Everybody: A Book About Freedom
The body is a source of pleasure and of pain, at once hopelessly vulnerable and radiant with power. At a moment in which basic rights are once again imperilled, Olivia Laing conducts an ambitious investigation into the body and its discontents, using the life of the renegade psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich to chart a daring course through the long struggle for bodily freedom, from gay rights and sexual liberation to feminism and the civil rights movement.
Drawing on her own experiences in protest and alternative medicine, and travelling from Weimar Berlin to the prisons of McCarthy-era America, she grapples with some of the most significant and complicated figures of the past century, among them Nina Simone, Christopher Isherwood, Andrea Dworkin, Sigmund Freud, Susan Sontag and Malcolm X.
Despite its many burdens, the body remains a source of power, even in an era as technologized and automated as our own. Everybody is an examination of the forces arranged against freedom and a celebration of how ordinary human bodies can resist oppression and reshape the world.
About the Author
Olivia Laing is a British writer, novelist and cultural critic. She is the author of four works of non-fiction, To the River, The Trip to Echo Spring, The Lonely City and Funny Weather, as well as a novel, Crudo. In 2018, she was awarded the Windham-Campbell Literature Prize for non-fiction and in 2019, the 100th James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Crudo. In 2019 she became an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
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