Beta
X

08Aug

Animal Joy by Nuar Alsadir review – is laughter the best medicine?

Joining the dots between Ali G and Nietzsche, the poet and psychoanalyst’s unguarded exploration of laughter will leave readers enlightened and emboldened

An outburst of laughter, Freud maintained, is an eruption from the unconscious. It’s a belief that American psychoanalyst and poet Nuar Alsadir sets about unpacking in Animal Joy, her ruminative interrogation into the might and meaning of this vital mode of human communication. Understanding it better, she suggests, can open us up to a less constrained, more spontaneous experience of the world around us.

Splicing sometimes dense academic theory with provocations drawn from the fraught years of the Trump presidency as well as from her own personal and professional life, she covers topics as diverse as the equalising properties of a New York subway car, the Brett Kavanaugh supreme court confirmation hearings, and computer viruses as “a form of art and a form of prophecy”.

Continue reading...

Related

The Book of the Gaels by James Yorkston review – a lyrical, child’s-eye view of an Irish road trip

The folk musician’s picaresque tale of a struggling Scottish writer and his sons en route from Cork...

Read More >

The White Rock by Anna Hope review – back to the very beginning

A sacred Mexican rock unites four people over 200 years in Hope’s thoughtful, ambitious fourth nove...

Read More >

Haven by Emma Donoghue review – religious zeal meets ecological warning in AD600 Ireland

The Room author’s new novel is a timely allegory in which three monks face a test of their faith on...

Read More >

In brief: Small Fires: An Epic in the Kitchen; This Beating Heart; The Latecomer – reviews

A gripping kitchen memoir, an intensely emotive novel about fertility, and a sharp family sagaRebecc...

Read More >

Sloane Crosley: ‘I don’t think America deserved a birthday party this year’

The US essayist and novelist on giving dating a literary treatment, spoofing wellness culture and wh...

Read More >

The Crane Wife by CJ Hauser review – frank and funny essays on doomed romances

This collection’s relentless focus on one person’s pursuit of intimacy invites us to redefine what...

Read More >