Having and Being Had

Having and Being Had

A provocative exploration of the value system behind American home ownership. Ranging from backyards and bars to libraries and laundromats, Biss examines the contradictions of white, middle-class life. A New York Times Editor’s Choice and a Time Best Book of 2020.

“Capitalism is made tangible, traceable, and insidiously inescapable as Biss, with mindful tenacity, connects its abstract tenets to her own domestic acquisitions. Having and Being Had is a revelatory and necessary primer on how late capitalism affects our daily lives.”

Cathy Park Hong

On Immunity: An Inoculation

On Immunity: An Inoculation

A wide-ranging investigation of the myths and metaphors surrounding vaccination, written from the perspective of a new mother. On Immunity is an inoculation against fear and an intimate account of how we are all interconnected—our bodies and our fates. Named one of Ten Best Books of 2014 by the New York Times Book Review, the Chicago Tribune, and the Los Angeles Times. Finalist for the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism.

“Imagine Eula Biss as herself a vaccine against vague and incoherent thinking, as a booster to the acuity of your thought, as a thermometer taking the temperature of our ideas about purity, contagion, individuality, and community. This book is a magnificent piece of research and of writing.”

Rebecca Solnit

Notes from No Man’s Land

Notes From No Man’s Land: American Essays

Acclaimed for its frank investigation of racial identity, Notes from No Man’s Land offers an essential portrait of America. As Biss moves across the country from New York to California to the Midwest, her essays move across time from Jim Crow lynchings to post-war white flight to contemporary gentrification. Winner of the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism and the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize.

“I fought with this book. I shouted, ‘Amen!’ I cursed at it for being so wildly wrong and right. It’s so smart, combative, surprising, and sometimes shocking that it kept me twisting and turning in my seat like I was on some kind of socio-political roller coaster ride. Eula Biss writes with equal parts beauty and terror. I love it.”

Sherman Alexie

The Balloonists

The Balloonists

A lyric meditation on love and the limits of romance, The Balloonists is a refusal of marriage. Told through metaphor and intimate experience, this genre-defying work chronicles a young woman’s attempt to live a new story.

“Eula Biss writes in spare brushstrokes that evoke an emotional universe, by turns funny, scary, dreamlike, haunting. These prose poems are shards of gleaming observation, fragments of intimacy and illusion. Here we find our families and ourselves, our words and our silences. A most impressive debut.”

Martín Espada