The body is a source of pleasure and of pain, at once hopelessly vulnerable and radiant with power. At a moment in which basic rights are increasingly imperilled, Olivia Laing conducts an ambitious investigation into the body and its discontents, using the life of the renegade psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich to chart a daring course through the long struggle for bodily freedom.

 

Drawing on her own experience in protest and alternative medicine, and travelling from Weimar Berlin to the prisons of McCarthy-era America, she grapples with some of the most compelling figures of the past century, among them Nina Simone, 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 as our own. Everybody is an examination of the forces arranged against freedom and a celebration of how ordinary human bodies can resist oppression and reshape the world.

Picador

Pre-order in the UK: Bookshop.org, Waterstones (signed edition), Foyles, Amazon

 

Pre-order in the US: Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Bookshop

 

Coming soon: China, Germany, Italy, Korea, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Sweden

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Published UK 29 April 2021