John Freeman, literary critic, editor and poet, brings his new essay collection, “Dictionary of the Undoing” to Magers & Quinn, 3038 Hennepin Ave. S., Mpls., at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20. The free program is presented by Rain Taxi Review.
Freeman is editor of Freeman’s, a literary annual of new writing, and former editor of Granta magazine. His widely-praised books include “How to Read a Novelist” and “Tales of Two Americas.”
In “Dictionary of the Undoing,” Freeman takes on the most relevant current topic — use of language — from A (Agitate) to Z (Zygote).
In his Prologue, Freeman writes that “we need to take one tool being vandalized before our very eyes — language — and reclaim it, and redefine what it means to be an ethical citizen in the present moment.”
In this slim paperback, Freeman never evokes the name of Donald Trump. But the president is there is sentences such as: “Long before it normalized a reality-TV sociopathic present, social media normalized narcissism.” But this is not an angry book. It is hopeful. insightful and absolutely up-to-the-moment.
No wonder Publishers Weekly, in a starred review,said: “A protest, a poem, and a plea, Freeman’s utterly original manifesto is a pocket manual for informed political dissent and a must-read for all thinking citizens, a ‘lexicon of engagement and meaning.’ ”