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Rehearsals for Living
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About the Author

Robyn Maynard is a Toronto-based Black feminist activist and scholar involved in the protracted struggles for police, prison and border abolition. Author of Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present, a national bestseller, designated as one of the “best 100 books of 2017” by the Hill Times, listed in The Walrus‘s “best books of 2018”, shortlisted for an Atlantic Book Award, the Concordia University First Book Prize and the Mavis Gallant Prize for Non-fiction, and the winner of the 2017 Annual Errol Morris Book Prize.



Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is a renowned Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar, writer and artist, who has been widely recognized as one of the most compelling Indigenous voices of her generation. Leanne is the author of seven books, including her 2021 novel Noopiming: The Cure for White Ladies, which was named a best book of the year by the Globe and Mail, and was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for fiction.



Ruth Wilson Gilmore is Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences and Director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics at CUNY Graduate Center. A co-founder of California Prison Moratorium Project and Critical Resistance, she is author of the prize-winning book Golden Gulag: Prison, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California. Gilmore is the recipient of the Cultural Freedom Prize from the Lannan Foundation.



Robin D. G. Kelley, Gary B. Nash Professor of American History at UCLA, is author of Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times and Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination.

Reviews

“As we collectively and unevenly live through sedimented colonialities, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson and Robyn Maynard draw out a political vision that emerges from epistolary connections—letters, animated by stories, that seek out, engage, imagine, and narrate different kinds and types of liberation. Accentuated by entangled black-indigenous histories and geographies, Rehearsals for Living actualizes friendship as correspondence, modeling a mode of togetherness that we can practice, learn from, and revise.” —Katherine McKittrick, author of Demonic Grounds and Dear Science and Other Stories.

"Rehearsals for Living is a profound and sublime work of memory, witnessing, refusal, dreaming. In the trenchant tradition of Black and Indigenous feminisms, this brilliant book moves us away from the language of crisis or victimhood to the precise and intimate encounters of kinship and liberation. The letters between Maynard and Simpson magnificently shapeshift and engage on multiple levels, and in doing so, rigorously demand an accounting for horrific violences while illuminating lives and worlds anew. A masterclass in literary form, ethical orientations, and collective futures." —Harsha Walia, author of Border and Rule, Global Migration, Capitalism, and the Rise of Racist Nationalism


"Rehearsals for Living is an intellectually fierce dialogue about our colonial present by two of the most renowned scholar-activists working today. In a time of incredible uncertainty, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson and Robyn Maynard show that the shared and divergent histories of Black and Indigenous communities are foundational to the building of a better world for all." —Glen Coulthard, author of Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition

"Not all apocalypses are unwelcome. The profound anticipation for a world otherwise bubbled to the surface the summer of 2020. Collective rage and love shattered the sense of inviolability surrounding white supremacy putting forward an alternative vision, one already existing and always in the making. Rehearsals for Living is an epistolary that captures that urgent project of what it means to be human and imagine freedom in times of terrible danger. Robyn Maynard and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson tap into Black and Indigenous ways of knowing and world-making that require a fundamental disordering of the forces of destruction and the re-ordering of life and the beautiful struggle to get free." —Nick Estes, author of Our History is the Future: Standing Rock Versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance 

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