A career-spanning collection of inspiring, revelrous essays about art and artists
Like Love is a momentous, raucous collection of essays drawn from twenty years of Maggie Nelson’s brilliant work. These profiles, reviews, remembrances, tributes, and critical essays, as well as several conversations with friends and idols, bring to life Nelson’s passion for dialogue and dissent. The range of subjects is wide—from Prince to Carolee Schneemann to Matthew Barney to Lhasa de Sela to Kara Walker—but certain themes recur: intergenerational exchange; love and friendship; feminist and queer issues, especially as they shift over time; subversion, transgression, and perversity; the roles of the critic and of language in relation to visual and performance arts; forces that feed or impede certain bodies and creators; and the fruits and follies of a life spent devoted to making.
Arranged chronologically, Like Love shows the writing, thinking, feeling, reading, looking, and conversing that occupied Nelson while writing iconic books such as Bluets and The Argonauts. As such, it is a portrait of a time, an anarchic party rich with wild guests, a window into Nelson’s own development, and a testament to the profound sustenance offered by art and artists.
“Nelson’s admiration and enthusiasm for her subjects is a palpable driver of joy and delight. . . . A revelatory gathering of beloved art and artists presented with distinctive prose.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“A masterful showcase for Nelson’s wide-ranging intellect and critical prowess.” —Publishers Weekly
“Drawn from nearly 20 years of genre-defying author Maggie Nelson’s work, Like Love offers incisive commentary on topics ranging from music and literature to feminism and queerness to motherhood and love.”—Time's “Most Anticipated Books of 2024”
“There are a couple authors and artists out there that I am distinctly grateful to be alive alongside, and Maggie Nelson might be at the top of that list. . . . [Like Love is] a stunning and integral book.”—Julia Hass, Literary Hub's “Most Anticipated Books of 2024”
“Through Maggie Nelson’s powerful prose and expansive reflection on a wide breadth of subject matter, we see one of the most wonderful, poetic minds of this generation detail how she’s come to see the world through a lens of love through friendship with some of the world’s most influential artists and creative thinkers.”—Felicia Reich, Paste Magazine
“A luminous gathering of dispatches from the delicate adventure of thinking alongside other people. Like Love is a reminder of wow.” —Jeremy Atherton Lin, author of Gay Bar
“Maggie Nelson’s shimmering genius is on full display in this collection. Like Love is a celebration of friendship and outlaw communities of artists and writers that demonstrates how we can hold onto love as we hurtle uncertainly into the future.”—Cathy Park Hong
“Like Love is a convergence of the most incandescent parts of Maggie Nelson’s inimitable craft: there is her ceaseless curiosity, her capacity not only to hold complexity but to court it with equal parts desire and critique, the generosity and gratitude of her thinking held by gorgeous turns of phrase.”—Johanna Hedva, author of Your Love Is Not Good and “Sick Woman Theory”