
The winner of a Pulitzer Prize for criticism, Margo Jefferson was for years a theatre and book critic for Newsweek and The New York Times. Her writing has appeared in Vogue, New York magazine, and The New Republic. She is the author of ‘On Michael Jackson’ and ‘Negroland’ and is a Professor of Writing at Columbia University School of the Arts.
“She knows everything and has felt it all deeply. If you want to know who we are and where we've been, read Margo Jefferson”.
“Constructing a Nervous System compresses memoir and cultural criticism into one slim, explosive volume, and in doing so the Pulitzer Prize-winning author makes both forms new. Hers is a wry, intimate portrayal of a passionate and intellectual woman coming to maturity... Jefferson has that rare ability to make her reader see things anew”.
-Margie Orford, Spectator
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