Having and Being Had
'A major achievement.' CLAUDIA RANKINE 'Endlessly absorbing.' SINEAD GLEESON 'A probing tour of capitalism and class.' MAGGIE NELSON 'Exhilarating.' JENNY OFFILL
An incisive collection from award-winning author Eula Biss, Having and Being Had is a personal reckoning with the intricacies of money, class and capitalism.
'My adult life can be divided into two distinct parts,' Eula Biss writes, 'the time before I owned a washing machine and the time after.' Having just purchased her first home, she now embarks on a roguish and risky self-audit of the value system she has bought into. The result is a radical interrogation of work, leisure and capitalism. Described by the New York Times as a writer who 'advances from all sides, like a chess player', Biss brings her approach to the lived experience of capitalism. Playfully ranging from IKEA to Beyonce to Pokemon, across bars and laundromats and universities, she asks, of both herself and her class, 'In what have we invested?'
'As a writer Eula Biss has two great gifts. The first is her ability to reveal to the reader what has, all along, been hidden in plain sight . . . Her other talent is for laying bare our submerged fears . . . In Having and Being Had, both gifts are on display . . . if you are not deeply discomfited by the time you finish reading On Having and Being Had, you have no conscience.' AMINATTA FORNA, GUARDIAN
'Calls on the controlled rush of poetry and turns experience into art.' TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
'Nuanced . . . Biss' sentences have retained a poet's precision.' IRISH TIMES
'Eula Biss's prescient new book gave me new language for things I didn't know I felt . . . A brilliant, lacerating re-examination of our relationship to what we own and why, and who in turn might own us.' ALEXANDER CHEE
'No contemporary writer I know explores and confronts her own societal responsibilities better than Eula Biss.' ALEKSANDER HEMON'A meditation on race, consumerism and the American caste system. And a wry, vivd assessment of our spiritual moment. It is no accident that Having and Being Had reads like the poems money would write if money wrote poems.' JEET THAYIL
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