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6 must-read books written by the 2019 MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grant Winners

See the acclaimed works produced by this year's MacArthur Fellows, which include genre-bending novels, graphic nonfiction, and new takes on the classics.

Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval by literary scholar and cultural historian Saidiya Hartman

From the MacArthur Foundation: Hartman is honored for “tracing the afterlife of slavery in modern American life and rescuing from oblivion stories of sparsely documented lives that have been systematically excluded from historical archives.”

Saidiya Hartman, a professor at Columbia University, is the author of three books: Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-making in Nineteenth Century America from 1997, Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route from 2007, and Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval from February of this year. The latter book examines the lives of young black women in New York and Philadelphia in the early 20th century. “Wayward Lives is thrilling to read because it invents a genre as deft and adventurous as the lives it chronicles,” praises The Nation.

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