LIVE from NYPL: Margo Jefferson with Doreen St. Félix: Constructing a Nervous System

Date and Time
April 18, 2022
Event Details

This event, previously scheduled to take place at the Stavros Niarchos Library (SNFL), is only taking place virtually.
The award-winning critic and memoirist discusses her wildly innovative new work of depth and stirring beauty.

Accessibility Notes:
- Captions and a transcript will be provided. Media will be accompanied by alt text to reference before the program or by audio description.
- ASL interpretation is available upon request. Please submit your request at least two weeks in advance: email or use this Gmail template.

Book jacket for Constructing a Nervous System by Margo Jefferson

Margo Jefferson has been called “one of our most nuanced thinkers on the intersections of race, class, and feminism.” Constructing a Nervous System: A Memoir “as electric as the title suggests,” is the groundbreaking follow-up to her beloved Negroland. Jefferson brings a cast of family members, writers, artists, athletes, and starts to life—people who trouble and thrill her—in a performance of the elements that comprise and occupy her mind. Jefferson shatters herself into pieces and recombines them into a new and vital apparatus on the page, fusing the criticism that she is known for, fragments of the family members she grieves for, and signal moments from her life, as well as the words of those who have peopled her past and accompanied her in her solitude, dramatized here like never before.

Jefferson speaks with New Yorker staff writer Doreen St. Félix about interrogating her own self, the act of writing memoir, and probing the fissures at the center of American cultural life.

The program will be streamed live on this page. If you encounter any issues, please join us on NYPL's YouTube channel.



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Winner of a Pulitzer Prize for criticism, Margo Jefferson was for years a book and arts critic for Newsweek and The New York Times. Her writing has appeared in, among other publications, Vogue, New York magazine, The Nation, and Guernica. She is also the author of On Michael Jackson and is a professor of writing at Columbia University School of the Arts.



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LIVE from NYPL is made possible by the continuing generosity of Celeste Bartos, Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos and Adam Bartos, the Margaret and Herman Sokol Public Education Endowment Fund, and the support of Library patrons and friends.