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Publisher's Summary


A revolutionary collaboration about the world we're living in now, between two of our most important contemporary thinkers, writers and activists.

When the world entered pandemic lockdown in spring 2020, Robyn Maynard, influential author of Policing Black Lives, and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, renowned artist, musician, and author of Noopiming: The Cure for White Ladies, began writing each other letters—a gesture sparked by a desire for kinship and connection in a world shattering under the intersecting crises of pandemic, police killings, and climate catastrophe. These letters soon grew into a powerful exchange about where we go from here.

Rehearsals for Living is a captivating and visionary work—part debate, part dialogue, part lively and detailed familial correspondence between two razor-sharp writers. By articulating to each other Black and Indigenous perspectives on our unprecedented here and now, and reiterating the long-disavowed histories of slavery and colonization that have brought us to this moment, Maynard and Simpson create something new: an urgent demand for a different way forward, and a poetic call to dream up other ways of ordering earthly life.

©2022 Robyn Maynard and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson (P)2022 Knopf Canada

Critic Reviews

“A balm for despair, Rehearsals for Living . . . takes stock of our collapsing society and imagines what we might build from the wreckage. . . . A polyphonic work of critical scholarship that radically reframes the concept of survival to map a feminist, abolitionist, and anti-racist path to the future. . . . Maynard and Simpson have crafted a powerful argument that communion is both necessary and generative, and that the possibility of a better world exists as long as we are able to imagine it together.” Quill and Quire (starred review) 

“This book must be read for its future vocabularies, its political intimacies, its careful assemblage of the materials of our activisms, and its generous and fulsome thinking.” —Dionne Brand

“Illuminate[s] in essential ways the entwined lives of Black and Indigenous peoples . . . [Rehearsals for Living] is a book of relation, radical generosity, and care—a book, too, of running children, and the colour of the sky, and of ‘holding within [ourselves] that nascent shimmering of possibility.’” —David Chariandy

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