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Having and Being Had

Eula Biss

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.

15 in stock

£15.99
Format
Hardback
ISBN
9780571346424
Date Published
07.01.2021
Delivery
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Summary

‘A major achievement.’ CLAUDIA RANKINE
‘Endlessly absorbing.’ SINÉAD 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.

Having just purchased her first home, Eula Biss embarks on a roguish and risky self-audit of the value system she has bought into. The result is Having and Being Had: a radical interrogation of work, leisure and capitalism. Playfully ranging from IKEA to Beyoncé to Pokémon, 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

Critic Reviews

"One of the best younger essayists at work."

Rebecca Solnit
Critic Reviews

“In this witty, genre-bending book, Eula Biss smashes the taboo against talking about money with exhilarating results. Her investigation ranges from the strictly financial to the broadly philosophical as she accounts for her life with disarming honesty and grace.”

Jenny Offill
Critic Reviews

Eula Biss is known for stepping off the plank into turbulent waters that others might fear or avoid, armed with wry wit and a radical lucidity. Having and Being Had continues this journey, offering us a probing tour of capitalism and class that sidesteps posturing and jargon in favor of clarity, humility, and incitement.

Maggie Nelson
Critic Reviews

A major achievement. Having and Being Had, rather than leading through narrative, turns individual words and phrases, like capitalism, consumers, great America, husbandry, art, and work, into fields of inquiry in order to frame a life. With astute consideration, this expansive and intimate accumulation asks the questions that touch all our lives.”

Claudia Rankine
Critic Reviews

"An endlessly absorbing examination of class, our collusion in capitalism and economic inequality. Biss' signature voice is central, pivoting around Woolf, Baldwin and Didion, while proving herself to an extraordinary essayist of their ilk."

Sinéad Gleeson
Critic Reviews

"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."

Aminata Forna, Guardian
EulaBiss

Eula Biss is an essayist and author of On Immunity: An Inoculation, which was named one of the 10 Best Books of 2014 by the New York Times Book Review. Her second book, Notes From No Man’s Land: American Essays, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism. Faber & Faber published Biss’ most recent work, Having Being Had,…

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