Mini-Review: The Argonauts

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Easily one of my (most) favorite books I’ve read this academic year (and I’ve read more than a lot, just finishing up qualifying exams for two PhD programs), The Argonauts (2015, Graywolf Press) examines the failures and successes of language to convey and construct both identity and perspective. Benson’s work is a masterful little piece of discourse, a conjuring into being of  one writer’s position in lieu of those she holds closest to her. The text is a study in positionality and performance. It’s required reading for scholars of contemporary American literature, gender, sexuality, subjectivity, feminism, body, embodiment, and critical theory. For everyone else: If you don’t like to come out a different person after having worked through a text, or if you prefer what you read not to move you or inconvenience you by altering your interpretive frames for viewing the world or for empathizing with other people, please avoid reading the book at all costs.

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