Olivia Laing Conjures Up Complicated and Difficult People

May 10, 2021

At Kirkus, Olivia Laing discusses her new book, Everybody: A Book About Freedom, and why she chose the idiosyncratic Wilhelm Reich as its central figure. “I’ve had a career of writing about difficult and complicated people,” Laing says, “and Reich takes the biscuit. He had been a sexual liberationist, he’d been an anti-fascist. He had this visionary idea in the 1920s of uniting the ideas of Freud and Marx; he thought that trauma was encapsulated in the body, that it lived in the body. And at the same time, he saw our bodies as agents of change.”

is a writer and illustrator. She is the author of two illustrated books, Last Night's Reading (Penguin Books, 2015) and Sanpaku (Archaia 2018).

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