The Dead Ladies Project: Exiles, Expats, and Ex-Countries (Paperback)

Staff Pick Logo
The Dead Ladies Project: Exiles, Expats, and Ex-Countries Cover Image
On Our Shelves Now
112th St
2 on hand, as of Jul 21 6:30pm
1 on hand, as of Jul 21 6:30pm

Staff Reviews

Jessa Crispin's intelligently irreverent travelogue/memoir/essays has changed my life more than any recently published book. Perfect for anyone who loves literary and literary history, Crispin goes places where many have been but asks questions that none have dared to explore. The Dead Ladies Project is a fantastic entry into the exploration of the possibilities provided by biography, creative nonfiction, and the more everyday practice of reading.

-- Adam

— From Adam F. Staff Picks


When Jessa Crispin was thirty, she burned her settled Chicago life to the ground and took off for Berlin with a pair of suitcases and no plan beyond leaving. Half a decade later, she's still on the road, in search not so much of a home as of understanding, a way of being in the world that demands neither constant struggle nor complete surrender.
The Dead Ladies Project is an account of that journey--but it's also much, much more. Fascinated by exile, Crispin travels an itinerary of key locations in its literary map, of places that have drawn writers who needed to break free from their origins and start afresh. As she reflects on William James struggling through despair in Berlin, Nora Barnacle dependant on and dependable for James Joyce in Trieste, Maud Gonne fomenting revolution and fostering myth in Dublin, or Igor Stravinsky starting over from nothing in Switzerland, Crispin interweaves biography, incisive literary analysis, and personal experience into a rich meditation on the complicated interactions of place, personality, and society that can make escape and reinvention such an attractive, even intoxicating proposition.
Personal and profane, funny and fervent, The Dead Ladies Project ranges from the nineteenth century to the present, from historical figures to brand-new hangovers, in search, ultimately, of an answer to a bedrock question: How does a person decide how to live their life?

About the Author

Jessa Crispin is the editor and founder of the magazines Bookslut and Spolia. She has written for the New York Times, Guardian, Washington Post, Los Angeles Review of Books,, Chicago Sun-Times, Architect Magazine, and other publications. She has lived in Kansas, Texas, Ireland, Chicago, Berlin, and elsewhere.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780226278452
ISBN-10: 022627845X
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication Date: September 22nd, 2015
Pages: 248
Language: English