Wednesday, November 20, 7:00 pm
Magers & Quinn Booksellers
3038 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis

Join us as John Freeman — literary critic, editor, poet, and “one of the preeminent book people of our time” (Dave Eggers) — presents his latest work, Dictionary of the Undoing, a suite of incisive, poetic essays about the current political moment. From A to Z, Freeman has chosen potent words to build a case for their renewed power and authority, each word building on the last.

At this Minneapolis event, Freeman will be joined by local writer-activists including Wang Ping, David Mura, Chris Martin, and Hawona Sullivan Janzen for a discussion about how we can redefine what it means to be a literary citizen.

Praise for Dictionary of the Undoing

“John Freeman has created a work of both artistry and activism in Dictionary of the Undoing, a lexicon of what should matter from A to Z—a complex and nuanced rebirthing of words that have been worn away by the strife and noise of this era.”
—Walter Mosley

“All [of John Freeman’s] projects feel like an invitation to enter into a polyphonic, multi-voiced conversation with other minds. Dictionary of the Undoing is no different. It is a book that makes you think, then rethink. It invites you to engage with it, to refute it, to contribute to it.”
—Valeria Luiselli

"How to be good in bad times? How to speak truth? Why read? Why write? Why bother? It is a symptom of our ongoing catastrophe that such questions must be asked, but we’re lucky that John Freeman is out there looking for some answers. Language is Freeman’s primary concern, because that’s where our struggle begins and ends, and he sets out to reclaim it and restore what was damaged by an onslaught of evil and idiocy. One day you might be asked what you were reading in 2019, when everything seemed to be coming apart, and you’re going to want to say: John Freeman’s Dictionary of the Undoing.”
— Aleksandar Hemon

“Freeman offers an alphabet of hope and action in this spare, eloquent meditation on injustice . . . 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.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)


John Freeman is the editor of Freeman's, a literary annual of new writing. His books include How to Read a Novelist and The Tyranny of E-mail, as well as Tales of Two Americas, an anthology of new writing about inequality in the U.S. today. Maps, his debut collection of poems, was published in 2017. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages and has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and The New York Times. The former editor of Granta and one-time president of the National Book Critics Circle, he is currently Artist-in-Residence at New York University.