Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments by Saidiya Hartman audiobook

Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval

By Saidiya Hartman
Read by Allyson Johnson

Highbridge Audio, HighBridge
10.10 Hours 1
Format : Digital Download (In Stock)
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    ISBN: 9781684418749

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In Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments, Saidiya Hartman examines the revolution of black intimate life that unfolded in Philadelphia and New York at the beginning of the twentieth century. Free love, common-law and transient marriages, queer relations, and single motherhood were among the sweeping changes that altered the character of everyday life and challenged traditional Victorian beliefs about courtship, love, and marriage. Hartman narrates the story of this radical social transformation against the grain of the prevailing century-old argument about the crisis of the black family. In wrestling with the question of what a free life is, many young black women created forms of intimacy and kinship that were indifferent to the dictates of respectability. They cleaved to and cast off lovers, exchanged sex to subsist, and revised the meaning of marriage. Longing and desire fueled their experiments in how to live. They refused to labor like slaves or to accept degrading conditions of work. Beautifully written and deeply researched, Wayward Lives re-creates the experience of young urban black women who desired an existence qualitatively different than the one that had been scripted for them—domestic service, second-class citizenship, and respectable poverty—and whose intimate revolution was apprehended as crime and pathology.

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Summary

Summary

Winner of the 2019 National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism

Longlisted for the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction

In Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments, Saidiya Hartman examines the revolution of black intimate life that unfolded in Philadelphia and New York at the beginning of the twentieth century. Free love, common-law and transient marriages, queer relations, and single motherhood were among the sweeping changes that altered the character of everyday life and challenged traditional Victorian beliefs about courtship, love, and marriage. Hartman narrates the story of this radical social transformation against the grain of the prevailing century-old argument about the crisis of the black family.

In wrestling with the question of what a free life is, many young black women created forms of intimacy and kinship that were indifferent to the dictates of respectability. They cleaved to and cast off lovers, exchanged sex to subsist, and revised the meaning of marriage. Longing and desire fueled their experiments in how to live. They refused to labor like slaves or to accept degrading conditions of work.

Beautifully written and deeply researched, Wayward Lives re-creates the experience of young urban black women who desired an existence qualitatively different than the one that had been scripted for them—domestic service, second-class citizenship, and respectable poverty—and whose intimate revolution was apprehended as crime and pathology.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Exhilarating…A rich resurrection of a forgotten history.” New York Times
“In granting these forgotten women a voice and conjuring their longing for freedom, Hartman resists the century-long diminution of their lives to social problems.” New Republic
“Genre-bending literary history….These are dishy, illuminating, and heartbreaking stories about the knotted relationship between desire and freedom.” Elle
“Here, for the first time, these women are credited with shaping a cultural movement that transformed the urban landscape.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Saidiya Hartman

Author Bio: Saidiya Hartman

Saidiya Hartman is the author of several books, including Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments, which won the 2019 National Book Critics’ Circle Award and was longlisted for the PEN/Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction. She is a Guggenheim Fellow and has been a Cullman Fellow and Fulbright Scholar. She is a professor at Columbia University.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Nonfiction/History
Runtime: 10.10
Audience: Adult
Language: English