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Constructing a nervous system : a memoir  Cover Image Book Book

Constructing a nervous system : a memoir

Record details

  • ISBN: 152474817X
  • ISBN: 9781524748173
  • Physical Description: 197 pages : illustration ; 20 cm
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, [2022]
  • Badges:
    • Recently Published: 5 / 5.0

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note: Includes bibliographical references (pages 189-195).
Summary, etc.: "Stunning for her daring originality, the author of Negroland gives us what she calls "a temperamental autobiography," comprised of visceral, intimate fragments that fuse criticism and memoir. Margo Jefferson constructs a nervous system with pieces of different lengths and tone, conjoining arts writing (poem, song, performance) with life writing (history, psychology). The book's structure is determined by signal moments of her life, those that trouble her as well as those that thrill and restore. In this nervous system: The sounds of a black spinning disc of a 1950's jazz LP as intimate and instructive as a parent's voice. The muscles and movements of a ballerina, spliced with those of an Olympic runner: template for what a female body could be. Harriet Beecher Stowe's Topsy finds her way into the art of Kara Walker and the songs of Cécile McLorin Salvant. Bing Crosby and Ike Turner become alter egos. W.E.B. DuBois and George Eliot meet illicitly, as he appropriates lines from her story "The Hidden Veil" to write his famous "behind the veil" passages in The Souls of Black Folk. The words of multiple others (writers, singers, film characters, friends, family) act as prompts and as dialogue. The fragments of this brilliant book, while not neglecting family, race, and class, are informed by a kind of aesthetic drive: longing, ecstasy, or even acute ambivalence. Constructing a nervous system is Jefferson's relentlessly galvanizing mis en scene for unconventional storytelling as well as a platform for unexpected dramatis personae"--
Subject: États-Unis Mœurs et coutumes Anecdotes
États-Unis Relations raciales Histoire Anecdotes
Noirs américains Mœurs et coutumes
Noirs américains Vie intellectuelle
Noirs américains Identité ethnique
Femmes critiques noires américaines Biographies
Noires américaines Biographies
United States Social life and customs Anecdotes
United States Race relations History Anecdotes
African Americans Social life and customs
African Americans Intellectual life
African Americans Race identity
African American women critics Biography
African American women Biography
Jefferson, Margo 1947-
Genre: Biographies.

Available copies

  • 9 of 12 copies available at Bibliomation. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Rowayton Library.


  • 1 current hold with 12 total copies.
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Rowayton Library BIO JEFFERSON (Text) 33625122840718 Adult New Biography Available -

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