Maggie Nelson, head of the MFA Creative Writing Program at CalArts, is on this month's cover of Publishers Weekly (PW). Her latest book, The Argonauts, made PW's Best Books of 2015 list—landing a spot among the top 10 books of the year, according to the magazine known as “the bible of the book business.” Nelson was selected for the cover, the PW notes, because her "vital, shape-shifting memoir about her family, The Argonauts, shook up what we thought nonfiction writing could do."
A work of “autotheory,” Nelson's work examines the modern definitions of love, language, motherhood and family through the lens of Nelson’s relationship with fluidly gendered interdisciplinary artist (and CalArts School of Art faculty member) Harry Dodge and the birth of their son.
The New Yorker praised The Argonauts earlier this year: "Her book—part memoir, part critical inquiry touching on desire, love, and family—is a superb exploration of the risk and the excitement of change. Thinking and feeling are, for Nelson, mutually necessary processes; the result is an exceptional portrait both of a romantic partnership and of the collaboration between Nelson’s mind and heart."
Nelson's in good company among the 2015 PW list. Joining The Argonauts in the top 1o books of the year are:
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World by Andrea Wulf
- The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante, trans. from the Italian by Ann Goldstein
- Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan
- Delicious Foods by James Hannaham
- Imperium by Christian Kracht, trans. from the German by Daniel Bowles
- Beauty Is a Wound by Eka Kurniawan, trans. from the Indonesian by Annie Tucker
- Crow Fair by Thomas McGuane
- Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning by Timothy Snyder