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The Art of Cruelty

A Reckoning

Maggie Nelson (Author, CalArts)

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“A vibrant and engaged work from a writer and thinker who is worthy of our attention.”—Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times

Maggie Nelson has established herself as one of our foremost cultural critics in this landmark work about representations of violence in art.

“An important and frequently surprising book . . . could be read as the foundation for a post-avant-garde aesthetics. ?. . . Nelson, who is also a poet, is such a graceful writer that ?I . . . just sat back and enjoyed the show.”—Laura Kipnis, New York Times Book Review, front-page review

“[Nelson’s] critiques of individual artists are delightfully fierce without being mean spirited. . . . Fascinating and bracingly intelligent. . . . The Art of Cruelty’s prose is often gorgeous.”—Troy Jollimore, Boston Globe

“A lean-forward experience, and in its most transcendent moments, reading it can feel like having the best conversation of your life.”—Rachel Syme, NPR Books

“I hope that critics, and aspiring critics, and those who are interested in the relationship between art and ethics, read [The Art of Cruelty].”—Susie Linfield, New Republic/The Book

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • August 2012
  • ISBN 978-0-393-34314-4
  • 5.5 × 8.3 in / 304 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Other Formats

  1. Book CoverThe Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning

    Hardcover

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