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Constructing a Nervous System (MP3)
Released the same day as the standard print edition
Constructing a Nervous System (MP3)
Written by:
Margo Jefferson 
Read by:
Karen Murray 
Unabridged MP3 CD Audio Book 
Number of CDs:
5 hours 1 minutes 
MP3 size:
217 MB 
April 01 2022 
Available Date:
April 01 2022 
Age Category:
Non-fiction; American; Autobiography; Memoirs 
Bolinda audio 
Bolinda price
AUD$ 29.95
AUD$ 29.95

Award winning author

Stunning for her daring originality, the author of Negroland, Margo Jefferson, gives us what she calls a temperamental autobiography comprised of visceral, intimate fragments that fuse criticism and memoir.

In this intimate and innovative memoir, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Margo Jefferson gives us her own personal and intellectual formation. As she comes of age in an America whose freedoms are distorted by race and gender, she finds herself reflected in a cast of others – jazz luminaries, writers, artists, athletes and stars. Bing Crosby and Ike Turner are among the author’s alter egos. The sounds of a jazz LP emerge as the intimate and instructive sounds of a parent’s voice. W.E.B. Du Bois and George Eliot meet illicitly. The muscles and movements of a ballerina are spliced with those of an Olympic runner, becoming a template for what a black female body can be. From Josephine Baker’s radiant transformations, to Willa Cather’s aesthetics of whiteness, Jefferson shows us how we can find space in cultures that will not make room for us, and how – even in times of stricture – we might learn to construct ourselves.

'Jefferson's candor, and the courage and rigor of her critic's mind, recall a number of America's greatest thinkers.'
New York Times Book Review

'[A] masterpiece ... A phenomenal study-cum-memoir about the black bourgeoisie.' (on Negroland)
Hilton Als, author of White Girls

'Brave ... Revelatory ... Recall[s] a number of America’s greatest thinkers on race ... James Baldwin, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois.' (on Negroland)
The New York Times

'Jefferson’s unique perspective and relentless honesty and self-examination ensure that there’s something worthwhile on every page … A dynamic, unflinchingly candid examination of the impacts of race and class on culture and the author’s own life.'
Kirkus Reviews, starred

'Jefferson is as precise and sensitive as ever, nonpareil in her scope and ability to synthesize the circus of traditions, arcs, and performances that make up a life, taking the role of stage trouper and spectator in turns … What an honor to settle in for the show alongside her.'