Rehearsals for Living
By Robyn Maynard and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson
Published in June 2022, with Knopf (Canada) and Haymarket: Abolitionist Paper Series (US/UK).
Foreword by Ruth Wilson Gilmore; Afterword by Robin DG Kelley
“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.”
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A revolutionary collaboration about the world we’re living in now, between two of our most important contemporary thinkers, writers and activists.
When much of the world entered pandemic lockdown in spring 2020, Robyn Maynard, influential author of Policing Black Lives, and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, award-winning author of several books, including the recent novel Noopiming, began writing each other letters—a gesture sparked by friendship and solidarity, and by a desire for kinship and connection in a world shattering under the intersecting crises of pandemic, police killings, and climate catastrophe. Their letters soon grew into a powerful exchange on the subject of where we go from here.
Rehearsals is a captivating book, part debate, part dialogue, part lively and detailed familial correspondence between two razor-sharp writers convening on what it means to get free as the world spins into some new orbit. In a genre-defying exchange, the authors collectively envision the possibilities for more liberatory futures during a historic year of Indigenous land defense, prison strikes, and global-Black-led rebellions against policing. By articulating to each other Black and Indigenous perspectives on our unprecedented here and now, and the long-disavowed histories of slavery and colonization that have brought us to this moment in the first place, Maynard and Simpson create something new: a vital demand for a different way forward, and a poetic call to dream up new ways of ordering earthly life.