Olivia Laing - Everybody: A Book About Freedom (Online Event)

Tuesday, May 4, 2021 - 12:00pm

Tuesday, May 4th, 2021

Live • Online • 12:00pm PT • $40

In conversation with Johanna Fateman

Purchase a ticket for this event and receive a complimentary copy of Everybody, delivered right to your door!


"Astute and consistently surprising critic" (NPR) Olivia Laing investigates the body and its discontents through the great freedom movements of the twentieth century.

The body is a source of pleasure and of pain, at once hopelessly vulnerable and radiant with power. In her ambitious, brilliant sixth book, Olivia Laing charts an electrifying course through the long struggle for bodily freedom, using the life of the renegade psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich to explore gay rights and sexual liberation, feminism, and the civil rights movement.

Drawing on her own experiences in protest and alternative medicine, and traveling from Weimar Berlin to the prisons of McCarthy-era America, Laing 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. Arriving at a moment in which basic bodily rights are once again imperiled, Everybody is an investigation into the forces arranged against freedom and a celebration of how ordinary human bodies can resist oppression and reshape the world.

Olivia Laing is the author of three acclaimed works of nonfiction, To the River (2011), The Trip to Echo Spring (2013), and The Lonely City (2016), which was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism and has been translated into seventeen languages. Her first novel, Crudo, was a New York Times Notable Book and won the 2019 James Tait Black Prize. She writes for the Guardian, New York Times, and frieze, among many other publications. Her collected writing on art, Funny Weather, was published in 2020. The recipient of the 2018 Windham-Campbell Prize in nonfiction, Laing lives in Suffolk, UK.

Johanna Fateman is an American writer, songwriter, musician, and record producer. She is a member of the post-punk rock band Le Tigre and founded the band MEN with Le Tigre bandmate JD Samson. Beginning in 2016, Fateman became a columnist for The New Yorker, regularly contributing to the magazine's "Goings On About Town" section. Fateman has also written critically about art and pop culture for Bookforum and Artforum magazines. Since 2006, Fateman has been part-owner of a West Village hair salon called Seagull with her partner, Shaun Surething. Established in the 1970s and named after the novel Jonathan Livingston Seagull, the salon was the city's first unisex barber shop.